Your mood and your wellbeing
How well we feel on a day-to-day basis is influenced by how good or bad our mood is. Our mood is the feeling we have in the background of our lives. We all know the difference between being in a good mood and feeling generally positive about life, and being in a bad mood, perhaps feeling sad or distressed.
It is normal for our mood to go up and down from time to time, but if we have been feeling down for a long period of time it is likely that our wellbeing is also low. We may think that feeling down is the same as having low wellbeing, but they are two different aspects of our mental health. You can feel depressed, but still feel satisfied with your life, and vice versa, you can feel that you are not completely happy, while not having depression.
Physical Effects of Low Mood
When we are experiencing low mood, or a mood disorder like depression or bipolar, we experience physical effects. It is likely that we will get less or too much sleep, experience low energy or fatigue and unintended weight loss or gain.
Our feelings of fatigue and low energy impact our ability to function well in our day-to-day lives, and we may put less effort into taking care of ourselves physically, by having a nutritious diet and frequent exercise.
Psychological Effects of Low Mood
Low mood or a mood disorder like depression and bipolar disorder can cause feelings of sadness or emptiness. We may be more reactive- becoming angry or sad easily.Low mood can also make us lose pleasure in activities we once enjoyed and have trouble concentrating or making decisions. It causes us to want to interact less with other, which strongly influences out wellbeing.
How can I prevent or manage low mood?
There are many possible causes for low mood – lack of sleep, stress, poor nutrition, not enough exercise, and genetics, to name a few. Some can be changed, some can't. Some mood problems can be handled alone, some require professional help.
We can choose to be proactive with our physical and psychological health, to decrease mood fluctuations and increase positive mood. Incorporating some scientifically supported positive self-care practices into your life can help to stabilise your mood, preventing low mood and also giving you the tools to manage low mood when you experience it, ultimately leading to higher wellbeing.
- Doing regular physical activity. Start with small and manageable work-outs, and build up over time. Walking and running outside is a great, cheap way to start and a nice way to get in nature. Exercise does wonders for your mood and increases experiences of positive mood.
- Sleep. Get plenty of sleep. Different people function best on different amounts, but 8 hours is a good place to start. As you sleep, your body repairs muscles, organs, cells and your immune system strengthens. Good sleep makes your mood more stable.
- Changing your thinking style. Often it is simply the way we think about a situation that makes it positive or negative, stressful or not. Look into ACT therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to learn more about how you might begin to change your thinking style. A professional counsellor or psychologist trained in one of these therapies can also help you.
- Relaxation techniques like deep breathing. Deep breathing is a great way to lower stress in the body, calm the mind and reduce tension, and it is a technique we can use anytime.
Get insight into your own mood and wellbeing
We have created a quick and easy online wellbeing measurement that gives you insight into six key drivers of your mental health and wellbeing, mood being one of them. After you complete the measurement, you get immediate access to your own personalised report.
Want to give it a go? Check out the bottom of our measurement page for more information.