What is Mood?
A mood is an emotional state, such as happiness or depression. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks.
All moods serve an important purpose, even the ones we don’t enjoy, by providing information about what might be happening within us. Yet it is possible to experience difficulty regulating your mood or shifting your mindset to allow you to enjoy life. When this happens, you may be dealing with depression.
Depression is a common condition. Its trademarks include ongoing feelings of sadness or emptiness that make it difficult to perform daily activities.
Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Frequent bouts of sadness
- Difficulty sleeping (oversleeping or having trouble getting/staying asleep)
- Difficulty enjoying activities that were formerly pleasurable
- Changes in weight or eating habits (over or undereating)
Depression is sometimes, though not always, accompanied by thoughts of suicide. If you or a loved one are considering suicide/in crisis, we urge you to call 911 or use the resources here.
How Can I Treat It?
There are many types of treatment that cater to people’s unique needs. We recommend the methods below.
Therapies like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and Brainspotting target the neurological activity connected to your mood. These methods of treatment are popular because of their efficiency and the fact that they require less talk than traditional therapy.
Psychodynamic therapy examines how early life experiences have shaped your thoughts and behaviors. It can be particularly helpful for those who’ve experienced depression or other challenging moods since childhood or early adolescence.
Cognitive-Behavioral therapy challenges unhelpful thoughts or behaviors. It involves developing coping strategies that can be used in everyday life.
Those who prefer less talk and more engagement with the body may benefit from body-based therapies like yoga and somatic experiencing. These treatments may involve examining how you hold depression in the body or regaining a sense of control or pride in your being.
Mindfulness helps us connect with our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the present moment without judgment. It can help us create greater clarity about what we’re feeling, how it’s affecting us, and how we can soothe ourselves.
Creative types, children, and/or people whose emotions can’t be expressed verbally often prefer expressive arts like writing, drawing, or movement. These therapies can lead to powerful discoveries about the self and a sense of control and pride over what we’ve created.
Our team has written a number of pieces on low mood, healing, and more. Check out some of their work on the right-hand sidebar!
The Resilient Brain Project
You can find free tools, including apps, playlists, interactive websites, blogs, and more at the Resilient Brain Project. Resources include
- Wellness screenings focused on mood
- Courses on mood and happiness from institutions like Yale
- Websites created for students, by students, to improve mental health
- Information on mood disorders and suicide in the queer community
- Chatrooms for those in crisis
- And more