The art of being human
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
Far more than humans would like to admit, we are creatures of our moods. The reality is that being human means experiencing an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of emotions—but what matters is how we deal with them. Take a look at an oyster for example. An oyster creates a pearl out of a grain of sand. The grain of sand is a source of annoyance for the oyster, however in response to the irritation, the oyster creates a smooth protective coating that encases the sand and supplies relief. The result is something beautiful: a pearl. Our reactions to poor situations can transform them. So, just how does one go about “managing their moods?”
First, it is very important to have acceptance and self-compassion—some days are easier than others, some days are harder. Some days we are able to tolerate and forgive our past errors and see the future as tender and kind; other days we see ourselves as targets for contempt and lament everything, feeling guilty, useless, or shameful. It’s difficult to predict or control where our moods will end up, and it’s entirely possible to visit a whole spectrum of moods in the course of one day. In order to deal with all of that, here is a list of necessities in controlling our emotions:
Realize our vulnerability
It is important to acknowledge that our moods are susceptible to being disturbed by even the smallest of things—we are a fatefully sensitive species. Something as simple as a beautifully composed piece of music or a video of a cute dog can bring us to tears. However, we must not belittle or punish ourselves for how thin our skin is. Rather, we should adjust ourselves to what it means to be as open and tender as we are. By embracing our nature, we stop fighting ourselves over what we are not—removing half of the obstacles in our way.
Edit our social lives
We must be a friend to ourselves first and foremost. This means learning to take an honest look at our social groups and cutting out dispiriting impostors. People may call themselves our friends but if they are actually hostile, competitive, self-absorbed, or self-righteous, they are damaging. They dampen our moods and our success, and sooner or later, these people’s destruction becomes obvious—so it’s better to distance as quickly as possible .
It is essential that we surround ourselves with good company. Search out people who know how to comfort others during their natural sadness. These people understand that human compassion is greater than human error. They have experienced suffering and have fought with self-hatred—but have come out on the other side laughing at the ridiculousness of being human. Good company can be trusted to show us grace when we present them with our shallow moods. Look for friends who will accept your honest flaws and exhibit some of their own.
Listen to the body
As straight forward as it might sound, sometimes our moods are directly linked to our physical health. All those physicians and specialists telling you to look out for yourself and your health? Turns out that they were right. A lot of the time, the reason behind our shifting moods is because we have bodies and we need to look after them. How long did you sleep last night? Have you had enough water? Are you fighting off a cold? Instead of coming to the conclusion that we are terrible, perhaps many just need to stop, lie down for a little while, or have a glass of water.
This too shall pass
Our emotions will often seek to convince us that they are faultless and permanent, but in fact, they are not. Human moods are quite viscous and also bound to rise and fall. More than half of the human body is made of up water, and so are our moods it seems. At times we may be unable to shift a feeling, but we mustn’t let fleeting emotions add to our misery—take into account that in a few hours or days, this too shall pass.