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August 26, 2007

Controlling your Mind – Focus on ‘Mood’

Step 2: Focus on the mood you are experiencing and... actually do something to combat the mood:

•    Express your emotions through a creative outlet such as painting or singing. Creative activities can be extremely cathartic

•    Get some exercise—many studies have proven the benefit of exercise in alleviating depression or anxiety

•    Give yourself a little gift to lift your spirits

•    Keep yourself busy with things that are interesting or enjoyable to you— the more you busy yourself, the less time you will have to dwell on your negative thoughts

•    Offer your help to someone else—not only will this keep you busy, but it will also give you a feeling of accomplishment and self-worth

•    Spend some time with friends and family. Avoid isolating yourself, as loneliness may only feed your negative mood

•    Use relaxation techniques—from simple deep breathing to meditation

    change the negative thought patterns that are produced by your mood or are contributing to your mood:

•    Allow yourself to imagine positive, seemingly unrealistic outcomes—this may trigger a fresh perspective or a new solution

•    Assess your feelings in an intellectual and rational manner—try to separate the actual facts from the emotion

•    Try to determine whether you are employing all-or-nothing or catastrophic thinking. If so, reframe your thinking in a more positive and realistic light

•    Gather strength and learning from your negative experience and then allow yourself to move on

•    Sometimes, denial is healthy and useful. Every now and again, force yourself to stop thinking about the situation actively try to forget or deny your negative emotions

Our list of strategies above demonstrates that, for the most part, behaviors, thoughts, and mood are highly interconnected. By adjusting one, you can affect the others. Accordingly, if you can find the power to assert control over one element in the equation, it can have a profound affect on improving your overall mood!

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