Moods often reveal your true nature, and your unedited honest feelings about situations or events in your life – far more than anything your logical mind has to say. To tap into that inner wisdom, it’s important to learn to read your moods… what causes them, changes them, intensifies them or calms them.
Each and every day, we experience many attitudes and feelings that shift, modulate and reflect exactly what’s going on for us. By documenting in a journal what you feel at different moments – where you are, and who you’re with – you’ll be able to recognize the patterns behind your moods. You can use those patterns – that inside knowledge of who you are – to more successfully help you make minor mood-altering adjustments – or major, life-affirming changes.
Your journal will show you if your daily routine is in sync with your body’s own clock. Begin by noting how you feel each morning when you wake up. Do you feel alert and energized, or tired and lethargic? People who are not early birds by nature, but must nevertheless rise at 6:00 am, are obviously at a disadvantage – however, they may be able to shake off that grogginess by moving around.
If you find that you are in a particularly bad mood each morning, you might want to explore this in more detail. Do you need more sleep? Would you be better served by living closer to work, or enquiring about a flexible schedule that allows you to start later? Are you dissatisfied with your work or home situation in general? Does your mood improve as the day progresses, or do the morning blues set the tone for the day?
If you journal your moods and pose these questions to yourself, answers may start to unfold.
Along for the ride
If you are a commuter, track how you feel during your commute. Whether you ride a train or drive a car to work or school, do you consider that time as a resource to get things done, or as a waste? If you take public transportation, are you annoyed by having to deal with crowds at the station – or do you enjoy having a few moments to drink your coffee and collect your thoughts?
Some people enjoy their commute, and see it as time to catch up with people via the cell phone (in the traditional way, or by texting). They might work on the computer, or enjoy a hobby such as knitting or reading fiction. Others, however, consider a commute to be a miserable experience that they are forced to endure. If you drive in traffic, do you utilize and appreciate the time you have to make phone calls or listen to the news, some music, or an audio book – or are you stressed out and annoyed by gridlock? Document how you feel about these types of situations, and recognize that the emotions you feel may indicate a need for a lifestyle change.
Determine if you are living to work, or working to live. Use your journal to examine your moods at work. Do you feel happy and content about your work and profession, or do you feel miserable, nervous, or trapped? How do you feel about your office arrangement – or the people you work with? Do the people you collaborate with lift your mood when you must all face stressful situations? What do you feel about your workload? Do you derive satisfaction and fulfillment and seek out new challenges, or do you feel dread and boredom over the tasks you must complete?
Many people dislike the cubicle culture that prevails in office buildings today. They often become depressed or irritable over noise, fluorescent lighting or claustrophobic conditions. Worse, they mistake their distaste of the environment for a dislike of their actual jobs. Track how you feel about the various facets of your job and workplace – and find out what kinds of patterns emerge.
If you are irritable in the morning, do you find that you are in better spirits after lunch? Some people are sensitive, and highly affected by blood-sugar levels. See how your body responds to food and nourishment. Does it improve your mood? As the work day comes to a close, note how your mood shifts again. Do you eagerly anticipate leaving work to get home and do something enjoyable with family or friends, or does your mood diminish further? If your mood deteriorates in the afternoon or evening, you should examine possible reasons for this. Perhaps there are relationships or situations in your personal life that trouble you. Try to figure out which people most affect your moods, and whether those moods are positive or negative. Those answers are clues to making changes that reflect what’s truly in your heart.
Pay attention to moments when you should feel good – but instead feel bad. Engaging in social situations with friends, family or loved ones can be particularly telling. If you’re in any way uncomfortable with people while doing activities that are clearly intended to be fun, you may want to rethink certain relationships (is it time to fire certain family members or friends?). Or, perhaps you need to confront problems you’ve denied in the past, and think about clearing the air. Conversely, if you find that every time you socialize with certain people – or participate in a particular activity – you walk away feeling elated, put more energy into moments such as these.
Let the inner wisdom of your soul guide you toward a more joyful existence. The more you delve into your moods, the more deeply conscious and intuitive you’ll become. Keeping a journal is an important step in the awareness process as you work together to unlock your true purpose and expression.
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