LIFE

A way to manage and reduce our bad moods to feel better

There is a way to manage and reduce our bad moods to feel better.

The issue of bad moods

a roaring lion

When I started this blog, I always knew that my focus would be faith and mental health issues, particularly depression/anxiety, and how to manage and reduce our bad moods better. But let’s face it, it’s hard to write about depression and all the accompanying feelings when it’s a memory, not a current experience.

But there are enough days when IT (that’s what I always called depression) tries to get a foothold that I acutely remember. Plus, I have all my posts. Then, of course, there are the people I know who struggle with this illness. Finally, there is all of you.

Earlier this week I wrote two posts that were very popular It humbled me and reminded me not to forget my true calling.

Before I started blogging I started writing a book about depression. I mean I really worked hard at it. In fact, it’s probably done. But I knew getting it published would probably take years so I felt it was God’s plan that I start a blog and reach out that way.

I often go back and read what I wrote and have yet to disagree with myself. I guess that means I’m either narcissistic or totally delusional. 🙂 But I think it means that I did my homework and faced my depression head-on. That means I didn’t try to call it anything other than what it was and I didn’t lay the blame on anyone else’s doorstep.

I learned to manage and reduce my bad moods.

Fluctuating bad moods

woman in red t shirt looking at her laptop

In fact, it was when I quit blaming others for my low mood that I started to get better.

I often write about how the responsibility for our overall well-being, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, right on our own shoulders. I hate even writing that because it applies to me and takes away my “cushion” of excuse.

Our unhealthy moods can fluctuate from day to day and sometimes throughout during the day. This can play havoc on us. Somedays we manage our moods just fine. Somedays though, especially if we’re tired and stressed, we don’t do so well.

Social scientists have discovered through experiments that whether or not we like a movie depends on our mood going into the theater. If we’re in a good mood going in, we are apt to like a movie. If not, then we probably won’t.

Our moods also very often affect our decision-making. When we’re in a low mood we make very different decisions than when we feeling upbeat. Which obviously means we should never make an important decision when our mood is low.

Conversely, it is also true, we shouldn’t make important decisions when we’re on a high either. I don’t know about you but I know I have been in a really great mood when I’ve gone shopping and bought a bunch of stuff I didn’t even like!

Why we don’t manage and reduce our bad moods

You may or may not feel the Bible is God’s word or has anything to say to you about your unhealthy moods but could you agree the Bible does contain good psychology? And this whole business of how we screw up our own lives is clearly discussed in Romans 7: 14-25: (New living translation.)

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I mean, haven’t you felt the same way? For example, for me, I so want to be more organized with my writing and my resources. I have notes and books everywhere.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  While I want to do what is right, I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

We have to be careful with these verses. It’s too easy to develop a “the devil made me do it” attitude. That’s not what these verses mean when they refer to sin. We can’t use sin as an excuse.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

“Ta Da”. There’s the answer. It is Christ that enables us to overcome our sinful nature.

The solution to managing and reducing our bad moods

So how do we manage and reduce our bad moods better?

We manage our unhealthy moods by deciding we will manage and reduce our bad moods. Everything begins with a decision, doesn’t it?

That doesn’t mean we get it right the first time, or even the second, third, fourth, ….time.

I started a Bullet Journal two years ago and I’m still working on it. Same with this blog. It continues to be a work in progress as I try to write about what I know best and what I love best to write about.

The disciples didn’t get it right all at once either. None of them. No heroes of the Old Testament always got in right. The ones that eventually did, quit making excuses and took themselves in hand.

We can do it. You can do it. You can learn to manage your moods by deciding you will, by paying attention to yourself. When you start to feel angry, discouraged, depressed, you can address your mood and remind yourself that you have all the power you need in Christ to stop it in its tracks.

In case you haven’t read it, go to my About page to read my history with depression.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.