Before I get into answering the question at hand, I would like to explain what the importance of the questions is. Lately, we have been discussing the strengths of our minds, and how to get in touch with controlling our thoughts, emotions, personality, and improve health by doing so. It is safe to say that the more knowledge we have on each and every thought and feeling can help point us in the right direction for controlling them. Now, is there a difference between our emotions and our moods? The simplest way to answer this question is, yes. Although you may not be able to distinguish between the two right now, there is a genuine difference, well actually, multiple differences.
Emotions are thoughts and feelings that are usually caused by instant situations. In other words, our emotions are affected by something that is currently happening or recently happened to us. Emotions tend to linger, but not for very long. In fact, they have a habit of disappearing quite quickly. The reason for this is because new feelings, thoughts, and situations around us create new emotions. It is also worth noting that emotions are very precise in their behavior. We can feel a massive range of emotions, from surprised, happy, and joyful to embarrassed, trusting, and envious. It is possible that this list is boundless, as each and every person feels different emotions at every moment in time. In fact, you can feel multiple emotions at the same time. Have you ever felt courageous, yet fearful when put in charge or became a leader? Though, these neutral emotions can diminish at the first sign of gratitude or friendliness from a new group of people.
On the other hand,
we have moods, which unlike emotions, can last quite some time. One especially important thing to note in their relation though, is that emotions can create certain moods. Furthermore, once in a mood, emotions can change or extend your current mood. Think of a mood as a phase that you are going through, and the emotions are sub-phases that point a particular direction. If you are in a generalized “Good” mood, and you win $20 on a $5 Lottery Scratcher, the emotions “delighted” and “satisfied” can extend your “Good” mood, or even step it up to “Great.” These moods can last an average of two days, if a strong emotion doesn’t jump in and alter the direction. I’m sure you can remember a time where you felt a certain way for more than a day.
By using meditation and emotional control, you may be able to aid in the direction of those moods. For example, if you have consistently felt like you’ve been in a “Bad” mood, then maybe it is time you changed that. Meditate and try to store your negative-based thoughts away, then find positive experiences that have been happening in your life lately. If you are down at the moment, look for the little things – someone opening the car door for you, how beautiful the weather has been, or even having a roof over your head. It doesn’t matter what they are, just that you dwell on them. This will help your emotions start to modify your current mood. You can start seeing results within minutes to hours. Lastly, once you get your mood changed for the better, don’t forget to continuously practice controlling your emotions through meditation, or any other means that works best for you!
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Kim Shapira MS, RD