3 Invisible Factors that Affect Your Mood

Bad mood


Do you ever wonder why you just happen to be in a particularly bad mood sometimes?

It turns out that lots of unseen factors exert a major influence on our moods every day. Once you know how to notice the 3 invisible factors below you can develop habits to counteract some of the invisible mischief that finds its way into your life.

1. Your First Thought of the Day

Before you opened your eyes this morning you had your first thought of the day. So did I.

We shifted from being asleep to awake and that first little thought of our waking day set a whole process in motion.

Our thinking tends to be “associative.” So, your second thought of the day was most likely very closely “associated” to your first thought.

Before you were aware of what you were thinking about, a string of rapid-fire thoughts led you to your first mood of the day.

Your day was off and running, whether you were there to notice the thought pattern that set your first mood, or not.

Our first mood of the day often occurs before we’ve even opened our eyes.

If you didn’t notice your first thought of the day, it is very likely that some version of it will repeat tomorrow.

By consciously tracking your first thought each morning you can begin to influence the emotional trajectory of your day.

2. Your Last Thought of the Day

My grandmother told me that she ended each day lying in bed, asking herself what she did well that day and what she will do better tomorrow.

She consciously considered her actions at the end of one day, and, in sleep, she recalibrated the likelihood of performing more in line with her conscious wishes on the following day.

She woke each day from the dream world from which we each emerge to the shifting materiality of the day, and she confronted the challenges the day offered her.

Without knowing it, my grandmother taught me that as we dream, we imagine, practice, and prepare to project our dreams outward into our waking lives.

Just as you transition into your day with your first waking thoughts, you fade off to sleep after having had your final sequence of thoughts for the day.

By intentionally reviewing your day, setting your expectations for tomorrow, and finally, intentionally letting go of all your thoughts, you’ll be preparing your mind for sound sleep and effective overnight processing, which leads us to…

3. Your Dreaming Life

Dreams are human life’s ancient system for reinforcing the learning that must be mastered, both to anticipate the dangers of living, and when you know how, to enact the conscious changes you choose to make in your life.

By allowing your dreams to unleash your unconscious genius through a sleeping rehearsal of who you imagine yourself to be, your dreams can offer you the riches of intentionally harnessing “neuroplasticity’s” change process.

In the absence of “neuroplasticity’s” hidden laboratory—the ongoing undercover emotional, spiritual, and skill visualization project that comes to life overnight and then recedes to the inner background each day—humans would not have survived to tell of our dreams.

A breakthrough of the evolutionary masterpiece that life has unveiled for us: To dream is to nurture the seeds of what is later projected into flowering materiality, all while protected by the safe shell of an unconscious brain and body upon our grown-up cradles.

By becoming intentionally conscious of what you wish your life to become you inform the content of the unconscious life that is occurring inside you 24/7— the life that produces your sleeping dreams.

Neuroscience is discovering more every day about how we can intentionally influence our unconscious inner lives to align our unconscious world with the conscious outer life we wake to and then produce each day.

The neuroscience breakthroughs we’ve been seeing, and that we’ll continue to see, reveal powerful opportunities for creating the life you choose to live.

Some Amazing Comments


About the author

Dr. Sean Sullivan

Dr. Sean Sullivan is a San Francisco Therapist and performance psychologist who teaches how to clearly see the details of your “inner world” by creating your own Mind Map. He is the creator of The Mind Master’s Guided Journey, a 21-day online course that details step-by-step how to create a precise personal map of your “inner world” to follow to becoming an expert creating at whatever “outer life” you choose. “Once you can actually hear and see your “inner world” with clarity, you can’t help but to create and follow your own map that will lead you to the “outer life” you choose to live.” – Dr. Sean Sullivan


  • I have trained myself to start my day with a prayer of thanks, just as I come into consciousness, before I even open my eyes. However, I have not made that same effort before I go to sleep. That is a great idea, and I will start on that tonight!

  • I always try to start my day off on the “right” foot. It usually goes better when I wake up with a positive attitude (even though everyday brings hassles). A nice breakfast helps to start my day off right. Sometimes, I will even eat breakfast in the noon (yeah, I know I am weird).
    Since I was younger, I have always tried to end my day on positive thoughts. I hated nightmares. When I had negative thoughts then usually, I would have a nightmare that night. One the other hand, when I went to bed with positive thoughts then usually, I had a peaceful dream.
    I might be different, but I do not like dreaming. I do not even want to sleep anymore (if only that were possible). I might see what I want in my sleep, but I am not doing anything to turn them into reality. I feel like I have slept too much in my twenty years and it is time I take action, at least for a better future.

    Just my two cents, but I believe that the more that we sleep, the more we will want to sleep.

    Do you ever feel like twenty four hours in a day is not enough?

    God bless,
    William Veasley

  • Awesome post, Dr. Sullivan. I like your suggestion of being cautious of the first thought that hits us at the beginning of our day because that sets the tone for the rest of our day.

    Thanks for putting this out!

  • Yes indeed, Dr. Shawn. Everyone has a large collection of opinions stored in the subconscious vault of his mind. Some are obviously apparent, and some are transparent. The transparent ones can be tricky. These opinions affect our attitude and mood without our knowing it.By making conscious this soundtrack, we can slide from an attitude of WOE (thinking against ourselves and fearing) to an attitude of WOW (thinking well of ourselves and appreciating),in a matter of moments.

