Mood management, not mood control

We may imagine, perhaps a little glibly, how wonderful it would be to have the ability to control our moods, to create happiness at the press of a button, as it were.

Why would we sit wishing the world would go away, when a simple adjustment could magically make everything better?


But although mood control might sound idyllic, substitute ‘mind’ for ‘mood’ and you get an altogether different picture. Quite literally, because if you search Google Images for ‘mind control’ it’s all dizziness-inducing hypnotic spirals and conspiracy theory websites.

Mood control might just be one of those things we should be careful about wishing for.

Would you truly want to be so controlled that you’d be immune to spontaneous bursts of pure joy?

Would you want to be unable to respond entirely humanly to events of great sadness?

Would you want to forego the right to shed a few tears at the movies?

Would you really want to live your life like Mr Spock?

Probably not.

Control, however, is a very different thing from management. Perhaps therefore the most you might hope for is learning to manage your moods, making the most of occasionally feeling fantastic, and accepting with good grace the sadness that quite legitimately accompanies life’s less positive happenings.

Unless of course you happen to be half-Vulcan, and have pointy ears.

One thought on “Mood management, not mood control

  1. Hi, I found your mood/mind control entry interesting as I am starting a mindfulness course soon for Borderline personality disorder which has been renamed recently as emotional intensity disorder which makes more sense to me personally as I don’t have all the traits of BPD but do have emotions which are not under control. I don’t wish to be devoid of emotion as it is what makes me me but I would like to be in more control of that’s the right word of my emotions. However, what I would really like to understand is why my emotions and moods work like they do. I have PTSD complex and understand what has caused this but no therapy offered is there to help me understand my over emotional behaviour just how to manage it which doesn’t make much sense to me. Why try and ‘control’ a behaviour without working on the understanding of why it’s happening?
    Thankyou for your interesting entry.
    Best wishes

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