With less than three months left of 2019, moving into a new decade could be scary as the numbers on suicide increase, in South Africa. “One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide”, says the World Health Organization(WHO), on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day.

It’s important to first define “mood”. We’re not talking about a debilitating psychological disorder, but rather the day-to-day moodiness we all experience on occasion.

Different to the concept of emotion, and perhaps contrary to the intensity of mood disorders, our frame of mind is most often described as good or bad, positive or negative, happy, sad or neutral.

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Since the beginning of existence, we have been trying to understand what brings us happiness, however till today there is no answer. Many refer to money as a source of happiness, while others differ in argument.

“What makes you happy or sad is entirely down to who you are, your own unique circumstances, state of health and being. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you should have or should do something in order to be happy, though," says Brent Murph, a pharmacist and head of R&D at Solal.

Unless you’re a teenager in the midst of hormonal mayhem, you’re probably mostly attracted to people with smiling faces, and you probably care how others perceive your mood.

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Explaining how sadness begins from our own idealism Brent says,  “Researchers have found that the social expectation of people to be happy, and not negative, actually enhances negativity and leads to more intense and frequent bouts of sadness."

Our motive to remain happy at all times changes and is becoming difficult to maintain. “With depression becoming a more than common occurrence, often with debilitating consequences, trying to enhance your mood may no longer merely be the pursuit of happiness, but rather a matter of survival”, says Brent.

What makes you happy or sad is entirely down to who you are, your own unique circumstances, state of health and being, according to Brent. "Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you should have or should do something in order to be happy, though." 

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Here are his three tips on avoiding and handling a bad mood:

One – We should stop having high expectations and putting pressure on ourselves as it can lead to severe depression and potentially cause mental illness.

Two – Stop chasing for happiness, instead, learn to control your emotions so when feeling not so great, things do not get out of hand.

Three - Assess your life, who you are and what makes you happy and keeps you at peace. Once you have found it, stick to it and always revert back to it when a bad mood swings by.

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