10 Surprising Things Affecting Your Mood That You Never Thought About
1. Spending time with negative people
The Problem: You know that if you spend too much time with a sick person, there’s a chance you could get sick too. But did you know that emotions are contagious too? And what’s even more alarming is that negative emotions are far more contagious than positive emotions. So it’s easy to see how spending time with negative people can affect your mood.
The Fix: The best option is too avoid the negative people altogether, but that’s not always an option. When you can’t avoid negative people, try and infuse positivity into the situation. This intentional act will keep you from slipping in to the negativity yourself.
And if you ever find yourself in situation where you have to defend yourself against a negative person, here’s how to respond to negative people.
2. Watching disturbing news
The Problem: Every time you listen to the radio, or turn on the television, or open a magazine, you’re almost guaranteed to see some kind of disturbing news. Lost airplanes, mass killings, terrible accidents, and all kinds of other disheartening stories are shared on the news. And while it’s good to stay abreast of what’s happening in the world, too much disturbing news will start to cloud your subconscious and eventually have a negative effect on your mood.
The Fix: Practice an information diet. You should only limit yourself to only consuming news directly related to areas that are directly important in your life. You’re a stock broker? Well then anything related to the stock market would be important to you. Or say you’re a lawyer, then you should be aware of any landmark cases and new laws being passed. Only consume information that is directly related to the things that are most important for you to know, and cut out everything else.
3. Social media stalking
The Problem: In a recent study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, researchers found that the more time people spend on social media, the more likely they are to be unhappy or discontent with their own lives.
The Fix: One way to beat the social media bug, is through “selective presentation in digital media”. Or in other words, take some of the amazing things happening in your own life and share it on your social networks. One study revealed that doing so lead to increase in self esteem for participants.
4. Being disorganized
The problem: Your desk at work is covered with papers, memos, and scribbled documents. Your coffee table at home is buried beneath unpaid bills, overdue Redbox movies, and other miscellaneous things whose origin is still unknown.
Although you may not realize it, the clutter and disorganization it taking a toll on your subconscious, and thus negatively affecting your mood.
Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter, Ph.D., says, “In our minds, we view this clutter as unfinished business, a constant reminder that our work is not done, and in cases of chronic clutter, never done. Suddenly, out of the depths, a bad mood surfaces”
The fix: Bourg Carter suggests that we, “Designate spaces for frequently used items and supplies,” and she also adds, “Make sure that these designated spaces are “closed” spaces, such as drawers and cabinets, if possible.”
So to keep your stress down, and your mood high, keep the clutter out sight, and in a designated place.
5. Too much screen time before bed
The Problem: Between the television, the cellphone, and the the tablet, there’s a litany of little screens begging for our attention right before. But research has shown that being exposed to the bright lights from the screens can suppress your body’s production of melatonin; a mood-regulating hormone which is only produced during darkness.
The Fix: Set a hard and fast rule that you’ll turn off every screen at least 15 minutes before bed. You can read a magazine or a book, or talk with your spouse. But your mind needs that occasional break from the little screens dominating your life.
6. Late nights
The Problem: In the fast paced world we live in today, it’s easy to fall into the trap of getting more done at the expense of sleep. But According to a study published in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, those who consistently stay up late into the night are three times as likely to develop depression than those who get to bed at a decent hour.
The Fix: Create a new habit that helps you get to bed at a decent hour every night. The extra sleep with give you a boost of energy throughout the day, and it
7. The junk food you’re eating
The Problem: The diet of the average person is steadily worsening. With a high concentration of unhealthy, often deep fried foods, the brain is being negatively affected. The mayonnaise, potato chips, sunflower seeds, and pretty everything else that’s cooked in large amount of vegetable oil has high amount of omega-6, which is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that can have a negative affect on your mood. One study revealed that a diet high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 leads to “substantial disturbances in neural function.”
The Fix: Increase the amount of omega-3 in your diet. There are plenty of options to chose from, and the same study mentioned above revealed that simply increasing omega-3 and decreasing omega-6 can have a positive effect on your mood.
8. You’re resisting TOO MUCH temptation
The Problem: You’re driving to work and that idiot driver cuts you off. But instead of losing your cool, you remain calm and let it go. You get to the office and you’re immediately bombarded by that one coworker and lacks the social skills to know when other people are no longer interested in what he’s saying. And instead of snapping at him and telling him you don’t really care what he has to say, you sit quietly until he’s exhausted his self.
Then lunch rolls around, and another coworker is offering up freshly baked brownies. You know you shouldn’t because you’re watching what you eat. But before you know it, you’ve got chocolate on your fingers and a satisfied sweet tooth. But once your sugar high wears off, you’re beating yourself up for giving in so easily.
The phenomena is referred to as ego depletion, and it basically means that the more temptation you resist, the harder it becomes to resist the next temptation.
The Fix: Dr. Roy Baumeister, the leading researcher in the field of willpower, recommends you restore your willpower by doing something you enjoy. He performed a study where he found that people who did something enjoyable, like watching a funny movie, had more willpower afterwards, than before. So when you feel yourself giving into temptation, go do something that makes you smile.
9. You’re comparing yourself to psd. files
The Problem: For the non-technical readers, a psd. file is a photoshop file. And unfortunately, modern media is over saturated with photos that have been doctored to remove blemishes and project perfection. Men are made to look like descendants of Hercules. They’re given chiseled jaw lines, perfect hair, and a six pack that would put these guys to shame. Women look like they’re fresh off the runway, with lean mid sections, long legs, and the perfect bust. And the problem here is that, whether you realize it or not, your attitude about yourself is affected by the images you’re constantly bombarded by. And what’s even worse, is that they affect your mood in a negative way.
The Fix: Of course, the simplest fix here is to just stop looking at the photos. Stop clicking links on Facebook, stop opening the magazines, and go on a psd. file diet. But, you can’t always avoid these images. So what’s another solution? A study by Kathy Wilcox and James Laird of Clark University, found that finding something you can identify with in the photo can actually increase your self esteem.
Maybe you can do your hair just like that guy. Or maybe you can get your makeup to look just like that girl. Finding something you can identify with will affect your mood in a positive way.
10. You haven’t achieved any goals in a while
The Problem: You haven’t set a worthwhile goal in while. Instead, you’ve been drifting through life, more as a passenger than a driver. With no apparent control over the ultimate direction of your life, you’re bond to feel a little down in the dumps.
The Fix: Get back into the habit of setting goals in your life. There’s nothing more exciting the seeing yourself make progress on a worthwhile goal.