Saturday, September 26, 2015

Friday 5 for September 25, 2016: Mood

I haven't done a Friday Five in a long time. Today's questions are coincidentally appropriate to my life.
When did you last spend kind of a long time in an unpleasant mood?

Well, there's a loaded question. Depends on what you mean by "unpleasant mood"? Having a mood disorder, that happens quite often. Fortunately now that I have learned how better to manage it, bad moods have less effect on my day-to-day life and rarely overwhelm me. Hm, that's overstating. They overwhelm me less often than they used to. Rarely is too strong a word.

I digress. Answer the question. The last time I spent a kind of a long time in an unpleasant mood was...this past few weeks, ending somewhere around 8:30 pm during the advanced section of my mixed martial arts class. A specific situation that had been eating at me for a while was...not solved...but lessened considerably in the hour before class. Then advanced class burned most of the rest of it out of me.  Even if it was just practice and my opponents weren't really resisting much because the objective was how to apply the move, it's interesting how putting young men half your age in choke-holds can lift my mood.

Like this. Except my arms and legs aren't nearly that long so I had a bit more difficulty.
Her legs are supposed to be wrapped around her opponents waist on the floor hold.
No Gi-Grappling/Submission Wrestling Tutorial
When you’re in a bad mood, what are strategies you employ for either dealing with it or shaking it?

You mean besides choke holds? Breathing. Well, if I'm in the middle of a busy time at work or I simply can't stop what I'm doing and my bad mood is interfering with my focus, focusing on breathing for a few minutes can help. Full lung breaths, I think they're called four part breaths. Let me check.

Okay, there is a thing called four part breathing, but that's not the breathing I was thinking of. Just slow, measured breathing. Focus on the act of inhaling, filling your lungs all the way to the bottom, and exhaling all the way. Not too far, don't make yourself light headed.

But that's a very short term measure. As I said it doesn't shake the bad mood so much as shake the bad mood's currently disruption of my focus on what I need to do. I'm a massage therapist, so not allowing a bad mood to disrupt me in session in crucial in helping my clients.

Repeat as needed.

Often I have found I just need to ride out a bad mood. Sometimes shaking it requires more energy than just acknowledging it and riding it out like a wave instead of struggling to get out of the ocean. "It'll pass, it'll pass, this too shall pass," is a mantra I use. I do things that help make it pass faster, like limiting as much as possible the demands of energy made on my body and brain. Sandwiches for dinner because Mom had to lie down for an hour after work. Buying only the essentials needed for the next few days at the grocery store instead of the entire shopping list.

If I have plenty of time to spare...usually I don't, but if I do...horror movies often help. Or horror/fantasy crossovers. I don't use food, that's a dangerous road. Using food to adjust mood is NOT a good idea.

I am almost always in the mood
for chocolate covered bacon.
What’s a meal you enjoy only when you’re specifically in the mood for it? Well, there's meals I have to be in the mood to prepare. I have to want to make my special meatloaf, it takes extra preparation. If you're in a bad mood when you prepare food it affects the food. Hey, I totally believe that spiritual stuff in this case.

I don't think I have meal like that. Do I? Trying to think. If someone were to say, "Hey, let's go out and get _______," what would it have to be for me to say, "No, I have to be in the mood for that." 

I've often said, "No, I'm not in the mood for <insert whatever here>." But I don't think there's any one food or...genre?...of food I have to have a specific mood for.

When you’re in an especially foul mood, how are those close to you most likely to detect it?

Lightening bolts and storm clouds? Usually I just tell people. I work with very intuitive people, massage therapists are the bomb at reading body language and feeling energy, 'cause that's the job, bitches. So if I'm at work it's usually not necessary to announce it, someone will generally say, "What's wrong?"

But I try not to make other people have to detect a bad mood, I let them know. Also...if I'm in an especially foul mood and I'm at home...I often just go lie down, or hide with a book or the mini-DVD player until I feel better. That's how they know too.

What external forces seem most to influence your mood?

Hm. Seem to MOST influence my mood? External forces...what you mean like the world at large? Having to drive a lot, and dealing with other drivers. The days I have to do that often affect me more. Listening to and reading about the news of the world at large, both in our own country and the world at large, can seriously depress me.

Seems to be so much bad stuff happening all over the planet. Global climate shift, turmoil in the Africa, the Middle East, and spilling into Europe, the current presidential race (and it's not even the election year yet), sometimes it's all too much. I'm one of those people that's not very well-informed, because it affects my mood so deeply that I can't function if I know all about it. I do listen to NPR but I don't study most things in great depth. I'm one of those people who can't recognize the vice president (the fact that he hasn't shot anyone while in office makes him fairly unmemorable).

Nope. Not having it.
So no, I don't keep up with the daily political stuff of our world. But I don't watch television either. Any television, no news, but no mind candy either. All those shows that so many people think are so important, that they spend so much time planted in front of the television or computer screen for? I don't do that. So I get my superior on that way.

Not that I've NEVER been a television watcher. I've just...grown out of it. It bores me. None of it seems really worth the bother. And when a show does come along that's really good, that is worth my precious time and energy? IT GETS CANCELLED!!!

I miss them so much.

/That's my Friday Five. Except now it's Saturday. But I did work on it for over an hour both Friday and Saturday, so good writing was done. Woot!

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