Lousy Moods Can be Good for You

July 4, 2017
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Lousy Mood

Motivational speakers, websites, bookstores and television schedules are filled with programs and possible solutions for the self-doubt and lousy moods plaguing people today. But the problems are one and the same: Part of being normal. Normal people sometimes feel lousy about life, but that’s not necessarily an impediment to happiness. Let’s look at the issues.

Normal People Experience Self Doubt

Humans are highly skilled creatures who think abstractly and build machines to serve our needs. We desire to rise above our limitations. The ever-changing needs of humanity – including our own, though, are confusing. They can lead to miserable mood changes and self-doubt while we’re wondering “Am I good enough? Do I know or try enough?” as other daunting questions fill our imaginations and hearts.

The misery grows from the need to be, and to live among, trustworthy people. But if a person doesn’t accept their normality, if they focus on doubting their self-worth instead of on fostering inner growth, they’ll feel unsettled. Bad moods can ensue.

Use Bad Moods to Rise above Limitations

A person can only move forward with introspection and reflection. They lead to the maturity to know when it might be wiser to desist or to continue toward a given goal in a different manner than before. Focusing on progress leads to optimism.

Fulfilling your potential as a person is a work in progress. We’re not born perfect nor to live happily ever after. We’re born to strive. Humans have the longest childhoods of any creatures because we need time and practice to learn many skills, including mental processes, which animals lack. Humans also must learn to master emotional responses, something else that other living things don’t do.

Think of life this way: Bagpipers practice in unpopulated caves until they’re worth listening to. Chefs toss out lots of inedible food when they’re apprentices. Practice leads to better performance and increased self-respect. It’s a matter of getting used to tolerating discomfort and launching improvements from its lessons. Lousy moods end with appropriate changes in our thinking.

Introspection and Reflection

A sense of trust in yourself can help you to fend off bad moods. Recall your prior successes; they’re part of the bigger picture. Another tactic for overcoming lousy moods is to “Live in the moment.” Experience the sensation of self-doubt or self-blame. That can lead to helpful insights. Suppressing the reality, pretending it hasn’t happened, wastes the opportunity for finding solutions. It’s a disheartening experience that can prevent a future sense of joy.

Use Bad Moods as Tools for Facilitating Successes

The difference between overcoming lousy moods and not overcoming them is a matter of choice and action. Achievers reassess their priorities and their tactics, raising their moods as they realize how to meet their goals in different ways than originally planned. Bad moods alert us to our need to adjust to specific situations, to re-evaluate and to re-rank our priorities, perhaps to change our behaviors. Non-achievers quit trying to succeed in order to avoid inner pain and change, limiting the possibilities for personal progress.

Abraham Lincoln persevered past clinical depression to become a success figure. Winston Churchill remarked that “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” That’s quite the empowering statement from a man who overcame dyslexia a century before it was well understood, political opponents striving to destroy his career, and a war that could have obliterated his nation plus those of political allies. The insights that grew from having dealt with childhood and adult struggles bolstered Churchill’s self-perception, enabling him to leave lousy moods behind as he protected the public.

Females such as scientists Vera Rubin and Madame Curie, political figures including Margaret Thatcher and Indira Ghandhi, and women of similar mettle, paved the way for women to succeed in venues though males trying to sabotage their careers left them feeling miserable. Sport figures speak of failure and unhappiness as necessary for becoming proficient at their game. People in all walks of life bypass miserable moments, using the insights gained from them, then crediting their failures as keys to their eventual successes. They focused on the future, not on sadness and setbacks.

Therapists Agree: Failure is a Necessity!

FamilyShare online magazine touts the benefits of letting kids fail because: “…Failing at something can be a great learning opportunity for children.” That truth applies at every age. Happiness expert Shawn Achor recently let the world know that when he was young he’d suffered clinical depression and used it to find out how to be happy! Now he helps people to be happy despite their bad moods. Other motivational speakers also endorse failure, and the sense of disappointment which might accompany it, as part of the road to success. The life lesson is that lousy moods can work in your favor. Let them.

If bad moods are holding you back from success, you can consult a therapist to help you out of the setback. Qualified experts are available online and in offices. Seek the solutions that calm and instruct you to move more productively through life.

Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts a healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.