GUEST BLOG POST: Learning From Your Funky Mood by Dr. Beth Gineris, author, Turning No to On: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness
Ever wake up in a funky mood and you just can’t shake it? Maybe that funky mood is a clue that something is askew. When things just don’t feel right, treat that funky mood as a cue to lovingly investigate further.
This is a useful perspective for your child’s funky mood.
Children communicate what they need through actions, behaviors and subtle shifts in energy, rather then direct language of need. This style of communication creates a problem for the receiver, you, especially when it is a funky mood. If you use this idea of interpreting the funky mood as a cue you decrease your reactivity and increase building a positive communication pathway in your relationship with your child.
Be mindful in how you interact around his moodiness and you can help him ascertain its etiology, increasing his inner sense of power and your trustworthiness.
Your own funky mood is an inner communication from yourself; it can feel like a bothering, nagging sense that something is out-of-place. Responding to that feeling with mindful internal reflection can bring about clarity regarding what is bothering you.
Review the circumstances leading up to the shift in energy to see the precise moment the shift occurred. A single word or event may have triggered a waterfall of connections that are entwined with an expectation or agreement you hold about yourself, others in relationship with you, or a group.
Be mindful, use your observation and investigation skills to see the precursor to the funky mood, and that will give you information about the problem with which you are bothered.
- Use you mindful attention to discern whence the funky mood originated
- Identify the underlying problem
- Clarify and choose your response
- Act in a mindful and centered way
Do this when the funky mood seems out-of-place. Follow the thread back to when you began the funky mood and see what happened just before your mood shifted into being funky.
Our natural state is to be in balance, easily connecting and interacting with those in our environment who matter to us. Agreements, expectations, and attachments are a normal part of relationship however they are dynamic; this ever-changing aspect is a source of conflict, discomfort, and miscommunication and can lead to imbalance.
- When the issue is an attachment then the shift may be to unlink the should or should not of how things should be. This is to say you have to evaluate if you have an attachment about emotion and action or an unexpressed linking of your behavior to another’s behavior in response. ie: I make everything ok and you owe me.
- When the issue is an expectation then the shift may be to clarify and renegotiate the arrangement that corresponds to the expectation. When the expectation is inappropriate, the shift is to let it go.
Expectations are often unexpressed agreements that are part of a person’s belief system or history, but not part of the other’s belief system. This leads to resentment, conflicts, and funky moods.
When the issue is an agreement it requires
- Clarification and identification
- When the aspects of the agreement have changed, then this includes a resetting of the agreement. You see this a lot with partnerships or love relationships ie: with monogamy or loyalties – what one party thinks is an agreement may not be held by the other party.
When your child wakes in a funky mood, apply the same mindfulness toward her. Compassionately investigate what she is communicating? Difficulty in school? Trouble getting her needs met? Internal or social conflict? Keep the communication pathways open. This assists you to help her ascertain the etiology of her moody imbalance and right her situation. This builds trust and creates a structure of support as she develops and moves into and through adolescence.
Your funky mood can be seen as an early warning system. Paying attention to it allows you to adjust your focus and use your mindfulness to increase the alignment of your agreements, expectations, and attachments with your centered, balanced, authentic self in your relationships.
Dr. Beth Gineris holds three graduate degrees, in business, counseling, and Oriental medicine. She has spent twenty years as a psychotherapist, over fourteen years as a strategic management consultant, and eight years as an acupuncturist. She is devoted to providing supportive, solution-focused teachings that allow people to live a more harmonious and happy life. She is the author of Turning NO to ON: The Art of Parenting with Mindfulness, and Turning Me to We: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness. Her website is: http://www.bethgineris.com/