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Q: Mood management ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Mood management
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: qpet-ga
List Price: $80.00
Posted: 07 Mar 2003 08:17 PST
Expires: 06 Apr 2003 09:17 PDT
Question ID: 173135
How do individuals manage their moods? (or try to anyway) I would like
to have a summary and list of findings (reasearch, surveys and
articles)that address peoples actions and behaviors to improve their
mood.(example: Ahcohol and drugs, sex, perscription drugs, phantasies,
entertainment, meditation, gym workout, distractions, food, sleep and
Subject: Re: Mood management
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 07 Mar 2003 11:52 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi qpet-ga,

Thanks for another interesting question!  As always, please don't
hesitate to ask for any additional information/clarification *before*
rating this answer.  Thanks!

From smoking to increasing carbohydrate intake, people try all sorts
of ways to manage their moods.  Many of these ways are faulty,
self-destructive methodologies, that despite common public knowledge,
many people, like lemmings, continue to do.  Others are very
legitimate, beneficial, and healthy approaches.  Below is a list of
approaches, both good and bad, that people or study groups have
employed to manage moods, in no particular order.  Some of these
articles will naturally have an advocative spin on them.  I, nor
Google Answers, officially endorse any of these methodologies, and are
listed as descriptive only.

o Increasing carbohydrates

"Try to see if eating helps you to feel happier too. Some people who
have a mild depression can improve their moods by eating
carbohydrate-heavy meals or snacks. Your doctor can help you find out
if depression plays a role in how you eat..."


o Wake Therapy

"Indeed, hospital studies of depressed patients show something very
surprising.  When depressed patients are kept awake all night (or at
least for the second half of the night, e.g., after 2 AM), they
actually feel less depressed the following day.  The sleep loss
actually helps depressed mood.  This was part of the wake treatment
which Dr. Neumeister and Dr. Kasper used, as described above. 
Moreover, after the wake therapy, taking a nap makes depressive
symptoms recur..."

Brighten Your LIfe by Daniel F. Kripke, MD 

o Increasing Fiber

"Professor Andrew Smith of Cardiff University's School of Psychology,
tested a group of volunteers over a four week period. Measures taken
at baseline showed that those that regularly consumed a high-fibre
diet were less emotionally distressed; had fewer cognitive
difficulties; had a more positive mood; had less difficulty falling
asleep and had lower depression scores than those people who ate a
low-fibre diet..."

New research reveals that fibre can improve mood

o Short Periods of Exercise

"Exercising even for a short period each day may improve mood, suggest
the results of a pilot study of female college students.  These
results offer initial and tentative guidelines for the prescription of
aerobic exercise toward the enhancement of psychological health," says
lead author Cheryl J. Hansen, of the department of psychology at
Northern Arizona University..."

Short Periods Of Exercise May Improve Mood

o Alcohol

"Drinkers often perceive alcohol to be stimulating. This perception,
which usually occurs at lower levels of alcohol intake, results from a
depression of inhibitory control mechanisms in the brain. Alcohol,
like other general anesthetics, is a primary and continuous depressant
of the central nervous system (CNS). First it destroys the integrating
control of the brain. Thought processes may be jumbled and
disorganized; the drinker may become confused. In addition, motor
functions may be disrupted."

Alcohol and the Body

o Self-Esteem Increase

"People with low self-esteem are less motivated than people with high
self-esteem to improve a negative mood, even when they are offered an
activity that will change their frame of mind, a team of American and
Canadian psychologists has found.

The finding is contrary to the common belief that all people are
motivated to alleviate negative moods, according to Jonathon Brown, a
UW psychologist and co-author of the study..."

Self-esteem makes it easier to improve mood by Joel Schwartz
University of Washington

o Vitamin D

"Lack of Vitamin D has been linked to depression, but it is the actual
sunlight that seems to have the greatest effect. Light passes through
the eye stimulating the production of the feel-good hormone serotonin
in the brain."

Light Ways to Improve Mood

o Chocolate

"Rogers and Smit suggest that "the liking for chocolate, and its
effects on mood, are due mainly to its principal constituents sugar
and fat and their related orosensory effects."   Sugar and fat are the
elements of food that induce satiety after food consumption.  Also,
endorphin release after chocolate consumption can have mood elevating

How Does Chocolate Improve Mood

o Sleep

"Over and over, the link between depression and insufficient sleep in
adolescents pops up in research, she Carskadon said. What really
bothers her is that teenagers actually know how much sleep they need.
They just don't get any support to figure out how to get it."

Sleep-deprived teens run risk of depression

o Omega 3

"While additional research needs to be done to prove definitively
omega-3s’ impact on different psychiatric disorders, some
psychiatrists are now feeling confident enough to recommend that their
depressed patients increase their consumption of these fatty acids.
So, what are the best sources for omega-3s, and how much is needed to
make a difference?"

