The 365 Commitment

Mood Follows Action

You cannot control your mood. You might as well give up on that. I have tried to crack that code and even though I think there is a direct tie between mood and diet, sleep, exercise and stress there is just no way you can keep all of that in balance and keep you mood in the right frame all the time. You are going to have the ups and downs of emotions and feelings despite your best efforts. There is something that you do have control over, however, and that is your actions. Your behavior. You absolutely have control over that. This is the good news and the bad news. You see the good news is that you can directly impact your mood, the bad news is that you actually have to do something positive to have a positive mood. Shocking as that statement is!

Mood Follows Action is now becoming one of my several collections of three word life lessons that I have picked up along my 365 commitment journey. Ride at Dawn. Embrace the Suck. Be an EdgeDancer and here is yet another one. Mood Follows Action. I picked this up from a famous runner, podcaster named Rich Roll. I do not believe this idea is his, I do not remember when I first heard him say this but I think he also picked it up from someone as well. So, as a consequence, I know claim it as my own. Now, before I talk about this concept in more detail, let me just say this. I wish the opposite were true. In fact, I think we all assume that is the case. We think that once my mood improves, then I will be able to eat better, sleep better, exercise more, clean the house or whatever it is that you are procrastinating.

Here is a simple, cold hard factoid to chew on today. When you are feeling unmotivated, down, discouraged the absolute best thing that you can do to change your mental condition is to alter your physical condition. Effectively, you need to do something first. Take action.  If you wait until your mood changes then this is what causes you to spiral downward. If I just rest all day today, then I will feel better. If I just eat this pile of chocolate, then I will feel better. If I just binge watch season 2 tonight, then I will feel better. We lull ourselves into this lie, that somehow by satisfying our lazy primal mind that somehow by magic our mood will change for the better and we will be able to take action.

Reality is the opposite. Your mood will improve once you take action and if you continue to take action your mood will benefit significantly. This does not mean that you will not have mood changes, we all do, for a myriad of reasons. The important point is to always recognize that if you continue to take action, then as you do so your mood will alter for the better, and continue to do so as you continue to take positive action in your life.

So in a bad mood? Take action! That is how your mood will improve.

Guy Reams

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