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  • Dr. Bill Walker

Want To Stop A Bad Mood From Ruining Your Day? This Simple Approach Will Help!


Bad moods are like rainy days. They can ruin the entire day.

Recent research has found a simple way to take the wind out of your depressing and stormy emotions so they no longer wreck your day.

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Bad moods can be hard to understand. Sometimes we know the reason, but a lot of times we have no idea why we feel depressed or mad at the world. What we do know is that these negative emotions can turn us into sad, withdrawn, mean, and even hateful people until they pass. This is not good for us or the people in our lives.

Our ‘bad moods’, as we call them, are made up of negative emotions. Common negative emotions include feeling depressed, anxious, resentful and angry. It’s easy to see that negative emotions do nothing to make us positive, supportive and happy individuals.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Accept Your Feelings

Behavioral research has discovered a possible answer to taming the effect of our negative emotions. The answer: ACCEPT your negative emotions without judging your self for having them.

To accept your negative emotions means you acknowledge you are feeling them in a neutral way.

So, you might make this comment to yourself: “I am feeling depressed today. I don’t know why but it’s what I’m feeling. I'm not going to deny I'm feeling this way.”

Stay Neutral

It is important that you are neutral in acknowledging your negative emotions. Don’t make it a good or bad issue – just accept them.

Doing so keeps you from negatively judging yourself, which the research found was part of the problem.

To negatively judge yourself for your negative emotions is to have this attitude: “I am a terrible person for feeling depressed. I hate myself for feeling this way. No one will ever love me because I have these feelings

Whoa, friend! Don’t judge yourself so harshly! In doing so you push yourself down into a deep hole of self-pity and low self-esteem - a hole so deep it becomes very difficult to climb out of.

Make It a Habit

Another part of this approach to dealing with negative feelings and bad moods is to make self-acceptance a HABIT. The more and the longer you use this approach to your negative feelings the more effective it will become for you.

As one of the researchers said, “We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health.”

As a result, this approach has been given the name “habitual acceptance.”

WHY DOES THIS APPROACH WORK?

There are a couple of theories.

Accepting your negative feelings takes their power away.

By acknowledging and accepting them they are no longer like the unspoken elephant in the room.

Remember when you were a kid and played hide and seek? When the other person said, “I see you”, the game was over, at least for you. The same may happen with your negative emotions – acknowledging them means they lose their power over you.

A second theory is that when you acknowledge and accept your negative emotions there is less need to pay attention and focus on them.

Your attitude is, “I know you are there and I accept you for what you are. You are like a passing dark cloud – before long you will pass on out of my feelings. In the meantime I am going to go about my business making the best of my day.”

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Christianly Speaking

We are human. Bad moods are not a sin. But – they can LEAD to sin if not dealt with.

The Bible says, “Be angry, but in your anger do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26). Anger is an emotion we all have. Even so, it is a negative emotion, and if not controlled it can result in negative consequences (sin).

Depression and anger are normal human emotions. Great people in the Bible became depressed and angry. Moses lost his temper. Elijah, King David and Hannah are just a few examples of people who struggled with depression and negative feelings.

Habitual acceptance of negative emotions fits within a Christian worldview.

The Bible commands us to “…take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

This cannot happen until we first acknowledge and accept what we are feeling.

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The Bottom Line

Negative emotions produce bad moods which impact the quality of our life.

One way to decrease the effect of negative emotions on our life is to use the approach of Habitual Acceptance.

In this approach:

1) ACKNOWLEDGE your negative feelings

2) ACCEPT your negative feelings

3) STAY NEUTRAL about your negative feelings

4) MAKE A HABIT of dealing with your feelings in this manner.

TRY SAYING THIS TO MOST EFFECTIVELY USE HABITUAL ACCEPTANCE:

"Even though I feel _________ (depressed, angry, anxious, etc.) I choose to LOVE, ACCEPT, and FORGIVE myself."

Close your eyes and repeat this statement silently to yourself, in a calm, relaxed manner while taking nice, full, deep breaths.

[Note: Only God can forgive sins, but we often need to accept God's forgiveness instead of holding on to our guilt. This is what I mean by "forgiving ourselves".]

Congratulations! You now have a new mental tool for controlling your negative feelings.

Before You Go

Thank you for reading this article.

Can I ask a personal favor?

I cannot find anyone willing to ‘like’, ‘share’, or ‘comment’ on my posts.

The result is this post will disappear from Facebook without anyone (or very, very few people) getting the chance to read it.

I know there are Facebook readers who need help in controlling their bad moods and negative emotions.

So, please, help me get this message out. There is nothing in this for me except helping people. And that is all that matters to me.

A simple ‘click’ on your part may make all the difference in helping someone learn to use Habitual Acceptance to find better control of their life.

Thanks in advance for doing 1 small thing to make a big difference in someone's life!

For the Family,

--dr. bill

Reference

Ford, B. Q., Lam, P., John, O. P., & Mauss, I. B. (2017). The psychological health benefits of accepting negative emotions and thoughts: Laboratory, diary, and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000157

#badmoods #selfcontrol #negativethoughts #depression #anger

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