Perspective: What If Bad Moods Could Be Useful?

Perspective: What If Bad Moods Could Be Useful?

In Recovery, Treatment by Tree House Recovery

Turn that frown upside down! Is quite possibly the most ineffective if not annoying sentiment someone can share with you when you’re in a bad mood. Clearly, if you were feeling any way other than the way you’re feeling which has inspired your frown you wouldn’t be frowning. You haven’t chosen to be in this bad mood. Or have you? A revelatory thought for men in recovery from addiction is that their emotions, behaviors, and responses to life are actually autonomous choices. One can choose how they are going to feel. Even in those oft-occurring moments where it feels like the ability to choose a behavior or choose a feeling is not a choice at all, a choice does remain in what to do with that emotional energy. Bad moods happen and they can be extremely stubborn. That doesn’t mean, however, that they, or you, are completely useless in the interim. You don’t have to turn the frown upside down, but you can make a lot happen while you’re still frowning. All it takes is a little willingness, a little effort, and dedication to taking control of your mind to create a shift in perspective.

Personality and Individual Differences published a study conducted by the University of Waterloo which found that being in a ‘bad mood’ can inspire an increase in executive functioning, according to Big Think. Executive functioning tends to stem from our cognition, living in our prefrontal cortex area of the brain. Men who have lived with active addiction in their lives experience significant damage to the prefrontal cortex and have to work in recovery to rebuild the brain in that area, as well as all of its functions- like the executive functions. The ability to work with big ideas, have motivation, and accomplish all of life’s requirements, as well as personal goals, comes with bad moods. As the study suggests, a bad mood might help men get ahead.

This couldn’t be better news for men in recovery since being in a bad mood is par for the course when it comes to detox, withdrawals, and the many uncomfortable parts of early recovery. After addiction’s end, the brain is working to figure out how to function without the chronic surplus of chemical substances. Too often, men believe their ‘bad moods’ to be evidence they are ‘failing’ recovery or not doing it right. They take their bad mood as an exit strategy instead of using it to strategize achieving their goals. At Tree House, men learn to channel their energy in healthy, useful ways through exercise, physical training, hiking, adventuring, and much more.

By creating sustainable change, men at Tree House build the foundation for a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information on our addiction treatment programs in Portland, Oregon: (503) 850-2474