Mood Facts



  • Mood is your state of mind — whether you are happy or sad, angry or afraid, overjoyed or depressed.
  • Moods and emotions seem to be strongly linked to the structures in the center of the brain, where unconscious activities are controlled (see the brain).
  • Moods have three elements — how you feel, what happens to your body, and what moods make you do.
  • Some scientists think the way you feel causes changes in the body — you are happy so you smile, for example.
  • Other scientists think changes in the body alter the way you feel — smiling makes you happy.
  • The reasons why we react the way we do in certain a situation, such as feeling happy, is still unclear to scientists. But emotions like these are what make us unique as human beings.
  • Yet other scientists think moods start automatically — before you even know it — when something triggers off a reaction in the thalamus in the center of the brain.
  • The thalamus then sends mood signals to the brain’s cortex and you become aware of the mood.
  • The thalamus also sets off automatic changes in the body through the nerves and hormones.
  • Certain memories or experiences are so strongly linked in your mind that they can often trigger a mood automatically.
  • Scientists are only just beginning to discover how moods and emotions are linked to particular parts of the brain.