Journaling for the Soul: Choose your mood

Have you ever been in a bad mood that you just can’t shake?

Or have a pile of chores but realise you’re not in any mood to do them?

Sometimes you can really feel at the mercy of your moods, but the good news is that you can influence and change them.

Being able to choose the mood that best suits the situation is one skill of emotional intelligence.

Choosing the right mood will help you be in control of yourself, no matter what situation you’re in.

Mood + mindset = success.

Moods influence how well you do in a situation.

But so does something else: your mindset.

And they go hand in hand because your thoughts can influence your mood.

Just consider a competitive situation.

Imagine you’re going to compete in a sprint. Which mood/mindset will be most helpful to you?

Mood A: Insecure. You keep thinking about how the competitors are so tough and maybe you’re not good enough to be on the team.

Mood B: Annoyed. You’re thinking about how this interferes with your social life.

Mood C: Pumped up and confident. You’re thinking that if you do your best, there’s a good chance your team can place well. Of course, you’ll most likely do your best with the mood and mindset in option C.

But what if you’re feeling A or B and worry that those moods might affect your performance?

Luckily, you can choose your mood!

First: identify your mood

Before you can switch, you need to check in with how you’re feeling and what kind of thoughts are populating your mind right now.

That way, you’ll be able to decide if you need to change your mood to a more helpful one or if you’re already in the best possible mood.

To accurately identify a mood, you need to stop thinking about what you’re feeling and why.

Start putting your feelings into words, like “I feel sad right now” or “I’m feeling alone”.

It’s enough that you identify this to yourself, but are naturally welcome to share with anyone you want.

Second: accept how you feel.

After you’ve named your emotions, show yourself some understanding.

It’s perfectly okay to feel all feelings.

All emotions are acceptable and understandable – and you don’t have to hold on to feeling a certain way.

Once you’ve identified your mood, you can most past it if you don’t like it.

And third: identify the mood that’s best for the situation you’re in.

If you’re competing, it’s probably best to be pumped and confident.

If you need to hunker down and learn something new that’s hard, it’s probably not so helpful to feel annoyed, grumpy and self-defeated.

So, take a moment and think about what kind of mood will help you accomplish your goal?


How do you feel right now?

What kind of mood are you in? What kind of mindset do you have?

Explore whether you like feeling like this and whether it’s helpful to what you’re currently doing.