Last week we started the conversation about becoming your own mood expert. This is very important to me because I believe, in most cases, the power to change your mindset comes from within. I want to reiterate that in some cases medication is needed to help with depression and anxiety. If you are presently on medication, speak to your doctor before making any changes. You may even want to share my thoughts with them so that they can incorporate them into your treatment plan.

To get the most out of this exercise, I want you to journal as we go, pausing when you need to reflect, and then coming back to continue.

Let’s get started!


When difficult events happen in our lives, it’s natural, and healthy, that we feel sad or angry, anxious, or afraid. How you think about/what you tell yourself about the event afterwards can cause you unnecessary discomfort. Here’s an example. A woman was recently let go from her job of 18 years and has been in a funk for weeks. She is not looking for a new job, not deciding that she will retire early and so not looking for work, and not enjoying her newfound free time.

She’s really stuck. She has an ongoing monologue running in her head about being let go: that she is unworthy, that her work was always subpar, etc. How might it be for her if instead, she chooses to think in a way that maintains perspective? If she responds, acknowledging that she is really sad, and a little angry. What if she stays with that feeling for a bit. Do you see the difference?

Getting connected to the basic feeling of that moment would keep things in perspective, she wouldn’t interpret the firing as meaning more than it was, and she wouldn’t head into a low mood that lasted longer than necessary.

So be aware of what you say to yourself after a negative event. Don’t let your interpretation of the facts lead it to have a disproportionate effect on your state of mind.


What I love about becoming your own mood expert is that it can be a lot of fun. Your homework here – go out and try activities that you enjoy: that give you energy. This will likely require some trial and error, seeing what works and then making changes as you feel the results. You get to feel the “wow” that comes with trying new things, being curious, and getting to know what makes you tick.

Want some ideas to get you started?

Go for a walk, play with your kids, play with your dog, go be in Nature, garden, play your favorite sport, mow the lawn (or don’t if you hate it), call a friend, read, cook, get together with friends, watch a TED talk, go for a drive to a new place, play music. DANCE! Watch a great movie or show. A word of caution here: binge-watching and vegetative TV-watching can be depressing. If it stops feeling great and you start feeling tired, it’s time to get up and move your body into something that fills you up. If you have a hard time coming up with ideas, try recalling things that you used to enjoy when you were young, or the last time you felt “good”. Maybe it’s when you got together with friends, or when you went exploring in Nature. Perhaps reading a book inspires you. Think of how you can create a version of that now. If you are coming up dry with ideas, this will likely benefit you greatly. Because if you don’t already have a short-list of activities that do it for you, it’s no wonder that you haven’t always felt your best.

If you’re asking, “How do I know what’s an effective mood adjuster for me?”, you’ll know.

Because like all successful mood experts, you’ll be checking in with yourself regularly about how you’re feeling emotionally and physically. Mood experts don’t need a huge storehouse: varied and effective will suffice.

You may need, however, to try things several times to know if they light you up. Get creative.

TRY NEW THINGS. Look at what others do to create their sense of well-being.

Be flexible. What does it for you one day or month or year, doesn’t necessarily always work so powerfully. Don’t panic or question it. We are complex beings. If that happens, simply reach into your toolbox of mood adjusters and try something else. And pay close attention to the effect it has.


Do an assessment of the following, so you know you’re doing everything you can to support a better mood. Look at:

WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY: Food, alcohol, cigarettes. Pay attention and choose wisely.

WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR BODY: You don’t have to be a die-hard or join a gym. But if you are looking to achieve a more balanced mood, you’ll benefit from doing some form of body movement.

YOUR ENVIRONMENT: Some people are more sensitive to their surroundings than others. If your environment affects you, then you want it to evoke what you’re looking to whether that’s calm, energized, happy, etc. If you’re distracted or bothered by an area where you want to spend time, then honor your peace of mind and clean it up. And do whatever it takes to keep it that way.

4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE DAILY: For a profoundly powerful effect on your emotional well-being.

Let’s pause here for a moment. I still feel like there’s so much I want to talk about, but I think we need a moment of reflection. Come back next week when we’ll start to wrap up this conversation, and we’ll check in to see what you’ve come up with.

By Dr. Lee Odescalchi

Author's Bio: 

Lee Odescalchi is a coach and licensed psychologist. She has coached and counseled clients, just like you, looking for more fulfilling lives. Her unique approach uses the most effective methods of personal development and performance strategies. She does this while addressing issues from the past that have led to self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of your success. Lee also empowers people to “get out of their own way” and maximize their strengths so they can produce extraordinary results… in any area of their life.