We all go through times where we feel down or unmotivated. It’s ok to feel that way, but you don’t want it to last very long. There are lots of tools you can use to improve your mood and become more aware of why you’re feeling the way you are.
WHAT IS LOW MOOD?
Your mood is your overall level of emotional energy, and it shifts as you go through different ups and downs. Everyone experiences this differently. Some people describe feeling sad or not enjoying life like they used to, while others feel unmotivated or flat. It’s also normal to feel tired or fatigued and even experience darker thoughts. A low mood can be considered a natural part of our development – a time to rest and learn from the harder lessons in life. When you remain in a low mood for long periods of time, it can be called depression. There are many different types of depression, such as postpartum depression, which occurs after childbirth, and seasonal affective disorder, which generally occurs in winter, when there’s less sun.
WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF LOW MOOD?
We use a lot of energy when we’re finding life distressing, which leaves us feeling tired.
Ongoing distress can temporarily affect our memory, ability to focus, decision-making, and capacity to learn.
Low mood can lower our energy and motivation, which affects our interest in sex.
Sound familiar? Take an assessment now to find out if you're experiencing low mood.
Feeling low is a natural feeling and sometimes the best thing to do is to let yourself experience it until it passes. It’s definitely not as easy as just snapping out of it, but often time can ease the way you feel. Our practical digital tools can help you feel better along the way.
You can learn to recognise things that contribute to your highs and lows. Once you know what they are, you can identify the early signs of feeling down and do something about it. A balance of activities for purpose, pleasure, fitness and personal connection will help. Taking time to connect with friends and family can also do wonders to improve your mood.
You may also find that mindfulness tools provide a refuge from negative thoughts. Our Thinking Tools may help you get to the bottom of why you're thinking negatively and teach you how to re-frame thoughts in more useful ways.
We’re all different, so take the time to figure out what works for you.
Some days you might feel flat because you’re experiencing a low point in your mood’s natural rhythm. It’s totally normal to feel down for no reason at all. Other days, there can be things happening in your life that can affect your mood.
At a basic level, your mood will be better when you’re eating and sleeping well, exercising regularly, and living a balanced lifestyle. Physical factors like hypothyroidism can also affect your mood, as well as your natural hormonal cycle.
Your mood is also connected to your thoughts. If you’re thinking negatively about something and thinking about it a lot, it can lower your mood. If your mood is already low for any reason, then it can become even harder to get into a positive mindset.
An ongoing low mood is a common reaction to challenging life events, such as a significant loss, loneliness, a lack of purpose, or unresolved past hurt.
You can provide practical support by keeping them company or getting them outside for fresh air and exercise. You can bring them food – healthy is always ideal, but even a dirty burger or a tub of ice cream can help too!
You can provide emotional support by calmly listening to their thoughts without judging them. Make sure you leave enough time to shift the mood before leaving by talking about a different subject, having a laugh, or sharing a hug.
It’s important to be there for them when they want support. At the same time, you should be aware of your own boundaries and make sure you still have time for your own self-care.
You could also support them in seeking professional help. You can find a therapist to suggest, or offer to come with them to see their GP. You don’t have to wait until they hit rock bottom before you get help.