How Do I Change My Mood?

Hey everyone, I’m no different than you are. I just thought I would share a story that you could identify with. I don’t know if you ever go through it, but I do. It happens unfortunately too regularly.

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. My brain is just starting to ramp up to full speed. I’m going over all the things I didn’t accomplish yesterday. Then all this stuff that I’ve got to do today.

I’ve got to figure out somehow to just show up. I just feel like I’m in this funk already. Like my mood is off. 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.

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. I totally hate these days, you know?

Developing the Ability to Change Your Mood

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. However, 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 personally to manage my emotions. I find ways to be able to work through stuff. 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.

What Steps Do I Take to Change My Mood?

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 I do to change my mood;

  • 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 need to acknowledge what it is that I feel.
  • Second, 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.
  • Third, and I’m going to tell you probably most overlooked and most important, is to make a plan.

I’m going to go over these three things in detail so you can learn to resolve some of these things and turn around bad days. This is also how you might handle things in the future.

So let’s say I’m seeing you today and I could sense that you’re upset about something. Most likely I’m going to ask what’s going on with you? You might 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 something like, okay, I’m going to go in and talk about what I feel. Rightfully so, but, then they question it. Well, then what?

A lot of the time, 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. However, it doesn’t do much for changing your situation.

The Important Place to Start

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. Maybe 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. 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.

My first question is what is the feeling? 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 I’m feeling disrespected by them.

The purpose of this is to identify your feelings. 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 cause 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? Why am I having a negative emotion instead of feeling 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.

Here’s an interesting part. I ask myself, what is it about me that’s causing me to feel this way? Most people, and I’m going to this applied to me in the past, would look at a situation and just blame the situation.

I’m feeling frustrated. Now what I do is identify the feeling. I’m frustrated. Then I’m going to ask myself, what is it about me that’s causing me to feel frustrated? This question is probably the most difficult for people to grasp, and it’s probably the most beneficial.

Accepting Responsibility for My Mood

Here’s the reason why. 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.

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.

What I look at is, what is it about me that’s causing me to feel this way? Now, I’m in control instead of being like a passive victim of circumstance. I’m now taking control of what my environment is by identifying my feelings.

Next I want to determine when have I felt like this before. Also, what is it about me that’s causing me to feel this way?

Finally, make a plan. This step is, is extremely important. 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 is not enough to change things. You actually have to do something.

Too often therapy stops at the identification and expression of feelings and it’s why it doesn’t work. So then I have 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 this stuff. Now I’m kind of in a depressed mood.

First, I identify what it is. Then I start to look at it what is it about me? What is going on with me that I’m feeling this way? Now I have to look at how do I get control of my day so my day doesn’t control me. How do I get past the uncomfortable feeling?

I will tell you one of the best ways for people to get over things is to take a course of action. I’ve got to start focusing on 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 can prevent you from having bad days or negative feelings. What I am saying is that you would be surprised at how much control you can get in a situation. 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. 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 can just happen in the moment?

How Do I Manage My Mood Going Forward?

This is stuff you can implement immediately. It is something that you’ll have to continue to practice over time. It’s not like a one and done. It’s stuff that you’ll have to utilize every day. It’s important to take an honest look at your situation and 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 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 life for the better, means that there actually is a way for it to work.

We have a lot of people that we work with at Nsight. People that have tried outpatient therapy. They may have been seeing their outpatient therapist one or two times a week and they continue to struggle. Things aren’t getting better.

When they come to a program like ours it gives them an opportunity to do intensive 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, 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 will be beneficial. The goal is to start building a foundation with the additional knowledge I’ve gained. Where I will continue to grow because I want to be able to enjoy my life. When I get hit by feelings that I just don’t want to feel, rather than self-medicating or engaging in self-destructive things, I learn to resolve these things, feel more competent about myself,  so 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. My goal is that 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. 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.

If there are specific topics that you want me to address as far as mental health, emotional health, relationships, trauma, let me know. I want to help you all get through things, enjoy your life, where you’re at so you continue to grow. Until I see you next time, I hope you all have a terrific day and keep growing.

References

Mental Health America – Helpful Vs Harmful: Ways To Manage Emotions
https://www.mhanational.org/helpful-vs-harmful-ways-manage-emotions

Dr. Jerry Grosso

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).

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