  • It’s gud & great that u share ur valuable searches and rarest findings in life that everyone xperience but the seeker finds it…….!

  • Hi Sean

    Apologies for the late response.

    I wanted to welcome you to CYT as a guest author and it looks like you’ve been a hit with the readers :)

    I thought this was a great article, especially since the blog is called ‘Change Your Thoughts’, but apart from that it gives a blueprint on how to think at the start and end each day. I think it sounds like a simple concept and could have a huge impact on our lives, however it’s so simple that a lot of us won’t even try it :)

    I would urge all readers to try this method for at least a week and report back here or to Sean your experiences.

    Sean, thanks again for sending this article in I really appreciate it and wish you well with your book.

    Take care.

    • Thanks for the welcome and the post, Steve! It was a pleasure to write this one.

      I echo your comment encouraging folks to give this a try for a while. These are great habits to build. They become second nature with a little practice.

      Start by noticing the first thought of your day. You’ll begin to experience just how much a sequence of thoughts creates and perpetuates a mood.

      With a little repetition your insight into your patterns of thinking and your beliefs about your life (and life in general) will grow. Eventually, your ability to create the life experience you choose will increase.

      Thanks for the comment and support, Steve. Keep up the great blogging…!

  • So true, our thoughts are like a GPS that guide us to what we think about most, and our mood is important when striving to achieve the results we want in life.

    Simply put, if you don’t feel well, you don’t do well.

    I use a visualization/writing technique that I do first thing in the morning. It allows me to align with my dreams and passions so I get out of bed excited, full of confidence. It fuels my belly with white hot fiery passion.

    The first thought of the day is my favorite (and easiest) one to take charge of.

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder to stay positive and to keep dreaming.

  • I can’t help but wonder if the negative thoughts start because we are so conditioned to think that we cannot do enough. Our culture still values quantity over quality, which I think insidiously undermines our capacity for well being.

    Thanks for your article.

    • Hi Maria, Your question reminded me of a paragraph in The Mind Master’s Silent Journey…

      “All of our inner dialogues have been largely influenced by initially learned conversational patterns, tones, and attitudes. However, as you listen in on the internal conversations expressed by others you’ll meet in these pages and sincerely engage with the daily Challenges you will be presented with, you will notice yourself bringing your own conversation more fully into your awareness. You will discover that the rewards of doing so are abundant. Tracking your own silent dialogue is the royal road to a life lived in the silent creative wisdom that is your birthright. Making the effort required to become habitually aware of your inner dialogue will come to rank among your highest priorities and the greatest prides of your life.”

  • Thank you Dr. Sullivan for this interesting post, it makes so much sense! Although I know our thought patterns affect how we feel, sometimes I couldn’t explain why I would wake up not feeling my best and other days feeling wonderful. Your explanation makes it so clear and obvious to me – sometime we just overlook the obvious. I learned something today, thanks.

    • I’m glad to hear it, Barbara. You are welcome. When you really come to embrace these strategies for a while you’ll also begin to notice as particular thoughts impact your mood throughout the day as well.

  • It’s something I hadn’t considered, but we really do create perceptions of life from the beginning of our day to the end.

    The question is, how do we remove the likelihood of starting the day with negative thoughts?

  • I have tried so many things to change my thought pattern at the beginning of he day. THANK YOU for the post. It has given me something new to hang onto.

    Dreaming is an entirely different story. Could use some positive energy in that area too.

    Found the article to be informative and will be looking up more articles from Dr Sean Sullivan. Thank you Steve for a great website / blog that I ‘m grateful someone told me about.

  • I enjoyed reading your article this morning. I found it insightful and truly connected with it. Your comments about how your grandmother ended each day before she went to sleep, is something I would like to try out myself. I also really liked the words: “To dream is to nurture the seeds of what is later projected into flowering materiality, all while protected by the safe shell of an unconscious brain and body upon our grown-up cradles.” I hope that one day I may wake from my last nights slumber and be able to recount my dream(s). But I realize that I must first work on the connectivity between the conscious and subconscious mind.
    Thank you for sharing such a lovely written article.
    Have a blessed and favored day!

    • Hi Sandra, I’m glad it connected with you, especially the story about my grandmother :) I really have found that adding those few habits to your life results in changes in your emotional experience.

  • For some reason, I find it easier to take more deliberate action to control my thoughts in the morning. Each day, when I wake up I choose a thought/theme that actually dominates my day. It goes like, “Today I Choose…”I range from happiness, joy, family and even money, it can be anything good. It does set the mood of my day really well.

    However,it’s awfully hard for me to catch my last thought of the day.Let alone my dreams. I have been trying to lucid dream for a long while now to no avail. Guess you win some, you lose some,huh?


    • Great strategy, Veechirra. That is a brilliant way to set the tone for the day you’ll be sharing with the world! Good luck with the lucid dreaming…

  • Hi Dr Sean,
    Before going to bed I set my mind to what it is I want to feel, be, create and experience in my life. It helps me to program my subconscious mind to get me to where I want to be.

  • Hmm… now I Realize the power of thoughts.
    Once MAHATMA BUDDHA quoted “What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.

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