Tools for mood management

Home ThinkSpace Week 5: Mood Management Tools for mood management

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  • This week we’ll be exploring the relationship between our bodies and our moods,

    starting with emotions and emotional resilience, how we use physical manifestations to

    understand moods, and the effects of laughter, music, and dance on mood.


    Emotions constantly give signals to our bodies, in fact, they cause physiological changes

    which underpin our feelings. For example, cardiovascular arousal can increase or intensify fear

    and anxiety (Garfinkel & Critchley, 2016). Are there tools you use to help with control of your

    emotions, (i.e. meditation, physical activity, a cup of tea, pet therapy)? Do these tools then have

    an effect on your mood? #toolsformood

  • I consider myself a high strung person so I know exactly what you mentioned above with the heart palpitations! If I let my mind wander too far into something I’m having anxiety about, I can whip myself up into a terrible frenzy if I’m not careful.


    My first go-to is always to remind myself to breathe. Over the years I have developed other tricks too, like “does this thing I’m having anxiety about really matter?” “Is anyone going to die because of x?” (I’m not a physician, so no!)


    For something really severe though, like a major life event, my default is to get distracted. Go to a fun movie or immerse myself in a well-written novel. My kitty passed away just before Christmas (she was 13) and she was certainly good at fixing my vibration (by purring) but since then I have had to cope with things on my own.

    #copingwithstress #copingstrategies #breathing

    • Yes, I know what you mean about tricks to keep things in perspective. When I step back and look at the bigger picture, it always helps. I’m currently between pets, too. My dog passed away about a year ago, and I realize what a positive force she was – not only for the unconditional support, but also because I had to take her on walks every day. Between the empty house and reduced exercise, I can see that a new pet will be necessary sooner than I expected. #keepingperspective #petshelp

  • I think my favorite tool for addressing tense and anxious emotions on the fly is progressive muscle relaxation. If I notice that I’m getting stressed, I often am carrying tension in my body that will eventually escalate my pain. If I don’t have time to take a break for some more intensive relaxation techniques, I’ll do a quick progressive muscle relaxation in my face. I find that relaxing my brow and jaw help me a lot. Focusing on releasing my facial tension helps calm and reset my mood.
    #progressivemusclerelaxation #facialtension #relaxationresponse

    Rachel Carriere
    • Thanks for sharing this – such a seemingly simple tool, and easy to implement. My brow always furrows when I’m stressed, I’ll try this technique to slow down the stress escalation. #facialrelaxation


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