Answer These Three Questions and You'll Improve Your Mood

Do you want to feel better? If so, you shouldn't fight against your sadness but accept it. However, don't stop there because you can do so much more simply by answering these three questions.
Answer These Three Questions and You'll Improve Your Mood
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 26 January, 2023

Nobody ever wants to feel sad. When you feel this way, you tend to adopt a more passive and accepting attitude. In effect, you normalize your sadness and believe that it might even be necessary at that particular moment. This is an extremely popular idea today. In fact, we might say that we live in the era of emotional acceptance.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad strategy. After all, condemning sadness or seeing it as pathological when you’ve just lost a loved one would make little sense. As a matter of fact, living this emotion, without trying to hide it, can help you a lot on these kinds of occasions. On the other hand, there are times when feeling sad isn’t so adaptive – when you’re suffering from spring fatigue, for example – and you want to change your mood to one governed by more positive emotions.

The good news is that you have resources at your fingertips to improve your mood. Furthermore, none of them will make any demands on you to feel differently and then make you feel guilty if you don’t manage it.

Today, we want to share three questions for you to answer that’ll help improve your mood.

Woman thinking, depicting how to change your mood.

1. What was the last goal you reached?

We’re all guilty of taking successes for granted. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal to tend to normalize your achievements, but not your mistakes. Unsurprisingly, this kind of bias doesn’t make you happier. The good news is that there are conscious steps you can take to improve matters.

Just stop for two seconds and realize that your mind is playing tricks on you. Then, think back to your last achievement and value it properly. This injection of motivation will compensate for the temporary vulnerability of your self-esteem.

Remember, you’re the one who reached that complicated goal, who didn’t give up, and who was brave in the face of fear. You achieved it, even though you had little strength left to do so.

2. When was the last time you felt appreciated?

You’ll always be alone, in the sense that you’ll never find anyone with whom you have a relationship as intimate as the one you have with your inner voice. The one that involves just you and your thoughts. However, you should take a moment to also consider the people around you who appreciate you.

Think of the times they helped you or surprised you. The times they made you feel loved and protected. Recreate those moments. Don’t think of the people who don’t do much for you even though you’d like them to. For now, concentrate on those who really do make you feel loved and appreciated.

Man and woman talking outdoors

3. What do you know how to do well?

If you answer nothing to this question, you’re lying. Surely there’s something, no matter how small, in which you know that you excel? Taking care of others? Telling stories? Possessing excellent organizational skills? Practicing sport? Reading? Facing problems? Making decisions? Communicating?

When you answer, allow yourself to smile. Share it. You won’t be any less humble for doing so. Exploit it. It won’t mean you’re being selfish. Stop for a while and think about what you’d like your own personal flag or emblem to look like. What would you choose to appear on it?

Obviously, it’s not a good idea to become too self-absorbed, but thinking about yourself occasionally is fine. In this sense, others can be a great help by sharing with you what they think you’re good at and even ways in which they think you can exploit your talent. So, ask their advice.

Your mind is complex. Nevertheless, as you now know, you don’t need complicated strategies to improve your mood.

If you want to put these ideas into practice, you must first accept that you’re responsible for your own emotional state. You’re not a ship at the mercy of the wind and its whims. Transcending this romantic and unhealthy idea will put you in a good position to dare to experiment and consciously intervene in your thought cycle and, ultimately, feel a little better.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

    • Branden, N. (1995). Los seis pilares de la autoestima (Vol. 2). Barcelona: Paidós.
    • Giraldo, K. P., & Holguín, M. J. A. (2017). La autoestima, proceso humano. Revista Electrónica Psyconex9(14), 1-9.
    • Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. (1990). Inteligencia emocional. Imaginación, conocimiento y personalidad9(3), 185-211.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.