Feeling blue? Awareness, acceptance, action – The 3As to a better mood

25 Nov 2023 06:00pm
Photo for illustrative purposes only. - Canva
Photo for illustrative purposes only. - Canva

KUALA LUMPUR – Emotional regulation is an essential skill to navigate life, apart from maintaining mental and physical health, which can be learned and improved over time.

MY Psychology psychologist and therapist Au Wei Yin pointed out that in order to regulate mood, it was important to recognise feelings, name them, identify triggers and be mindful of the narratives we tell ourselves—urging for a positive and realistic perspective.

"Understanding our emotions and being proactive is crucial. In psychology, we suggest a 3A approach: Awareness, Acceptance and Action.

“First, becoming aware of our emotions helps us notice how we feel, allowing some distance for objectivity. The aim is not to judge our emotions but to accept them as they are, letting go of the need for control.

“This leads to taking measured action, often by shifting perspective rather than changing the situation itself,” Au said.

Jenn Chia and Au Wei Yin during the 'In the Mood with Jenn Chia' event.
Jenn Chia and Au Wei Yin during the 'In the Mood with Jenn Chia' event.

She added that by acknowledging the impermanence of situations, one can make purposeful choices, boosting mental resilience and improving our well-being.

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Among the signs of poor emotional regulation included abrupt changes in mood, binge eating and difficulty managing feelings.

Au said that there is a good and bad side of every emotion as anger could also be a helpful emotion as it is a physiological response when you feel threatened or rage is an indication that one does not feel right about something.

“There is a reason behind every emotions, you need to understand the why and take action.

“Social factors such as relationships or support system are also important factors as when you do not talk about it (feelings) or you do not write about it, the emotion has nowhere to go,” she said.

Au highlighted this during the LAC Malaysia ‘In the Mood with Jenn Chia’ event held recently.

During the event, LAC Malaysia raised awareness about the importance of understanding mood, an aspect often underestimated in our lives but possesses a significant impact.

The event seamlessly blended zen and well-being, where participants were given unique experiences centred around emotions, moods and holistic well-being through education on the meaning and intricacies of mood, practical tips like yoga and supplements to empower individuals to control their mood regulation.

During the event, content creator Jenn Chia shared her experience on how she started journalling when she was feeling bothered.

“I started writing down what bothered me so I could see those words in front of me and on the paper, I can see that one word keeps popping out – expectation.

“This is where the awareness step comes - I realised I have a high expectation that triggers my rage and it helped me to understand it (when writing it down),” she said.

From there, Chia said that she practised acceptance and action, which helped her understand herself better and lead to a better quality of life.

“Growing up all I did was survive, I did not come from a rich family so I was always on survival mood and always working.

“Whenever I feel any emotion, I train myself to detach from my emotion but it is dangerous as it bubbles up and one day it explodes.

“Learning the language of emotions has been very helpful, we learn to be aware and deal with it sustainably better,” she said.