How Do I Change My Mood?
Hey guys, I’m no different than you are. And so I just thought I would share maybe a story that you guys could maybe identify with. I don’t know if you guys ever go through it, but I do. It happens unfortunately too regularly. But you know, just the other day I’m startled when my alarm clock goes off. I’m disoriented and I’m trying to figure out what day of the week it is. All of a sudden I’m getting flooded with these feelings of frustration and anxiety and my brain is just starting to ramp up to full speed. I’m going over all the things I didn’t accomplish yesterday and then all this stuff that I’ve got to do today. I’ve got to figure out somehow, you know, how am I going to show up? And I just feel like I’m in this funk already. Like my mood is off and I’m just like thinking, oh, I’ll be lucky if I can get the motivation just to get out of bed, let alone get through my entire day. The sad part is I just woke up.
So, like I said, I’m just like you and I’ve had my days. I’m going to tell you there have been weeks, there have been months, I would say even years where days like these are not the exception, but they are the rule. And I totally hate these days, you know? But what I know to be true is, that over time, I have developed the ability to turn things around. Maybe not completely, but I know that I can at least balance out my emotions enough so that I can get through the day. I can recognize that I’m in a funk or depressed or whatever we want to call it, but that I know that I’ll get through it and somehow I will get over it.
For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso. I am the Clinical Director at Nsight Psychology & Addiction in Newport Beach, California. I share these videos with you because I want to de-stigmatize mental illness. Mental illness is no different than physical illness. Ultimately, our goal is emotional health. No different than someone wanting to have physical health. So I’m talking to you today and I want to give you some ideas about how to get through these things. When I say I get through this stuff it’s because I put in the work to do it. It’s not because I have made a career understanding psychology and the way people respond to and manage emotions. It’s because of what I do…I find ways to be able to work through stuff. So when I say that I put in the work, it means I know certain things. I know if I implement those certain things, I can turn my mood around.
I’m going to take the next 10 minutes or so to share a few steps with you on how I do this. Here are the three things;
- First, I want to acknowledge and accept how I feel. What I’m saying to you is acknowledge and accept how you feel. So I wake up in the morning and I’m in this total funk, I’m depressed, I’m sad, I’m anxious…I gotta acknowledge what it is that I feel.
- Number two, why do I feel that way? What is in my environment that is causing me to feel a specific way and I need to take responsibility for it. I’ve got to avoid the common tendency, that we all have is, to blame a specific circumstance or others for it.
- And third, and I’m going to tell you probably most overlooked and most important, is to make a plan.
So again, I’m going to go over these three things and see if we can get you in a place where at least, in the short term, you can kind of learn to resolve some of these things and turn around bad days. Also how you might handle things going in the future. So let’s say I’m seeing you today and I could sense that you’re upset about something. I’m going to most likely ask what’s going on with you? You know, you’d probably tell me something like…You know, this person I just talked to, they’re an idiot and I’m super upset.
Here’s the unfortunate part I’m going to tell you about therapy. A lot of people go in thinking, okay, I’m going to go in and talk about what I feel. And rightfully so, then they question it…well, then what? And a lot of times in therapy there’s not a…then what. It kind of stops. People talk about what their feelings are, which is great, I guess if you want someone to listen to you. But it doesn’t do much for changing your situation. So I’m going to tell you the important part is this is where everything needs to start, not where it needs to end. So again, let’s just say I can sense something, you’re frustrated about something. You’re upset with somebody you come in and you’re saying, Hey, this person stupid. They’re an idiot. They’re ignorant. And while that may be what you think about them or you think a specific situation is stupid or unfortunate, that has no reference to how you feel.
So my first question is what is the feeling? And I’m hoping that you could say, well Jerry, I’m feeling angry, I’m feeling frustration, I’m feeling disgust towards this person, or ‘m feeling disrespected by them. And the purpose of this is once you can identify the feeling, the next question is going to be, because it doesn’t stop there. When have you felt like this before? This is where it starts to lead into the understanding of what your feelings are. What you’ll find in your life is that feelings can be situational. A lot of times there’s things like themes. If I’m struggling with depression, I have this tendency, let’s say to feel depressed, or I may see things in a specific way. So if you start to look at, hey, when have I had this feeling before and what caused it? This helps you to start to get a better grasp of why things would draw out those specific feelings.
I’ll give you an example. If I’m angry or frustrated with somebody after a conversation with them, why is it is those feelings as opposed to compassion for someone else’s ignorance? Meaning why is it a negative emotion that I am upset…as opposed to I kind of feel bad for that person. They’re not really understanding what it is that we’re talking about or where I’m coming from and I want to help them. Big difference between the two.
