moods

Illustration: David Wyffels

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4. Make Peace With Your Moods—All of Your Moods

We've all blown a gasket or two over stupid stuff. We're often told that these emotions should be managed. But Julie Holland, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in psychopharmacology and the author of Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy, says embracing our moods—every last one of them—is exactly what we should do. "Many people don't recognize that their feelings can be an important feedback system," she explains. "Irritation or resentment could tip you off to an imbalance of effort or compassion in a relationship. Depression may mean something in your life needs to change. I had a patient who called me crying from work one day and said, 'I think we need to up my antidepressants.' Then she proceeded to tell me a horrible story about her abusive boss. My response: 'We don't need to medicate away your indignant feelings. He behaved very badly, and for you to increase your medicine so you don't mind that he behaved very badly doesn't do anyone any favors.' My point was that being more accommodating and thick-skinned isn't necessarily the answer. Silencing the signals that you need to make necessary changes in your life—like confronting a mean manager or ending a bad relationship—can leave you in a paralyzing state of denial."

Read our full Q&A with Holland here.