Sometimes we find ourselves lost and way off-track and we wonder how this happened so suddenly. Yesterday we were ok and today, we’re lost. Our Mood Barometer is key to our understanding.
Being on track is rather like walking a well marked path through a familiar forest. It’s bright and breezy, and easy to follow. It’s an enjoyable experience. We know we’re on track because our mood is also bright and breezy. Life is exciting, we have a sense of freedom and inspiration flows.
Just like any path there are twists and turns, so how do we know when we are still on our path or not? That’s the job of our Mood Barometer.
Stages of Feeling Lost Without a Mood Barometer
Often, our mind will wander and our mood will take a turn. We still feel ok but inspiration is elusive and things aren’t quite working the way we’d like them to. We’re not quite sure what’s happening. This is when we’ve wandered off that forest path just a little without realising it. When this occurs, many moods can set in, such as frustration.
Then we don’t know why things aren’t working and they just seem to get worse. This is a path through the forest that we are actually forging ourselves. It’s no longer paved and illuminated. But still, we don’t realise we’re off the path, eventhough we maybe discouraged. It’s probably somebody else’s fault anyway.
We hit rock bottom when fear and depression comes from being lost in an unknown forest for a long time. We aren’t able to recognise where we are or how we even got there. The only things that we can see are more of the same. More thick forest, more thoughts of things that aren’t working. We are well and truly lost.
Mood Barometer Gives Indicators
Most people don’t understand there’s a transition from one stage to the next. But, just like the forest that changes vegetation and light, we have a Mood Barometer that gives us indicators. Indicators of wandering off the path could be feelings of contentment or boredom. But they’re easy to ignore. These moods indicate that we should readjust our mood to get back on the well lit, familiar path of joy and excitement. And when we don’t, we wander further and further off track, until we can’t even recognise where we are or how we got there.
Role of Our Mood Barometer
It’s always salvageable but there’s a bridge from where we are to where we want to be and it needs to be traversed. We can’t make one giant leap and we need to find our way back to the path, so our thoughts and our moods are what we use to traverse the bridge. We feel our way back to the path.
Now it may seem as though the distance between the well-lit path and completely lost are very close, but it’s not. There are always indicators along the way. This is the job of our Mood Barometer, to indicate to us where we are located at any given time. When we’re aware of our moods, it becomes easier to readjust, well before we get lost.
Our Mood Barometer indicates where we are in relation to where we want to go. The well-lit path of joy and inspiration represents where we want to be and being lost in a strange forest represents fear and powerlessness, the furtherest point away. There are mood indicators every step of the way like signposts, to warn us of the direction we’re traveling. Most times, we ignore these signs.
The reason our mood changes so rapidly is mostly because of the influence we give to outside factors. That’s other people, the response to our environment and opinions towards what’s happening in our lives.
For instance, if work isn’t a good environment, then it’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong. When this happens, our mood follows and maybe frustration is the mood that occurs. This creates a habit of feeling frustrated every time we think about work. This frustration flows through every part of our lives, until everything is frustrating. The only thing that appears before us is more frustration.
This wasn’t a leap from inspiration to frustration, it was a subconscious meandering into the mood of frustration until frustration became the dominant mood. From there it’s easy to keep traveling in the direction our Mood Barometer indicates is well away from our path. Through disappointment, doubt, worry, blame and discouragement. Once we’re there, it’s like trying to forge a path into the unknown. It’s difficult. That’s when life feels difficult and lonely.
We are never alone and we are never so lost that we can’t find our way back on track. All it takes is understanding our Mood Barometer and which way our moods are indicating. Closer to our path or further away. When we’re feeling discouraged and we want to feel great, our Mood Barometer is indicating that there’s a gap because it doesn’t feel good. Closing that gap by building a bridge is the best tool we can have in our Life Tool Box.
Developing the Tools for a Bridge
To develop this, we first need an Awareness.
An awareness of how we’re feeling and an awareness of what we’re thinking.
We don’t need to monitor our thoughts all day, but when we find ourselves smiling, our Mood Barometer is indicating we’re moving towards our path and when we find ourselves frowning, we’re thinking thoughts that are moving us away from that path.
The second thing we need is to Interrupt the pattern of thoughts.
Sometimes we can get so good at thinking rubbish, that the thoughts come thick and fast. These are thoughts that don’t support us, but they’re running rampant. There’s no time to even find something better to think about. That’s when we need an interrupter. There are many methods of doing this. Remember when you were little and someone would tell you something you didn’t want to hear, you would makes noises not to hear them. Well, that’s an interrupter. It stops the mind from taking that same path it’s been going along.
The next piece is to consciously look for something Neutral to focus on.
This could be the weather, nature, a bird, even a song. This is creating some space and stopping the momentum.
When you begin to feel some relief, it’s time for the next step. Encouraging Self-Talk.
We’ve interrupted the pattern. Now it’s time to look for something that our Mood Barometer indicates feels a little better. That comes from our self-talk. Rather than allowing our thoughts to wander, because we haven’t created a new focus yet, consciously choose thoughts that feel better and better. But don’t leap so far that they’re unbelievable.
Use Encouraging Self-Talk to move in the direction of the illuminated path as a neutral space still exists. Your Mood Barometer will guide you. This isn’t rocket science, it’s natural and something we were all born with.
I’ll record a video so that you can see how to use your self-talk to improve your mood.
Increasing Our Default Mood
But don’t stop there. We all have a moods are indicating and it’s good to understand what yours may be. For many years, my default mood was Worry. I would worry about everything and that seemed normal. Then I moved my default mood up the map to Boredom. That was where I spent a lot of my time. Now my default mood is more around Enthusiasm and Eagerness. So make sure your default mood is not so far down the Mood Map that as soon as you move in direction, you’re feeling blame or anger. We’re more likely to notice the signs we’re getting lost, if our default mood is closer to our path.
In summary, the tool you’re looking for is a bridge. The steps along that bridge are:
- Encouraging Self-Talk.
Remember the Rules
There are two warnings.
- Don’t try huge leaps. You’ll end up in the river if you try and jump over the bridge.
- You can’t stop on the bridge because you’ll go backward. Those old thoughts still have momentum and you haven’t replaced the momentum with something better yet.
Practice, that’s all it takes. Then, when you get lost and you will from time to time, you have the tools to traverse the bridge and move towards your path.
But start at the beginning because, until you interrupt that pattern, you can’t even see that there is a bridge.
Continue your journey with 6 Dimensions of Healing – Handbook
Gayle Maree is Life Engineer, Counselor, Mother, Entrepreneur and Eternal Optimist.
She runs a healing centre Stewart Natural Health, in Australia with her husband and Natural Therapist Allan Herring and has over 20 years of Personal Development Coaching behind her.
Gayle is Director and creator of 6 Dimensions of Healing, and designs bridges for people to build to get themselves from where they are now to where they want to be. Her book 6 Dimensions of Healing – Handbook is available now.