After creating a post with all my notes on the book I thought what better way of helping you get through it too than sharing my journey with Mind Over Mood. It’s helped a ton! and I hope it can do the same for you!


Mind Over Mood 2nd Edition

Mind Over Mood

This has been a book that has been recommended to me by multiple doctors, therapists, and everyone that has been trying to help me on my journey to mental wellness. I never really cared much for it and never took mental illness seriously but honestly, it’s been a good 5+ years and now I’m truly a die-hard advocate for Mind Over Mood. Not just for those that are battling with anxiety and depression but for everyone that is going through life. We all need a little help sometimes and this is the book that can help you understand your thoughts, emotions and help you get to know yourself.

Get the Book on Amazon: USA | CAD

Mind Over Mood Revisited [2020 August 29]

This post is now [2020 August 29] is about 2 years old. My blog is needing some love and I still believe this book to be a very important read for everyone.

What is Mind over Mood?

This is a book that can teach you about a technique to deal with an overwhelming number of feelings like depression, anxiety and every kid that’s living through 2020. It’s a thought process that’s called: 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

If you’re anything like me, those words seem hella scary. And if you don’t like the word scary, you’re probably just saying that it’s something you’re vibing with right off the bat. I can’t lie, I also freak out around the word therapy, cause like I don’t need that? Whachu mean? (I actually do, and recommend therapy to everyone)

But real talk, CBT is just a way of thinking. So if you need to remove the word therapy to feel more comfortable by all means. Its all good. Just give this book a shot. Mind over Mood teaches you about CBT and gets you to take a step back, really understand what you’re feeling, analyze your situation and reevaluate how you feel.

Hence, change the way you feel by changing the way you think.

I’m not so sure about how many people still enjoy reading, but if you’re somehow on my blog, you’re one of the very few. *Props* to that. So if you want something that goes well in conjunction with the book besides therapy… Our favourite app is Pacifica. It’s an app also based around CBT and will allow you to keep up with your own thought records. I’m still old school so I still use pen and paper, but do what you are most comfortable with.

Mind over Mood | Dylankyang

So, how shall we start?

Anything, therapeutic, educational, or self-help related just gets hella overwhelming for me. I’m always interested but once I look at the overall picture I always get overwhelmed and then fall into paralysis by analysis. (ie. I don’t end up doing anything)

So the easiest thing to do first is to “get your house in order”. You only need 3 tools to succeed for this one!

Here’s What You Need

Once you got that out of the way, you’re pretty much good to go. We can start reading the book and follow through what they say. When I read I go too far into the book that it takes ages for me to finish. So, I’ve been attempting to learn to skim and then revisit. I’m not sure this idea is any better but at least it gets me to do things. So I’m going with that for now.

That being said. Here are the paths you’ll take based on your current situation:

What Are You Feeling Now?

Anxious

  • Environment: illness, possible job evaluation/promotion
  • Speed up of Physical Reactions: racing heart, cold sweats, jumpy
  • Moods: nervous, panicky
  • Behaviours: avoiding flying, quitting job
  • Thoughts: “heart attack”, “I’m dying” (Catastrophic)

Read Chapter 14 –> Chapter 5 –> Chapter 11 –> Chapter 10 –> Chapter 13

Angry

Read Chapter 15 –> Chapter 5 –> Chapter 6-12

Depressed

  • Environment: member diagnosed with sickness, the pressure to be perfect
  • Physical: tired, trouble sleeping, stomach problems, eating less/more
  • Emotional: irritable, sad, angry, stressed, depressed, guilty
  • Behaviour Changes: avoiding family/friends, difficulty working, struggling with alcohol
  • Thoughts: Self-criticism, pessimism, hopelessness, negative

Read Chapter 14 –> Chapter 5 –> Chapter 11 –> Chapter 10 –> Chapter 13

Then What?

So now that we’ve got a grasp on understanding our feelings for specifc scenarios, we can then start learning on what to do with them.

Start Tracking Your Mood and Activities

How To Do a Thought Record

That’s all there is to it! Keep at it, you got this!

