Moods, Feelings, Emotions – we all have them. We can all be “challenged by our moods, reactions, and feelings.” In fact, I think we all go through periods in our lives where we wish we could “control” our moods and feelings better. I remember a time in my early twenties when I asked an older, professional colleague: “Why can’t I just control how I feel?” He responded wisely, “Because our feelings, aren’t thoughts. They don’t ‘make a lot of sense.’”
His response was before contemporary neuroscience research revealed so much about how our brain functions. Today we know, “Mood Disorders” are a result of neuro-chemical imbalances in our brain; which often have a genetic component. They often run in families across generations. There’s nothing inherently wrong with you, and, what is not working well physiologically (which you did not cause, or control) can be stabilized and function well with prescriptions. When you feel more stabilized from the medicine you can learn new ways of coping and handling your emotions, feelings, moods, stress, and anxiety in therapy. For people who do not have “clinical” degrees of mood disorders, where medicine won’t help how you’re feeling – the good news is – you can learn new ways of coping in therapy so your moods and feelings don’t feel like they’re interfering or running your life.
“For anyone struggling/coping with unwanted moods, depression, stress, anxiety, mood swings, or reacting to triggers from past traumas, I want you to know – at any age – and I have worked with people 6 years old to 85 – you can learn so many skills that will help you handle your life with more ease and grace and still have fun, excitement and happiness. There’s such a variety of “Therapeutic Modalities” which is a fancy way of saying, “ways we can work in therapy” and so many options of how you handle things differently from learning communication skills, to learning relaxing soothing breathing techniques, to Guided Imagery, Affirmations, Mindfulness, Brainspotting for Healing Trauma – truly there are so many “tools” to help you cope with life, so many ways for being different. You just need to “want,” even if it’s a small glimmer of hope – if you want life to be different you can get there. Behind so many unwanted moods, feelings, and emotional reactions are old Traumas which can be healed so they resolve and stop interfering with your reactions and feelings.
“I’m still working because there’s still so much for us to learn and bring into our lives that can be life enhancing and it’s such a joy to watch people make these changes in their lives, to be part of their “Aha moments.” You can watch yourself behaving differently, feeling differently, enjoying yourself and your actions and words more than you had…You’ll be responding more thoughtfully instead of reacting hastily and perhaps irrationally – needing to apologize and/or feel humiliated afterwards. There is so much for us to learn and bring into our lives so we can cope, handle, and enjoy our complex modern lives more easily.”
“Having said that, I want to make sure to say, many people are experiencing a higher level of depression, disheartened days, stress, anxiety, and moods swings due to the last year in all our lives – since Covid has hit and our worlds have been turned upside down – it is hard to cope, to handle all the unwanted changes that have come our way. Add in political upheaval, financial insecurities, racial injustice, systemic racism, prejudices of various kinds and life can seem like a HUGE challenge just to stand and be grounded or somewhat balanced. You’re not alone in feeling that way – these are particularly challenging times where a lot of people are experiencing stress, depression, anxiety and/or trauma triggers in ways they haven’t before – there is a sense of a lack of safety and balance that we may not have experienced before. It’s a good time to talk with a professional.”
When your feelings and moods seem to be controlling you, or when your thoughts and feelings don’t match, it can be disheartening and confusing. That mismatch can trigger a downward spiral by increasing your stress and anxiety. When you can’t figure out “the whys” of how you’re feeling, or, “how to change your moods” you can feel inadequate and doubt your abilities to cope and succeed in life, and then you feel your confidence erode. Those downward spirals can feed on themselves to where you’re feeling worse and worse. When you can’t seem to change how you feel, when you may want to, it often compounds your distress, to where you can become hopeless and feel anywhere from disheartened to despair. Please know, life does not have to feel like that and there is help out there which will free you up so you have the energy to truly change your life for the better.
If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions a trained mental health professional can help you a great deal.
Do you :
- Sometimes glimpse a “knowing” that your moods are beyond your control and don’t really make sense.
- Have trouble consistently seeing a glass as half full and it’s always half empty to you?
- Not even care about the glass of water?
- Feel like you’re living behind gauzy curtains and nothing seems in focus or bright in front of you?
- Feel like nothing good seems to come your way no matter what you do?
- Get a compliment yet it seems to stop about a foot from your body; it just doesn’t’ seem to “sink in.” It doesn’t affect how you feel?
- Feel like you’re on an emotional, unpredictable roller coaster – it may be high speed or low speed or varying spends?
- Feel upbeat, great, like you can do anything, accomplish a lot, you may push yourself at an almost frenzied pace and then you feel so low, you can barely get out of bed?
- Feel like your moods may be “rapid cycling,” lasting hours, all day, days, or they may be slow moving lasting weeks or months at a time?
“The good news is: you can get lasting relief from mood disorders, feelings and emotions that are currently beyond your control. More good news: They may have been that way for a long time and you can still get relief. Therapy (and sometimes medications) can present a variety of options – all of which can bring you some relief and free your energy to make lasting changes in how you live and how you feel in your life. “
“The goal in therapy is to have you experience moods, which are a natural part of life, rather than moods controlling your life experiences. When moods are “balanced,” they can be fun and life enhancing allowing us to fully experience what’s happening around us.”
Therapy Modalities We Can Use in Our Work Together
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Neuro Linguistic Programming
- NonViolent Communication
- Talk Therapy/Psychotherapy
- Thought Field Therapy