How to Create Your Reality by Adjusting Your Internal Settings.
The mood you’re in at any given moment in time, will affect everything else going on in and around you.
When I refer to moods, I simply mean emotional states such as happy, motivated, curious, sad, excited, confident and highly energized.
The fabulous thing is that you get to choose your mood at all times, as your mood directly relates to the thoughts you hold and you are 100 percent in control of your thoughts. Therefore, the times when you allow yourself to feel bad or negative in some way present a wonderful opportunity for you to take a good look inside, assess which of your thinking patterns is creating the feeling, and take corrective action on your thought process.
Even in the midst of an adversity—such as a painful family breakdown, missing out on a promotion at work or worrying about whether you’ll meet your soul mate—you can choose to feel good.
You just have to think it. I know this sounds overly simplistic. Honestly, it is that simple, as your reality is really nothing more than a collection of thoughts. Given that reality is created out of thoughts, and we all feel a certain way about our chosen reality, it becomes important to understand the link between thoughts and feelings; that is, your mood.
Imagine you have your very own pharmacist living inside your brain. Your brain pharmacist will create chemical cocktails based directly on your thoughts— certain thoughts will trigger the release of certain chemicals into the bloodstream that we go on to label as emotions or moods.
For example, let’s say you’re listening to your friend tell a joke and you think to yourself, “This is really funny.” Based on the thought, your inner pharmacist says, “Oh, it’s funny, huh, okay,” and proceeds to mix for you a cocktail of chemicals like phenylethylamine (PEA), dopamine, and norepinephrine and immediately dumps this mix into your body. You then feel the emotional state you know as joy and happiness.
Based on the chemical-cocktail mix released in your body, you cannot feel any mood other than that derived from your initial thought; in this example, funny. When you think funny, the brain-pharmacist will not mix and release chemicals that would lead to you feeling angry or sad or unmotivated. Why? Because your brain talks to your body based on your thoughts and the body back to the brain continuously.
Thoughts and moods are undeniably linked.
In short, it’s impossible to feel any mood that runs opposite to what’s happening in your body—you get what you focus on. This process works automatically every time!
Thoughts determine feelings, which determine the actions you take. From the example used, if the thought is “This is funny,” and based on the chemical release from your friendly inner pharmacist into your brain, you feel happiness, your likely action will be laughter.
Now, if your initial thought about the joke being told was, “This is lame,” your pharmacist would have mixed a completely different combination of chemicals and released them into your body. This would have led to an emotional feeling, such as apathy, which would have led to an action, such as an awkward smile or perhaps changing the subject.
Therefore, it is vital that you choose thoughts that will lead to the mood you want for the action you intend to engage in.
One of the main benefits from taking control of your mood, is the level of influence you have on others. Are there times where it would be useful for yourself and others to be in a particular mood to achieve a desired outcome?
One example that immediately comes to mind is in workplace meetings. As a business consultant for the corporate government and mining-and-resources sectors, I frequently received feedback that a great deal of time was wasted in meetings that go nowhere.
The intended goal for the Monday morning meeting was to have all agenda items heard, and appropriate actions assigned within 45 minutes. Potentially useful mood states for the attendees to take action and be aligned with the goal might include motivated, focused and efficient.
Now, when people first arrive at work or to a meeting, you really have no clue what has happened to them before they arrived—rushing, traffic jam, argument with a partner or difficulty transitioning after the weekend. That means you may have 10 people arriving at the meeting in 10 different and possibly unhelpful mood states. This equates to 10 opportunities to not achieve the goal of the meeting.
Therefore, because you’re capable of influencing others, you need to be sure that if the other attendees’ mood states are not ideal for the purpose of the meeting, you can move them into a useful mood.
You can do this in two ways:
1. Get into the desired mood yourself. Mood states can be infectious, so if you get yourself into the mood state of, say, motivated, others are likely to follow your lead.
2. Ask questions to focus the members on the goals of the meeting you are in. Useful questions in this meeting example may include the following:
“What will we all do to ensure we complete the meeting on time?”
“How can you contribute to the discussion of the agenda items today?”
“How can we make this a really successful meeting today?”
In what situations can you influence your mood, and the mood of others, in a positive and inspiring way?
Christine McKee, a registered psychologist, is director of BE Institute, a psychology consulting and training organization in Brisbane, Australia. She uses a combination of eastern philosophy and modern psychological techniques with her clients in the corporate, private practice, mining, government and not-for-profit arenas. Chris is dedicated to empowering individuals to reconnect with their inner wisdom and in doing so, return to wholeness. Christine is the published author of BE by Design: How I BE Is Up to Me.
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Asst. Ed: Christa Angelo / Ed: Lynn Hasselberger