Saturday, 22 May 2010

How does your mood affect your concentration?

Which came first: how you feel or the mood you're in? Does how you feel affect your mood or does your mood affect how you feel? Either way, there's no doubt that your mood can affect you, and your ability to concentrate.

"Moods are an internal measure of how we are," says Dr Liz Miller, author of Mood Mapping. "We do not express our moods directly. Instead we express them indirectly in the way we think, communicate, behave and see the world. To concentrate, you need to feel good as well as having enough energy. Although concentration may look relaxed on the outside, it is work. And if you are concentrating intensely, it is hard work! You need to have energy to concentrate, and it is easier if you are feeling positive.'

But can you consciously change your mood? Yes, says Miller, who developed the Mood Mapping technique.

"Moods can be managed, both in the immediate moment and in the longer term. And to begin, you need to understand five key inputs to mood, which are: your surroundings, your physical body, your relationships, you knowledge and your nature (personality type)."

Mood mapping is a technique that helps you first plot your mood and then work on it to get it right - if one of the five areas is out of balance, you're physically overtired or unwell, for example, you can see how this impacts on you, and improve it. It's a practical device that lets you see what it is that is influencing your mood, enables you to identify it, and then take those necessary steps that will help you manage your mood, and stop it ruling your life.

Makes sense to me!

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