In the Mood
January 22, 2014
Apparently, this working week started on a glum note. I turned on my television to be told that I had woken up to “Blue Monday”.
I sat through several “news” reports announcing this fact and providing lists of reasons why it was the gloomiest day of the year. I won’t repeat the list… if you heard the story then you know what was on it; if you didn’t, in this case ignorance really is bliss.
We can all find things to make us feel subdued or unhappy without being bombarded by a collective psychology which tells us that on-the-third-Monday-in-January we are going to feel even more miserable
… (and compound the point by giving us a list of even more reasons why our mood is going to be even lower than it was before the news story started).
Of course there are times when things aren’t as rosy as we would like them to be… but I’m firmly of the belief that no matter how bad things might seem… they are never completely “all doom and gloom”… (and try hard to focus on my “inner Tigger”). I try to hold the thought in my head that no matter how bad a circumstance is, there is always something… even if it is only one very small thing, that can be seen in a positive light.
Right now, for me, a big “yay” is the fact that this week, when I have headed home from the ‘day job’, it hasn’t been entirely dark. At worst it is “dusk” and at best it is still daylight. It’s a tiny thing… but it lightens my mood. It is a small indication that the depths of winter will soon be over and, despite what the weather may hold in the coming weeks, summer is heading towards us. The sun is wending its way back to the northern hemisphere and that makes me happy.
Another ridiculous thing which made me smile was the fact that the Rosetta space probe heard its alarm clock and sent back the “Hello World” (meaning “all is well”) message. As someone who enjoys the luxury of a good night’s sleep, I was concerned that after 31 months the alarm might not be heard (or the temptation to hit “snooze” for another year or so might prove too much)… but no… the science and technology proved to be sound and Rosetta sent back the message that it was awake, alert and ready to head to the ‘office’ (which in this case is an icy comet known as ‘67P’). That pleased me.
Also pleasing is the fact that Lovely Husband and I decided on a joint late-Christmas present this year. At the moment, we are keeping a close eye on the Hudson household budget and so we don’t “splash out” on treats very often. However in May last year we discovered that one of the bands on our “we have to see them live before they give up touring” list announced they would be appearing at the NEC in January. LH and I agreed that would be a great Christmas present for both of us… and so, whilst we didn’t have anything to open on December 25th, we did have something to look forward to. The tickets have now arrived by special delivery and we have are both very excited at the prospect of seeing the band playing life next week.
A personal “yay” is the fact that my “bug” has finally decided to move on; my energy levels are improved and I’ve been doing a “bit of bouncing” on my little trampoline. I recorded a weekend radio show that plays “Club Classics” and now have a four hour playlist of some cracking disco tracks which put a smile on my face and assist with the “spring” in my step(s) as I “jog” and “boing” merrily whilst singing loudly (and out of tune). It is nothing spectacular in the grand scheme of things, but, for me, it’s something which will help towards a positive result when I step on the scales for my fortnightly weigh-in (and, on a daily basis, is a great way of shedding the stress of the “day job” when I get in… leaving me upbeat and cheerful for the remainder of my evening).
Mood can be a significant factor in terms of our weight loss journey. For me, my mood can have a direct effect on my eating habits; my responses can triggered by emotion and when I am “down” or “despondent” I can find myself reaching for food or drink in the hope that it will raise my spirits.
The definition of mood (according to my faithful battered dictionary) is: “a temporary state of mind or feeling; the atmosphere or pervading tone of something”.
There is a good deal of research and evidence which confirms that “mood” can be a significant factor when it comes to the matter of weight loss. “Emotional eating” and “comfort eating” are phrases used to describe an eating pattern which isn’t triggered by physical hunger but by an emotional response to a situation or circumstance at a point in time… and it is the mental aspect of an “emotional response” that manifests itself by setting our mood.
I can wake up in the morning feeling very “low”. Whether I choose to stay in that “headspace” or seek out other alternatives is down to me. It is not set in stone by what the newsreader tells me, or by the digits on my bathroom scales. It is determined by me. I am the programmer of my own personal “central processing unit”. I input the data and I am responsible for the results. I can be happy, sad, angry, upset. I can be any or all of these at any given time. Other people contribute to my state of mind and mood… but ultimately I am the one in control of my headspace.
Each of us is on a unique journey… we all face different challenges… we all have different “highs” and “lows”; we all respond differently to external (and internal) factors. There is no right or wrong… but there is always choice. We can choose to see things in a bleak light or in a brighter context; we can choose whether we eat the jam doughnut or bounce on our mini-trampoline; we can choose to spend time feeling less than happy or choose to try and move our mood to a more cheerful place.. and, despite what is aired on television, we can choose whether we agree with the “Blue Monday” theory or whether we view it as just another day.
So whatever your mood… just remember… It is not a “fixed state”… it fluctuates and is flexible… and you are the one with ultimate control. Use the power wisely.
With a huge mood-enhancing hug.