Refenestration Daily

o Testosterone Therapy

"Columbia University researchers report significant improvements in
mood, energy levels, libido, and muscle mass among HIV-positive men
treated with testosterone therapy. The 8-week trial program was
extended 4 additional weeks for persons who responded to therapy. The
study had 112 male participants; no women were included because
testosterone is not indicated for use in women. Researchers gave the
men injectable testosterone because it is effective and inexpensive.
The trial took place from 1993 to 1995, before the advent of protease
inhibitor therapy. Subsequent studies have confirmed these early

Testosterone therapy can improve mood, energy.

o Guided Imagery

"Guided imagery is the use of relaxation and mental visualization to
improve mood and/or physical well-being."

Hendrick Health

o Reproductive Fluid

"Women exposed to their partner's semen during sex may find themselves
feeling happier than those who use a condom, say scientists. 
Scientists in the US believe the mood-altering hormones in semen
absorbed through the vagina help to boost women's mood. Semen contains
a range of hormones, including testosterone and oestrogen, both of
which have been shown to improve mood."

Semen "makes women happy"

o Vitamin C and Sex

"High-dose ascorbic acid increases intercourse frequency and improves
mood: a randomized controlled clinical trial"

o Smoking

"Although the health risks of smoking are well-known, many people
choose to begin or to continue to smoke. Many smokers indicate that
they smoke because it helps control their mood (for example, smoking
to relax, smoking to be alert). It is also known that nicotine, the
primary addictive substance in tobacco, can effect mood. It may also
be that, once the person smokes regularly for some time, temporary
withdrawal from nicotine generates mood disturbances which are then
eliminated by smoking, an apparent but false benefit."

Interdependence - smoking behavior & mood in natural setting

o Spiritual Deliverance/Exorcism

"In the short term, exorcism can be therapeutically beneficial for
certain people. It can provide relief, reinforce their sense of self,
and help them overcome a feeling of demoralization or depression. I
think exorcism can provide spiritual and emotional rejuvenation; it
can embolden people and empower people. I'm not suggesting this would
be in every case and with all people."

Exorcism Therapy
An interview with Michael W. Cuneo, author of American Exorcism:
Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty.

o Electroconvulsive Therapy

"It is still not commonly known, for example, that ECT is likely the
most effective treatment for people with severe, suicidal, psychotic
or retarded depression, as well as for catatonia, refractory mania and
refractory agitation with hallucinations and delusions. In the 1970s
and 1980s in the UK, double blind controlled studies of ECT versus
"Sham ECT" (when anesthesia is given but no actual electrical stimulus
is administered) robustly demonstrated the efficacy of ECT in
depression. And most studies have found ECT to be better than any
antidepressant medication in treating depression."

Electroconvulsive therapy: beneficial or barbarous?

o Prescription and Non-prescription Drugs

"Treatments vary according to both the cause of depression as well as
its severity, though in general antidepressant medications combined
with psychotherapy is considered the standard of care in the United
States and has been found to be the most effective. Medications are
used to adjust or correct neurochemical imbalances believed to cause
depression. Psychotherapy and counseling aim to help people overcome
negative thoughts and feelings and to help evaluate from where, and
why, these detrimental feelings arise."

Depression Guide

o Psychotherapy / Counseling

"There are many types of mental health professionals, including
psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors. All may
work as therapists, though different professions emphasize different
aspects of mental health services. The words "therapist" and
"counselor" do not have legal meanings. In most states anyone can use
these terms. In addition to clinical psychologists there are many fine
counselors and therapists who have degrees in counseling, clinical
social work, and related mental health fields. Check for credentials
and memberships in professional organizations. Many specialize in
certain areas, such as family therapy, sexual problems, or eating
disorders. If you plan to see a mental health professional, take these
steps first..."

The Depression Guide

o Attending Church

"In a study of 4,000 older Americans (age 65 to 102), researchers at
Duke University School of Medicine found that those who attended
church at least once a week were half as likely to be depressed as
those who attended religious services less frequently. Other studies
have shown that religiously inclined people over 60 are healthier and
lived longer than those who are less spiritual."

Holistic Online

o Massage

"Much medical research is beginning to lead to the conclusion that
massage can have a major effect in reducing the symptoms of
depression. Researcher Andrew Vickers has said that while it is far
too simplistic to say that massage can cure depression, it can
certainly help us to better cope with, and improve, the quality of
life.4  Massage has many positive effects on depressed patients.
Massage feels good --- people have believed in the healing power of
touch for ages. Now, research shows that premature babies who are held
tend to grow more quickly and have fewer problems.5 Severely
physically or mentally ill persons who are held or touched likewise
tend to recover more quickly.6"

Depression and Massage by Kellum Johnson, RMT

o Aromatherapy

"The therapeutic potential of scent has been recognized for thousands
of years in the West without being fully utilized. It is only this
century that systematic research has been carried out in this area,
with very promising results. In the early 1920s, two Italian doctors,
Giovanni Gatti and Renato Cayola, published a report, The Action of
Essences on the Nervous System, in which they explored the effects of
various essential oils on the two opposing states of anxiety and
depression. The experiments were conducted using either a cotton-wool
pad impregnated with an essential oil and applied to the face with a
mask or an aromatic solution which was sprayed into the surrounding
air and then inhaled. The doctors then measured changes in the pulse
rate, blood circulation and depth of breathing."

