Mood Mysteries: What's Really Behind Your Unexpected Happiness

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Insights, Motivational, News

Moods profoundly affect our health, quality of life, and decision-making, and their impact can be positive or negative. Interestingly, moods aren't the same as emotions; basically, they're long-term emotional states.

Marshall Connects blog, Mood Mysteries: What's Really Behind Your Unexpected Happiness

Decoding Happiness: Unveiling Surprising Truths About Your Good Mood

Good moods offer many physical, mental, and social benefits. They contribute to overall health, resilience, and an enhanced quality of life. Cultivating positive emotions can be a valuable aspect of a holistic approach to well-being.

We Are Either in A Good Or Bad Mood

To appreciate a good mood, we must be aware of how we feel and keep our emotions in check. Being in a good mood helps us reach our goals and fulfill our needs.

One example? Think of how you feel after a workout.

Endorphins release into your body, and you feel positive, strong, and happy. Maybe you're experiencing that elusive "runner's high." Your mind sends you a message to let you know you feel great, made an excellent decision, and are on your path to reaching your goals. These mood-boosting endorphins do a lot more than help you feel mentally great at the moment. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain and can change how you feel pain.

But when you experience a good mood, whether from exercise or something else, is it the same as experiencing positive emotions? As it turns out, not quite. There are some critical distinctions between moods and emotions worth exploring.

Understanding The Difference Between Moods And Emotions

Moods tend to be ambiguous and weaker than emotions. They might be easier to hide, too, which means they are less likely to be activated by a particular issue or situation. But moods also tend to last longer than emotions. You might be in a good or bad mood for days or weeks, while emotions can be fleeting. Emotions can be attributed to a single event or person. Maybe you're feeling frustrated because you're stuck in traffic. Or you're feeling happy because of the tax return you just got in the mail.

Often, emotions can be attributed to a single event or person. Maybe you're feeling frustrated because you're stuck in traffic. Or you're feeling happy because of the tax return you just got in the mail. Hijacked emotions, on the other hand, often last much longer and are more severe feelings like anxiety and shock. Want to learn more about emotional hijacking and how to take control when it happens to you? Take a look at this blog post. Moods might have no real rhyme or reason, unlike emotions. Often, you may wake up in a certain mood without any reason you're aware of. In some ways, this can make it harder to control our mood. Moods can be deceiving. Recognizing them can have an impact on our outlook and emotions. They prompt us to reconsider the rational side of our feelings and decisions. Click here to learn about using your emotions to make rational decisions.

Interestingly, good moods are known sometimes to create irrational and exuberant behaviour. As we become more emotionally intelligent, we better understand our moods and emotions, reducing the regret that can follow a good mood decision. Would you like to learn how strengthening your emotional intelligence can change your life? Click here.

Don't Be Misled By A Good Mood

When you're happy and excited, it's easy to do something you will regret.

I've let a positive mood get me into trouble, especially when shopping! For example? Big Sale Shopping. If you're a shopper, you love to shop the sales. You're overjoyed with pleasure, and your enthusiasm takes over when you see 75% off; you begin stockpiling the fabulous deals. Impulsive decisions can be a problem once the thrill of the deal has worn off. Your enthusiasm may last until your credit card bill arrives, especially if you didn't need the deals you purchased.

Another impulse that goes along with a good mood can be overeating. While emotional eating is often associated with being upset, you might be too distracted when you're in a good mood to notice your food choices. You may eat to celebrate an event.

Good Moods Have Various Advantages

Good moods offer numerous benefits for our overall well-being:

  • Improved Mental Health - Positive emotions contribute to better mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. A good mood fosters a more optimistic outlook on life.
  • Enhanced Physical Health -  Research suggests positive emotions are linked to better physical health. They can boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve cardiovascular health.
  • Stress Reduction - Good moods act as natural stress relievers. When in a positive state, the body releases hormones that counteract the effects of stress hormones, promoting relaxation and well-being.
  • Increased Resilience - Positive emotions contribute to emotional resilience, helping individuals cope better with life's challenges. A good mood provides a buffer against the negative impacts of stress.
  • Improved Cognitive Function- Positive emotions are associated with better cognitive function, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. A good mood can enhance focus, memory, and overall cognitive performance.
  • Enhanced Social Connections - People in good moods are more sociable and engaging. Positive emotions contribute to better interpersonal relationships, fostering a sense of connection and community.
  • Greater Productivity - Good moods positively influence work performance and productivity. Individuals in positive states approach tasks more enthusiastically, creatively, and efficiently.
  • Longer Life Expectancy - Some studies suggest that maintaining a positive outlook on life may contribute to a longer lifespan. Positive emotions are linked to healthier lifestyle choices and behaviours.
  • Improved Coping Mechanisms -  Individuals in good moods are more likely to use effective coping mechanisms when faced with challenges. This resilience helps navigate difficulties with a more constructive mindset.
  • Positive Feedback Loop - Experiencing a good mood can create a positive feedback loop. Feeling good often leads to engaging in activities that contribute to well-being, creating a continuous cycle of positivity.

Good moods are lovely, but they don't last forever. Ideally, we always want to feel good about our decisions without regret. Developing positive emotions can be a valuable aspect of a holistic approach to well-being and our overall health. So, how can you make the most of your mood today? You can learn more about moods and build your emotional intelligence through these books: The Power of Emotion or The Mindful Journal: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence through Reflective Writing.

This article was originally published on October 20, 2018, and has been updated (January 2024).

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