What to do when you are not in the mood

A lot of people I have met and worked with offer excuses when they are challenged about a habit that they say they desire to have but that they do not follow through on. For example, exercising. I hear people say that they are not going to go to the gym because they are not in the mood. Now, some people will suggest that by using the powerful tools of NLP and Psychology at your disposal you have the ability to master your mind and feel in the mood in an instant whenever you want to.

Without getting caught in that kind of argument let me suggest the following. Often, you are not necessarily in the mood and you don’t have the will or inclination to do a bunch of strategies to change your state. Of course, some will argue that you can always and you must… but let me propose another possibility. It is the idea of acting anyway, despite what you feel. 

Sometimes, I am not in a very good mood. Maybe I have had little sleep or I have had alcohol the night before. Maybe a big disappointment or an issue with someone very close to me has affected me. When I am in this state, I can do whatever possible to change my state… but what is vital is that the decisions I make and the actions I take are the best possible actions for me. That is where behavioural flexibility comes into play.

When you do not feel like doing something instead of just accepting that and bending to your own desires, it is often good to use your will power and decide to do whatever you aren’t in the mood for anyway, because it is good for you. In other words, discipline yourself to do what the smartest thing to do is and make intelligent decisions rationally regardless of how you feel.

Of course, some people will tell you to always go with your feelings but what they mean is your gut and not your emotions. Emotions often cloud our judgement and distort our perception. When we make our decisions based upon thinking things through and understanding what we feel about the decision rather than what we feel in general, we will be more likely to get much better results.

So, when you are not in the mood… be smart and do what is useful regardless. It will build up your will power and make you a stronger person in general. And it will make things a lot easier for you in the long run.


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