The aromatherapy/Depression Connection

o Shopping

"The modern view is that shopping addiction is symptomatic of deeper
problems. The buzz of buying may provide temporary relief from
depression, although it is followed by feelings of guilt and regret."

It's Official: Shopping Can Be Good for You By Roger Tredre

o Giving of oneself/volunteering

"Studies have shown volunteering is good for your health. Volunteers
are generally happier and healthier than non-volunteers.  Volunteering
can help people overcome depression.  Keep your body and your mind


o Acupressure

"Acupressure is useful in alleviating many of the physical symptoms as
well as the sluggishness of mild depression. Acupressure is performed
by applying steady, firm pressure on specific points along the body.
If you prefer, you can rub on the acupressure point briskly to
stimulate them rather than just applying pressure. When stimulated,
these spots, which are identical to acupuncture points, correspond to
and affect other parts of the body."

Holistic Online

o Acupuncture

"Acupuncture is a system of healing which began when the ancient
Chinese found that stimulating certain areas of the skin affected the
functioning of specific organs of the body.  The system evolved over
the centuries as practitioners gained a better understanding of the
connection between the skin and the organs and they refined their
methods of stimulation."

What is Acupuncture?

o Meditation

"There is, of course, nothing wrong with exercise, good posture and
meditation as we seek health and wholeness for our bodies, minds,
emotions and spirits."


Search Strategy:
"improve mood"
"improving mood"
"improve their moods +by"
"improve their mood +by"
"improve your mood +by"
"manage moods +by"
"manage their mood +by"
"manage their moods +by"
"change their mood +by"
alternative depression
overcoming depression
overcome depression

[these terms along with various adjoining terms]

Request for Answer Clarification by qpet-ga on 07 Mar 2003 20:24 PST
Hi jbf777,
Some good information- are there any surveys/research out there that
analyze this subject as to the frequency and degree that individuals
deliberately choose behavior to manage their mood?

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 08 Mar 2003 12:12 PST
Qpet -

I didn't come across anything like that in my research, but I will
take another look and get back to you.


GA Researcher

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 09 Mar 2003 23:14 PST
Qpet -

Here are some additional resources:

"* 70% of depressed girls drink vs. 58% of girls who are not depressed
* 55% of depressed girls take non-prescription drugs vs. 39% of girls
who are not depressed
* 35% of depressed girls are sexually active vs. 23% of girls who are
not depressed"


When is Music Used to Change Mood

"Only 28% strongly agree that they use radio to change their mood,
compared to 35% of ... Among this survey of more than 1,000
diarykeepers, working women are being ... "

What Women Want: From AC Radio

"55 percent of these had binged at least once in the month before the
survey. ... who binge are more likely to drink alcohol to relax,
change their mood, or cope "


"In addition, Kilty described a distinctive group of people which he
termed the new middle-class men beer drinkers, who typically drink
beer moderately to change their mood."

Social Occasions and the Perceived Appropriateness of Consuming
Different Alcoholic Beverages


"1 in 4 people with mental health problems eat chocolate to improve
their mood."

Mind Mental Health


"The majority of people surveyed endorsed going to the healing garden
to get
away from stress, relax and rest, or in some way improve their mood.
... "

Health Design 


"The study also showed that girls were smoking, drinking and using
marijuana at younger ages than before.... Their reasons for using such
substances were different from those of boys, Califano said. Girls,
for example, use the illicit substances to relieve stress, improve
their mood or increase their confidence, he said. "

Johnson addresses CASA study on young women substance abuse
By Bill Yelenak, Boston U


"Nearly all (98%) of alcohol use by college athletes is for
"recreational or social purposes" or in an attempt to "improve mood"

Alcohol and Drug Use by College Athletes 
Richard R. Albrecht and William A. Anderson
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan


"For two decades, tryptophan’s popularity grew. By the late 80s, an
estimated 14 million people were using tryptophan to improve mood,
reduce irritability, reduce premenstrual symptoms, lessen chronic
pain, lose weight, treat alcoholism, and get a better night’s sleep."

Tryptophan, 5-HTP and Serotonin
by Steven Wm. Fowkes


Search strategies:
"+to improve mood" surveyed
"using * +to improve mood"
"used to change mood" statistics
"used to change mood" percent
"change mood" statistics
% use "change their mood"
% use "change mood"
"improve their mood" surveyed
GA Researcher
qpet-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the extra effort!

Subject: Re: Mood management
From: eiffel-ga on 09 Mar 2003 05:39 PST
It's not a direct answer to your question, but there is a fascinating
compendium of ways that individuals can manage their moods:

"The Book Of Highs" by Edward Rosenfeld

I derived great pleasure from this book during my late teens and early
twenties (several decades ago).
Subject: Re: Mood management
From: pinkfreud-ga on 09 Mar 2003 14:32 PST
Hi, qpet.

Here you will find some interesting results from the Food and Mood
Project Survey, concerning dietary and nutritional self-help:


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