Shut up already

Know when to keep your mouth shutIf you have ever had an argument with someone you love then you’ve probably said one or two things that you’ve regretted. (If not then you’re someone really special!)

Here’s some advice that comes from Sydney Banks’ Three Principles understanding. That understanding says that we create our own experience from our thinking. Sometimes our thoughts are “revved up” and block our access to the wisdom that comes to us from the energy of the universe (Universal Mind). When we are “revved up” our thinking is not to be trusted.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of moods.

Have you ever noticed that your moods go up and down? Of course you have. And along with these mood swings, the quality of your thoughts vary. Low mood tends to bring poor quality thoughts. High moods go along with high quality thoughts.

So in the midst of an argument you are not likely to be having high quality thinking. Time to shut up!

Unfortunately most of us, me included, usually feel like we must say something. Our very feeling of urgency is the clue that we should not trust our thinking.

Next time you’re in an argument watch out for that feeling of urgency. Then see if you can catch yourself before saying anything. That advice alone has improved many a relationship.

The time to deal with an issue is when you’re in a good mood – both of you. That way you will be more likely to get new thoughts about the issue and find an amicable way forward.

Let me know what you find in your own experience.

How to cope with bad moods

Bad moodsWhere do bad moods come from? This question is at the heart of the answer to coping with a bad mood. And the answer might not be what you expect.

Conventional wisdom has it that your mood comes from circumstances.

  • You have had a “bad day” at work.
  • The commute home was fraught with delays.
  • The kids have been badly behaved.
  • Someone was rude to you at the supermarket.
  • Your team lost the big match.
  • The dinner you cooked was spoilt.

Whatever the circumstances, there are no no end of reasons for being in a bad mood. That is until you learn how our psychological reality is created.

In the understanding from which I work, all of these reasons boil down to one spiritual fact: we think. None of these circumstances creates our mood. It is our thinking about them that does so.

Same situation – different reactions

Consider for a moment the fact that two people can be in the same traffic jam and experience it quite differently. One may be frustrated and angry; the other relaxed and enjoying listening the car radio.

Same traffic – different experience.

Perhaps you’ve  been stuck in traffic more than once? Maybe your experience wasn’t always the same?

The difference is not the outside world, but what goes on in our mental lives.

Each thought we have is tied to a feeling. You can’t think happy thoughts and feel sad, or vice versa. That’s just not how the system works.

What are the traditional ways of dealing with a bad mood?

A quick look around shows quite a choice.

  • Take a relaxing bath.
  • Have a massage.
  • Take some exercise.
  • Meditate.
  • Think positively.
  • Use affirmations.
  • Watch a funny movie.
  • The list goes on…

Many of these seem to work. But they have one flaw. They are based on an outside-in view of the world. I mean that they assume (again) that circumstances outside will change what’s going on inside.

A relaxing bath can work, but it is not the warm water and peaceful surroundings that cause the change in mood. Rather it is your thinking that has changed. Have you ever been in that same relaxing bath and found yourself thinking dark thoughts? Well it’s not the bath that causes either good or bad moods. It is your thinking.

So what is the alternative approach to coping with bad moods?

Once you understand that you are experiencing the feeling of your thinking then things begin to change all on their own.

I find that there’s a peace at the heart of a bad mood, if you just let it be. That advice — to do nothing — seems counter-intuitive but it works. If it didn’t we’d all be stuck in our bad moods forever.

When you are in a bad mood there is comfort in knowing that a new thought will be along. In the meantime this is not the time to address the big issues in your life. Watch what you say and remember that your low mood is reflected in the quality of your thinking. Your thinking is not to be trusted.

If you begin to see the connection between your thoughts and your feelings, your inner wisdom will naturally assert itself. Human beings are programmed towards feeling good and away from feeling bad. Your wisdom, knowing that your thoughts are leading to bad feelings, will naturally return you to a more positive state in time.

Your bad mood is like the clouds that temporarily hide the sun. Behind the mood there is always your wisdom and health, and like the sun it can only temporarily be hidden. Eventually your wisdom will shine through.

While you wait for that to happen you can explore how your thoughts are creating your reality moment by moment. That exploration is something that will help you immensely in all aspects of your life.

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