Video and transcribe available below

Time for a mood monitor check

Even folks, Dr Ro hope you’re well. 

I wanted to check in with you and this is a mood monitoring video I thought I’d share with you. I think it’s a great time to do it this time of the year. 

What a year we’ve had and the recent announcements that we just had in the UK, lockdown. 

Level four, mutations and all the stuff that’s coming out in the news at the moment and by the way, mutations are a pretty standard process for a virus. I think what’s happening is people’s moods are being swung left right and centre, up and down, financial concerns, job concerns, can’t meet our family, can meet family. What tier are you in? 

What I found over the years one when I’m doing private one-to-one work or even group work I’ll often ask the question, what is an emotion that you are in a mood that you find you are experiencing more than anything, right now? If you’ve not ever done anything like this before it’s a really powerful exercise. 

Four things I want to cover. 

First one is, are you aware that your moods vary? You could be somebody that’s completely consistent and your moods virtually don’t change at all, in which case you may want to have check in with yourself to find if there’s any emotional attachment. Because actually someone that’s emotionally detached, they are incredibly left brain by nature, or they learnt to numb themselves what’s going on around them from their communications with intimate partners, business partners, family, the world around them. That is not a healthy thing to do either, because what that does it dissociates you from the world around you to such an extent where you may lose the quality of great connections with people. 

You typically understand somebody is in that state because they are slightly distant, disassociated you can’t quite seem to get through. I think if you come across that with somebody knowing who I am as a person I’d try and help them reconnect, et cetera but it wasn’t really my role to do that. 

This is one of the things you need to check in on yourself as well is how many of you have found yourself over the last six, eight months particularly with experience of Covid, almost semi coaching people or give them your perspective on the world or give them a slightly different view on what’s going on. I know certainly that’s something I have done for many years and that can create a love-love or hate-hate relationship with people. 

With family it’s not great conversation to have because often there’s a conflict there. But what this leads to is different changes in mood, so if you’re someone that has no change in your mood at all my question to you is, do you at least have some internal dialogue that goes on when a situation occurs, but you tend to numb it down, create volume level that’s so low that you can’t hear it and you express it? 

You might consider whether it’s valuable to start to let some emotions out and allow yourself to have some degree of vulnerability because most people don’t want to share a mood state, a change as they’re afraid to be exposed. 

They’re afraid to be vulnerable. They see that as a weakness, as opposed to a strength. That leads to fluctuations in our moods and that’s great as well because every one of us has areas of our lives that we are either super happy with or super unhappy with or somewhere in between, it fluctuates. Or a feeling of being exposed, feeling a little bit antsy and overwhelmed, and that can lead to these variations in your mood. 

So first of all I want you to become aware over the coming weeks. 

There’s going to be a really interesting feeling around Christmas this year so I wouldn’t say use this next two weeks as your model on how your overall moods are, however, we do have patterns. Moods can be as a result of a reaction to somebody or to something that happens or an announcement, so be mindful of that. 

Number one is first of all start to notice your moods and notice what variations are happening. 

Number two is what emotions you feel more of? Are you feeling more anger, excitement, passion, more caring emotions, are you feeling a sense of frustration, hopelessness? I want you to start to monitor what type of mood. It would be a really good exercise to do it at this stage, see if at least on paper what you classify as your key primary moods. 

Every single human being will have certain moods that they go to certain modes they operate in which can lead to a mood. In other words, you could almost boil it down. You know the sort of person who is always grumpy, that’s their default mood and they might have three variations of grumpy. This is a great exercise for you to do and whilst you’re doing it a good process is to observe other people who you are inspired by. 

A good exercise I found is to look around and think who has a great vibe about them because every single one of us, myself included, can be inspired by another person, not necessarily every facet of their character, but they may have a characteristic or a behavioural pattern and you can model that. 

Start looking at your own variations, start to be aware of others around you who seem to be a little bit more in balance or feel more in their flow and ask the question, what are they doing differently to me? What moods are they choosing to have or what moods can I pinch that I like that they use, and then start to look at what emotions you are feeling more off. 

For me as an example, one of the moods I noticed in the last couple of months was a sense of frustration coming up more to the surface. It was frustration with projects I was starting and had started even right back in the summer and didn’t feel like they were moving along as quickly as possible and the frustration was, in some cases, towards an assistant that seemed to be slow. Towards an organisation I might be working with or even towards individuals and of course towards myself as well. 

The reality is the biggest frustrations probably with me and the fact that what my expectations are here maybe I’m setting too high and maybe not communicating those to other people. This is a really important thing. 

I’ve only become aware of it because I do this six point check. 

The six point mood check is six times during the day checking on your mood and you can do like a little chart. So on Monday you check-in and you establish what your core moods are, you can either write the mood down or you can have a mood table. What are your core basic emotions that you’re aware of that come up on a consistent basis and on the left side list them out and then you have six checkpoints. The best way to do this is to start at the two ends of the day. 

Your two primary ones are start and end of day when you first wake up in the morning and then just before you go to bed at night. This is absolutely vital. I’m doing this in a way that it could be a great mood, or it could be an indifferent mood and then it could be an absolute shitty mood. Linked with this, we can start to look at diet, fluid intake, overall exercise which also impacts your mental health as well. 

The other one is in the middle of the day so sometime around what you might classify as your lunchtime. You then choose a midpoint in the day, so I’d say roughly about 1 o’clock and then somewhere in between those. The way I look at it is there are five checkpoints and then do you want to add a six?

Typically I will do is one in the morning when I’m doing a mood, it’s not like Dr Ro does it all the time. What I’m saying is have a period of this. A good exercise is to do this for the next two weeks and press reset and do it for the first two weeks in January, which is a really fascinating period. It might be worth doing a whole month of this, but if not, pick a short period to do it. See how it comes up. 

As an example morning, mid-morning and lunchtime there are the first three and then you’ve got the back end of the day which is four. 

My experience has been it is quite good to do one halfway through the day and then do one typically around when you’re getting back from work or maybe going into early evening 5.30, 6 o’clock, 6.30, 7 o’clock, no later than that, because that’s a really strange time for a lot of people. It is that twilight period which is why I’ve included it in it. Because part of you is like this will be my creative time, let me write a book. It’s also the time you switch off and watch the TV tonight, if that consistently becomes a habit, not a good idea or maybe you’re looking after the kids and then back at the end of the day boom mood. So catalogue the moods and if you can what I found useful what is going on in your mind? What do you think has triggered that mood? 

As patterns show up. 

This is a really powerful exercise. I cannot stress this enough and number four what do you want to let go? Having done this for about a week or two weeks, is there a repetitive mood coming up? Is there a mode not serving you?

For me I’m not saying let it go completely because sometimes it serves us in certain situations. For me frustration is also a driver. It’s not I want to let frustration go, I just need to be more aware of it. 

A lot if it is because I have a very short timeline, I want to get things done now. If your timeline is too compressed you might be trying to get your message out too quickly. 

This whole thing about communication and mood is linked, so we need to understand our moods to be able to manage those moods to communicate our message in a more direct way. For me these frustrations I have I need to check-in what they are because sometimes it’s purely just the circumstances and the moment code. My standards are up here, but actually I’ve got unreal expectations. 

Not always, but in some situations, I think it’s important for us to be reflective of that. Sometimes that helps as we can take ownership of it and now that releases that emotions well, because now we control it. 

Have a great evening and good luck with your mood monitoring.

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