Business NLP Blog

The psychology of moods

What is a mood?

A mood, in the context of the study of psychology, is defined as an emotional state. It is important to note the distinction between a mood and an emotion. Moods are more general and less specific than emotions; they are also less intense and, unlike emotions, not usually trigger by a particular event, experience or other stimulus. Moods are also different from overall temperment or other personality traits, although personality traits can affect the endurance or intensity of certain moods. Moods are generally considered to be an internal state which may the result of external factors—such as the loss of a relationship or employment—or by internaal factors, such as personality, self-esteem, and so on.

The psychology of moods

The distinction between a mood and an emotion can also be found in the endurance of a mood. Emotions are generally more fleeting and more specific than moods, although both moods and emotions can be triggered by specific events. For example: Someone might be in a happy mood because they have been making positive progress in a relationship with a potential spouse. This happy mood has more of an underlying, subtle effect on them than a specific emotion, such as joy when they see their potential spouse come through the door.

When people speak about moods, they tend to speak in general terms. The most common way to refer to a mood is to describe it as a “good mood” or a “bad mood.”

What is a positive mood?

The psychology of moods

A positive mood, or a “good mood,” is a mood which produces an overall positive and pleasant feeling in an individual. A positive mood can be caused by a countless number of factors, including but not limited to: making progress towards a promotion at work, feeling positive about appearance or skills, being praised for creative output, or feeling support from friends or family members. Typically, someone who describes themselves as being in a positive mood may not be able to describe why, exactly, they are in such a pleasant mood. Positive moods often occur when people find themselves with a clean sltate, such as after having a good night’s sleep, or after eliminating a source of great stress in their life.

A positive mood can affect someone in, predictably, positive ways. People who are in positive moods are often more productive, experience more positive emotions, and overall report that they feeling satisfied with themselves.

What is a negative mood?

A negative mood, or a “bad mood,” is a mood which is associated with negative feelings, such as aggression, sadness, and anxiety.  Like positive moods, negative moods can be caused by a number of different factors. Negative moods, however, are more likely to be caused by specific events or experiences which can be recalled by the individual—such as the break-up of a relationship or the death of a family member. Negative moods greatly increase the chance for depression, anxiety, aggression, and a host of other negative psychological and even biological symptoms. 

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