Two Mood Influences We Don't Usually Recognize

Two Mood Influences We Don't Usually Recognize

There's a lot of factors that can make an impression on your entire day. From the way that you wake up in the morning, to the amount and type of food that you eat, to the type of service that you get if you visit a restaurant. There's so many different factors, in fact, that it can be difficult to pin down the exact moment where your day can turn either “good” or “bad” for the remaining hours that you're awake.

For some people, it can be difficult to find those “good mood” moments out in the world, especially if they have to juggle concerns about family, work, and many other thoughts that demand your attention. That's why it can sometimes be helpful to look at some of the often overlooked influences of your every day mood.

Other People are a Big Factor

It's not much of a surprise that much of our mood is based on social interactions, but did you know that strangers can effect your mood more than people that you're familiar with? A study performed by the University of British Columbia discovered that an interaction with a stranger can greatly improve your mood. It only makes sense; whenever we meet a stranger, we often want to put on our best face to impress, make friends, or to simply be polite. That mental shift can carry over into other interactions.

Another big influence are the moods of the people around you. Moods are often more contagious that we give them credit for. If you find yourself in a bad mood, consider that there are others around you, often those who are close to you, who are in a bad mood as well. It's rarely the situation that you're as isolated in your misery as you've believed.

Superstitions and Rituals

Although it may seem somewhat odd, holding superstitious beliefs and performing “rituals” as part of your routine behavior does have an impact on your levels of happiness. One example of this are the “good luck” rituals that athletes may go through before they enter a competition, but even something as simple as saying “good morning” to a neighbor every morning could be considered a ritual. Likewise, superstitions are prolonged and situational rituals of sorts, but in a more reactive way.

These can effect your mood in a few ways:

  • Feelings of “accomplishment” through a successful ritual, or through an avoided outcome of a negative superstition, can lead to a small endorphin release in the brain.

  • Rituals and superstitions associated with success may help your mind to focus on the actual mechanisms that can lead to it.

  • “Shared rituals,” such as holding a “Movie Night” on a set day of the week, help to synchronize your mindset with the mindset of others. If the activity is generally enjoyable, that can lead to an increased feeling of reward for everyone involved.

If you examine your own daily routine closely, you're likely to find that you've already incorporated several rituals into it without even being aware. Look for different ways to create positive rituals, and you may find a natural mood booster hiding in plain sight. 


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