Moods play an essential role in our lives and decision making. They are generally defined in two ways: positive or negative - good mood or a bad mood. Interestingly, moods are basically long-term emotional states. But they're not the same as emotions.
Essentially 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 are released in your body, and you're feeling 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, you made an excellent decision, and are on your path to reach your goals.
These mood-boosting endorphins do a lot more than help you feel mentally great in the moment. Endorphins actually interact with the receptors in your brain and can change how you feel pain.
But when you experience a good mood, whether it's 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.
In turn, this 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.
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 take a step back and consider the rational side of our emotions and decisions.
Click here to learn about using your emotions to make rational decisions.
Interestingly, good moods are known to create irrational and exuberant behaviour at times. As we become more emotionally intelligent, we understand our moods and emotions better, reducing the regret that can follow a good mood decision.
Would you like to learn more about 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 been known to 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 over the moon 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 for quite a while until your credit card bill arrives.
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 the food choices you're making.
Good moods are wonderful, but they don't last forever. Ideally, we always want to feel good about our decisions without regret.
So, how can you make the most of your mood today?
Good moods are wonderful but they don’t last forever. Ideally, we always want to feel good about our decisions without regret.
This article was originally published on October 20, 2018, and has been updated (October 2020).
More Motivational Reads Here »
Are you Emotionally Intelligent?
Sign up for Linda’s monthly tips to build your Emotional Intelligence and reduce Emotional Hijacking!