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PortWatch

November 21, 2013

Mood matters: Free talk helps you choose yours

(Continued)

During tonight’s 60-minute talk and interactive discussion, Arnoudse will discuss how mood can change everything, how to choose a mood to fit the situation, how to sustain a mood and how to shift the mood of others. He will also offer several steps that people can take immediately.

His first piece of advice?

“Take responsibility for your mood,” he said. “Don’t blame it on circumstances, don’t blame it on other people.”

According to Arnoudse, research has shown that 10 percent of mood is directly linked to circumstances, while 40 to 50 percent of it is “truly under our control.”

Arnoudse recommends choosing a mood “that suits your circumstances” before going into a situation. For example, if you are collaborating on a project with a co-worker, you probably want to start with a trusting mood. If you’re a star athlete, you should make sure you’re “confident but not arrogant.”

Before choosing a mood, two good questions that Arnoudse suggests asking yourself are, “What do you care about?” and “What’s your purpose?”

Arnoudse is also careful to highlight the difference between emotions and mood.

“Emotions are triggered by events, but moods actually create events,” he said. “Usually when the event passes, the emotion passes.”

And the mood of exuberance that Arnoudse advocates doesn’t mean that you’re happy all of the time, it means that you fully experience everything, from sadness to anger to excitement.

“The mood of exuberance, it includes all the emotions,” he said. “It just means fully engaged. You don’t go numb on anything. It’s kind of this inability to be indifferent.”

Arnoudse recalls two very different moods that he experienced at Red Sox games this year. At the first one, an early season contest with the Yankees, much of the crowd seemed to be pessimistic and filled with hatred, loudly chanting “Yankees suck!”

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