Help With Moods

Question:

Hello Adam,

I'm new to your site. I have read your advice about: just being aware of feelings, sensations in the body and thoughts, that all pass. I notice this with moods too. The thing with moods though they can last for days and days before they pass and they always come back again. To me, moods are such a struggle because they can last for hours, going into days and one time it lasted almost a whole month - without ever having a break. This was when I was told by my GP that I had a nervous break down. 

I feel it makes the body heavy, the mind drained; either the mind is intensely noisy or eerily quiet. It's like dragging this heavy shell of a body everywhere around for days and days on end. Feelings of isolation and not being connected to anything or anyone. Then it will pass, but just to come back again. Accepting it seems to make it more intense and heavier. Crying doesn't even feel like a release anymore. 

How can one stay present during those cyclic moods without actually becoming the mood themselves and end up feeling much worse? When I ask advice from others they seem to advise eating healthier, getting more exercise and look after my health. That I should try cheer myself up (which is always impossible) or socialize, eat better, exercise more, get out and about more, go to my G.P, do things that make me happy (this never works 98% of the time). . .do this or do that, etc. It never works, only leaves the feeling of being judged and criticized, though I feel I cannot help it or control these moods. If I could, I would. It seems like there is no way out as it occurs weekly and the pattern plays out over and over again. 

Now it's about just finding ways to tolerate the mood and accepting it. But, that's even getting harder and harder as months are passing. Self-care and looking after myself seems like this overwhelming effort and this is when the helplessness and despair kicks in. I don't even know what these moods are, what their root is, where it's all coming from. I use to analyse it, but that made me 10x worse. Now I just sink, though friends tell me I should never do this. But, I have no clue what else to do. I simply do not understand these moods. 

Thanks for reading, any advice or suggestions given will be greatly appreciated. 
Fiona. 


Response:

Hi,

Something that stuck out for me whilst reading is that when you accept them, when you let them be there without trying to get rid of them or resisting them, then they get worse. I’d say that is a good sign, because they are burning up or struggling to stay alive inside. When they get worse, do you feel like the allowance decreases, like your attention closes back in and you feel your attention sucked back into the moods? If they become more intense, let them, but be aware that whatever it is, it passes, so is not so important.

A quote that comes to mind is:

“Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated by the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind's surface-play affects you very little.” - Nisargadatta Maharaj

It is not about getting rid of or dissolving the mood through any effort. It is not about fixing it. It is more about not assuming you can fix it through some step you are missing. We often think there must be something that will just “click”, and we are missing it, and we spend a long time trying to find a solution. You seem to have tried that.

“I feel this way. Ok, I will let myself feel this way.” What happens then? “It gets worse. I will let it get worse.” What happens then? Is there a different quality to that allowing? Is there more space?

It is not “I don’t like feeling this way. Maybe if I let it be there, it will dissolve. But how can I just let it be there? It is so uncomfortable, I don’t get it, can’t it just not be there? It would be so much better if it was not there. Am I doing something wrong?” - it is not this second approach. Sometimes not understanding something is better, because you aren’t dragged into analysis about it. Realisations may arise spontaneously, but you don’t have to look for them.

Things like this often help push you deeper. You can’t swim on the surface of your personality any more because there is no more room, or it is too painful. So do not assume that the mood is a bad thing, or that it is a problem that must be fixed before you can be at ease.

“I feel this way. Ok, then I will let myself feel this way.” What happens then?

Adam

 

Comments for Help With Moods

(from previous website)

Mar 29, 2016
Painful NEW
by: Carol  

I am a mental health professional, and I felt so sad reading Fiona!s post. Not to diminish what Adam said in any way, I'd like to say that in addition to his perspective is one that says Fiona might need a doctor's help. What she described was so clearly a treatable condition, it would simply be one thing she could include in her awareness as she goes through the feelings of having something like this. Fiona, do talk to your GP. I wish you all the best. Peace be with you. 

Carol