Your Mood, Your Choice.

Some days are good. Other days are not so good. Sometimes it is obvious which will be which.

How much of this is up to us?

I believe it varies significantly from person to person. We have the people who wake up singing and dancing for the vast majority of time every morning. These people generally tend to piss off their roommates or even their spouses.

I had a friend like this in college. Chris was his name, and every morning he was the happiest guy in the room. I loved hanging around him for two reasons. First off, I wake up pretty down most mornings, and he cheered me up. The second reason was, he attracted people to him, and I enjoyed listening to the conversations.

I asked Chris why he was so happy and cheerful every morning, I asked him more than once. His answers were usually a canned response, “I am alive, and my family is well. Nothing to be unhappy about.”

He had mastered perspective. He was older than I at 37 and had seen a lot more of this life and world than I had. I was 22 at the time.

I had not mastered perspective, to say the least. I was very concerned about myself and not much else. At this period, my life was probably a good thing to be concerned about. It is difficult for a lot of people to do well in school. I was no exception, so the requirement of focus on myself was necessary. I do feel bad looking back, however.

My morning blues, as I call them, I have learned to fight off on my own with a coffee, a walk, and some form of audio motivation. This ritual required experimentation and failure. In practice, this looks like me getting up around 2 hours before I have to be somewhere. Since not being a grumpy frump fromp is essential to what I do, it is worth the early rise.

I don’t believe our moods are 100% our choice. We all have a natural state, I think. It is influenced by what we eat, how much movement we get, how much sleep we get, and probably how much alcohol we drink.

Many of the things above are adaptable and changeable.

But even if you do all those things correctly, you could still suffer low moods or even Depression.

I think the cliche “The Struggle is real!” is appropriate here. And there is real beauty in the struggle if you look for it. Most of us do need help or at least a kick start.

The act of working towards improvement is significant, and in my opinion, therapeutic in itself. Knowing that the goal is to make things better, not perfect, is the key to success.

No one wants a world full of Chrises, but a few of them sure are helpful to the rest of us.

Keep working towards improvement. And if you happen to be a Chris, thanks for brightening the world.

Have a great day.

Joshua J Grenell