So here’s an interesting part and this is the stuff I go through. I ask myself, what is it about me that’s causing me to feel this way? So the situation is the same. Again, most people, and I’m going to say me in the past, would look at a situation and just blame the situation. It’s a situation. Well I’m feeling frustrated, now what I do is identify the feeling. I’m frustrated. But then I’m going to ask myself, what is it about me that’s causing me to feel frustrated? I’ll just tell you that question is probably the most difficult for people to grasp, and it’s probably the most beneficial. The reason why is that as soon as you accept responsibility for how you feel, despite the situation that you were in, you move yourself into a sense of control. So for example, if I’m in the situation and I say I’m frustrated by the situation, there’s not much I can do about it. Maybe I can change the situation, maybe not. I’m just subjected to whatever that feeling is and it perpetuates itself. So what I look at is what is it about me that’s causing me to feel this way? And now I become in control. So instead of being like this passive victim of circumstance, like what just happened, I’m now taking control of what my environment is. So that’s all I have to say about that. So identify our feelings.
The second thing is when have I felt like that before and what is it about me that’s causing me to feel that way? Third thing, make a plan. And this step is, is extremely important. And again, it’s one of the most common ones missed when people are doing therapy. Just knowing what it is that you feel or knowing more information about your situation. And it’s not enough to change things. You actually gotta do something. And so too, too often therapy stops at the identification and expression of feelings and it’s why it doesn’t work. So then I’ve got to ask myself, what can I do about the situation? How do I get past the uncomfortable feeling?
So if I’m waking up in the morning and my mind just starts running and I’ve got to figure out all of these things, and now I’m kind of in a depressed mood, I can look at, okay, I have identified what it is. Two, I start to look at it as, what is it about me? Like, what is going on with me that I’m feeling this way this morning? And now I have to look at how do I get control of my day so my day doesn’t control me and how do I get past the uncomfortable feeling? And I will tell you one of the best ways for people to get over things is to take a course of action. So I’ve got to start focusing on, you know, what it is that I want to accomplish and what it is that I need to do to get past where I’m at.
I’m not saying that this is a guarantee that it can prevent you from having negative situations or negative feelings. But what I am saying to you, you would be surprised how much control you can get in a situation. So if I identify why I’m feeling something, I identify what it is about me that’s causing me to feel a specific way. I don’t blame the situation or someone else. I look at, okay, what’s going on with me? I got to do something and then I start to make a plan. What is it that I can do that can help me overcome this? So I just wanted to share that with you. It’s stuff that I go through on a regular basis. This is more than me being a licensed therapist, it’s about me as an individual. How do I overcome difficulties that just can happen in the moment?
Again, I’m hoping that this is stuff that you can implement almost immediately, but it is something that you’ll have to continue to practice over time. It’s not like a one and done and I’ve accomplished this. It’s stuff that you’ll have to utilize every day. So I will share with you that it’s important to take an honest look at your situation, take proactive steps. A lot of times people will say, well, Jerry, this is nonsense. Therapy doesn’t work. Psychology is just BS and so forth. Well, I will share with you that if you didn’t believe that there was some chance that things would get better for you or that you could overcome these things, you wouldn’t have found this video. The fact that I continue to look forward changing my day or my outcome or my, my life and for the better, it means that there actually is a way for it to work.
We have a lot of people that we work with on a regular basis. You know, for example, at Nsight, people that have tried outpatient therapy. They may have been seeing their outpatient therapist one or two times a week. They continue to struggle. Things aren’t getting better. They may come to a program like ours and it’ll give them an opportunity 30 to 45 days where they can sit down and actually work with licensed mental health professionals throughout the day in order to develop a better understanding of why they feel certain things and what it is about them. They can make better sense of things that happened to them in their past and what they report is, I now have a foundation that I can build upon. I’m hoping that you can kind of get some of this out of the video.
I’ve just mentioned a couple of steps that that could be beneficial. The goal is that it’s not just a one and done or I know this stuff and it’s going to work. It’s how do I start building a foundation from the more knowledge that I now have. Where I want to continue to grow and I want to be able to enjoy my life. And when I get hit by feelings that I just don’t want to feel, rather than self-medicating in one form or another or engaging in certain self-destructive things just as a distraction, I can resolve these things, feel more competent about myself, competent in myself that you know, I can turn things around. So again, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso from Nsight Psychology & Addiction in Newport Beach, California. If you like these videos, please give us a like, share them with the others. If you don’t like them, please let us know.
Make comments. My goal, again, no different than I’m sharing stuff with you, is I want to grow. I want to get better. Not a professional speaker. I’m not someone that goes around teaching and sharing this information. So what I’m trying to do is convey the knowledge I have in a way that can better help you and you can better understand. So again, if you like it, share it. If you don’t like it, let us know. We’ll continue to make efforts at improving these things. Also, if there are specific topics that you want me to address as far as mental health, emotional health, relationships, trauma, I will be doing some on that as well. I want to help you guys get through things, enjoy your life, where you’re at and where you continue to grow. So until I see you next time, hope you guys have a terrific day and keep growing.
Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Grosso is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families struggling with addiction, depression and trauma. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from San Diego State University before enrolling in Chapman University where he acquired a Master of Arts degree in Psychology. Dr. Grosso continued his education and received a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with a Specialty in treating Chemical Dependency. He holds a professional membership with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).