Tag Archives: mood

A Little Acceptance

by Dr. Nancy Buck

Spending time with a  person who is in a miserable mood can be a misery.

You mention what a beautiful day you’re both blessed with and your companion mentions the irritating bugs that are so annoying. You smile for no particular reason and your grumble-grouch side kick complains that your ubiquitous joy is another source or irritation. Are you beginning to suspect that your friend is doing everything possible to have you join in the misery?

Is it possible that you are doing everything possible to have your partner join you in joy?

We human beings are a funny lot. Although no one can make us feel happy or miserable, feelings and emotions certainly seem contagious. Hanging around someone who is full of unhappiness and complaints can lead to our own feelings of irritation and upset. It is also possible that spending time with someone who is full of joy and laughter can influence our improved mood.

But if you are dancing and singing, standing on your head and juggling chickens all in an attempt to “cheer”someone’s mood, this will almost always backfire. If a person is committed to or needing to feel unhappy, miserable or grouchy for awhile, there is nothing that anyone can do to change their mind. They have to make this decision and choice themselves.

The one thing that you can do, however, that is kind, loving and respectful is to simply accept that your companion is feeling, thinking and behaving in a bad, sad or complaining mood. You don’t have to like it. And if you feel their mood is “rubbing off”on you, you can choose to temporarily disconnect. But the last thing you should do is to try and “make”them change their mind and mood.

Accepting the feelings of another, whether the other is your child, your parent, your partner or your friend is respectful, kind and loving. Accept that they are feeling this way for their own very good reasons, whether you understand those reasons or not. You can offer a listening ear and an understanding heart, if they want it. But trying to convince them not to feel the way they are is disrespectful, unkind and unloving.

You can contribute to the Mental Health & Happiness of another if you accept that this person is feeling the way they are. You can also contribute to your own Mental Health & Happiness by accepting your own feelings.

U.S.A. Armed Forces Day

Today, May 17, 2014, is National Armed Forces Day in the USA. If you live in the US, you may want to take a moment today to thank someone who served, or is serving, in any of our five military branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Regardless of what you think of war, these dedicated men and women give up their freedom on a daily basis to defend freedom for others everywhere.


As you know, freedom is one of the basic human needs of Choice Theory psychology. At least in the US, most people do not have to spend a lot of time thinking of how to get their need for freedom met. Most US citizens have an abundance of freedom granted under the Constitution and defended and protected by the US Armed Forces. We owe much to these men and women.

Going to war can be a lifestyle that threatens one’s mental health and happiness. There has been much attention given to suicide rates and PTSD in military members in recent years. Serving one’s country can often expose military members to experiences not easily forgotten. I work hard to call this PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). I leave off the D for disorder. Given the experiences I have heard military members speak of, it is no wonder post traumatic stress could be the result. When experiencing traumatic situations, stress is a normal response to an extraordinary event — not a disorder but an adaptive response under the circumstances. We need to recognize this and help normalize the experience while helping our military members regain any mental health and happiness that was compromised based on their selfless service.

And if you are a friend or family member of an active duty military member, especially those who serving in combat zones, we need to appreciate you as well. I often speak to military audiences and say, “The only thing harder than being a military member is loving one.” Sending someone you love into a combat zone is something else that can impact one’s mental health and happiness.

Signing up for and practicing Your Daily Challenge from this website can help you too, while your loved one is away and when they return. These challenges are no substitute for therapy but practicing them can help you regain your center from having your life uprooted, while you move toward increased mental health and happiness.

Hug an armed forces member or member of their family today or thank them for their service. Doing so, expressing your gratitude, can lift your mood too!

Color Your World

By Dr. Nancy Buck,

This is my favorite time of the year! Finally the world is waking up and is full of the complete spectrum of colors, not just the black, white, brown and grays of winter.

Now the grass is turning green, the tulips are popping into bloom, the red bud emerges, sweet daffodils declare themselves yellow, and white, purple, and lavender hyacinths burst forth in color and fragrance.

canstockphoto0374035What is your favorite color? Do you have one color dominating your closet or wardrobe? Is this the color you’ve been told looks best on you or one that you really love?

What colors do you live with in your home? Was this your choice or one made by someone else? Are you happy with the choice?

Have you ever noticed your mood changing because of the colors that surround you? After I painted and wallpapered by babies’nursery yellow I learned that yellow brings out crying and whining in babies! Luckily this seemed to only be a notion declared in a magazine article and not one shared by my children.

Why not take a moment today and consider how color affects your Mental Health & Happiness. I know I’m a woman who craves, loves and is affected by color. When Im surrounded by too many neutrals of navy, beige or gray, I grow tired, flat and less happy.

How about you?