My Old Summary on Mind Over Mood

Mind Over Mood (TL;DR)

  • A form of therapy that  helps you analyze your patterns of thought, behaviours and moods
  • The 5 Part Model is the key concept showing you that each factor is linked and they feed of each other (environment, thoughts, moods, physical reactions and behaviours) [Hence why sometimes things feel like a spiral or events down moods are cyclical]
  • Determining your current symptoms helps you decide which approach to start from:
    • Anxiety:
      • Environment: illness, possible job evaluation/promotion
      • Speed up of Physical Reactions: racing heart, cold sweats, jumpy
      • Moods: nervous, panicky
      • Behaviours: avoiding flying, quitting job
      • Thoughts: “heart attack”, “I’m dying” (Catastrophic)
    • Depression:
      • Environmental changes: member diagnosed with sickness, pressure to be perfect
      • Physical: tired, trouble sleeping, stomach problems, eating less/more
      • Emotional: irritable, sad, angry, stressed, depressed, guilty
      • Behaviour Changes: avoiding family/friends, difficulty working, struggling with alcohol
      • Thoughts: Self-criticism, pessimism, hopelessness, negative
    • A slight improvement in one area can lead to positive changes in other areas

Feel happy with yourself as you are, imperfections and all!

Depression: Read chapters 13 –> 5 to 12
Anxiety: Read chapters 14 –> 5 –> 11 –> 10 –> 13 or 15 –> 6 to 9 –> 11 –> 16
Anger: Read chapters 15 –> 5 –> 6 to 12

Actions to Take for Depression:

  • Treatments: Therapist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (this), Mindfulness, Medication
  • What gets measured gets managed:
    • Track your Depression Inventory score [Weekly]
    • Record your daily activities and rate your mood (0-100) every hour [First Week]
    • Schedule some pleasurable activities in each of the 5 areas to do every day [Daily]
AFTER SCHEDULING BECOMES EASIER
  • Set 2 changes in moods or life you hope to achieve (set S.M.A.R.T. Goals) [Once]
    • Reasons to succeed, what will help and marking signs of improvement [Weekly]
  • Aim to complete at least 3 to 4 thought records [Weekly]
TO DIG DEEPER (MORE THINGS YOU CAN DO)

  • Strengthen New Thoughts: with evidence when moods only improve slightly after a thought record
  • Action Plans: Are used when evidence supports your thoughts
    • Action –> Determine Start Time –> Predict Problems –> Strategize –> Record Progress
  • Acceptance: Sometimes situations can’t be changed and acceptance can help us feel better
    • Observe your Thoughts and Moods (without judgement, be present) –> Look at the Bigger Picture (benefits of acceptance) –> Connect your Thoughts (value/goals > distress)
  • Underlying Assumptions: Subconscious rules we often by “if…. then…” statements
    • Balancing Assumptions: Experiment –> Predict –> Problems –> Strategies –> Outcome
  • Core Beliefs: Absolute statements ingrained in our subconscious (strong moods, life experience)
    • Identify: Detail negative thoughts by asking: “if this is true, what does this mean about me?”
    • Balance and Strengthen: Write new core belief –> Experiments/Track evidence –> Rate belief
  • Gratitude: Accept negative aspects but actively look beyond them to notice all dimensions
    • Write down what you’re grateful for (myself, others, world) [Daily]
      • Aim for a few things in detail over a long list
  • Acts of Kindness:
REDUCING THE RISK OF RELAPSE
  • Identify high-risk situation/early warning signs –> Prepare a plan of action

Table of Contents

  • Intro to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • My Journey with Depression

Where do I Start with Mind Over Mood?

Honestly, all of this stuff about mental illness, being mindful and all that what not gets hella overwhelming and when I saw all this stuff they told me to do I kinda just gave up and curled up into a ball.

If you’re starting to feel that way don’t worry it gets better. It takes time to get through it all but if you tackle this book little by little it will literally change your life.

All this book does is basically:

  • Gets you to understand what the heck you’re feeling 
  • Learn what to do when you start feeling this way
  • And learn how to get deep and develop strong core beliefs that can carry you through life

Everything is broken down into bite-sized actions that you can take immediately. And most of the time you can see/feel a change in your moods fairly quickly. All you need is practice and together we can get through all this!

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I think with all this mindfulness and meditation stuff in the media too many people try to explain things differently that all the definitions get jumbled up and pretty much all of them get a bad rep. But instead of arguing that one is better over the other, there all want the same end goal of bring peace to your mind and acceptance throughout. 

So from my perspective CBT isn’t just simply only looking at the positive or ignoring the negative. It’s trying your best to understand everything as a whole.

For example:

  • Instead of getting upset with your kid creating a mess on the kitchen floor
  • Look around and notice that they were creating a get-well card for you because you weren’t feeling well
    • Don’t focus in solely on the negative aspects. Look at everything that is happening, the negatives are still there but often you’ll put your core values first

I’m not sure if that explanation did CBT any justice but nonetheless here are the resources that have been helping me.

1. Starting Mind Over Mood

I think I always get overwhelmed with self-help books and guided books because they are so long. 

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