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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mood and Staying in "Shape"

Fun Fact of the Day: Virginia Dare, "the first English child born in America, was born in Roanoke in 1587" (http://awesomeamerica.com).
Topic: Mood and Staying in "Shape"
/Wikipedia/
Etymologically, mood derives from the Old English mōd which denoted military courage, but could also refer to a person's humour, temper, or disposition at a particular time. The cognate Gothic mōds translates both θυμός "mood, spiritedness" and ὀργή "anger".
According to psychologist Robert Thayer, mood is a product of two dimensions: energy and tension. A person can be energetic or tired while also being tense or calm. According to Thayer, people feel best when they are in a calm-energy mood, and worst when in a tense-tired state. People often use food to regulate mood. Thayer identifies a fundamental food-mood connection, and advises against the reliance on food as a mood regulator. The low energy arousal coupled with tension, as experienced in a bad mood, can be counteracted by walking. Thayer suggests walking as a means to enhanced happiness.
A recent meta-analysis found that, contrary to the stereotype of the suffering artist, creativity is enhanced most by positive moods that are activating and associated with approach motivation (e.g. happiness), rather than those that are deactivating and associated with avoidance motivation (e.g. relaxation). Negative, deactivating moods with an approach motivation (e.g. sadness) were not associated with creativity, but negative, activating moods with avoidance motivation (e.g. fear, anxiety) were associated with lower levels of creativity.
Mood is considered to be a long lasting effect that makes a difference in the way you interact with people or external stimuli. "Moods are frequently described as more diffuse and nonspecific". Moods are considered to be mild, different from the concept of an emotion. “Moods are most often described by their valence either positive or negative, happy or sad, good or bad or neutral”. There are mainly two types of moods that people consider; these are positive mood and negative moods.
Positive mood can be caused by many different aspects of life as well as have certain effects on people as a whole. People seem to experience positive mood when they have a clean slate, had a good night sleep, and feel no sense of stress in their in life. "Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking.
Like positive moods, negative moods have important implications for human’s mental and physical wellbeing. Moods are basic psychological states that can occur as a reaction to an event or it can surface for no apparent external cause. Since there is no intentional object that causes the negative mood, it has no specific start and stop date. It can last for hours, days, weeks, or longer. Negative moods can manipulate how individuals interpret and translate the world around them, and can also direct their behavior.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
1. Many people talk about staying in 'shape' as physical exercise. What is the difference between physical and mental exercise? How do you keep 'mentally fit"? Does studying or working hard help you stay intellectually challenged and mentally fit? What else cn help you stay in shape?

2. Do you agree that staying in shape, both physically and mentally, can have a big affect on attitude and mood? How do you define the terms "attitude" and "mood"? How are they related? Does a positive attitude automatically lead to a good mood? Can good humor change your mood?

3. Many people experience changes in mood based on weather. When the weather becomes colder. how does this alter your mood? Does spending time outdoors help with your general happiness and in creating a positive attitude?
4. What other activitites affect your mood? Does spending time with friends and fanily help create a positive atmosphere for you? How do you respond to music, dancing, chatting? Do you think that positive moods and attitudes are "contagoius"?
5. What can you do to help keep a postivie attitude? What situations automatically dampen your mood (such as weather, too much work, etc.)? how can you combat negative situations in keeping a good attitude and a possitive mood?
SATURDAY, 08 October at 10:30 - Special 527 Presentation

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