How to Win Level 2: Mood Battles

How to Win Level 2 Battles
Mood Battles

[Review Chemical Scale for background on the different levels if they are unfamiliar to you.]

Level 2 Mood Battles are usually very subtle, especially for men because we are not usually accustomed to paying attention to our feelings/moods.  We were built to be thinkers (Level 3) and doers (Level 5).  Satan knows this, so he goes under our radar to attack.  When men are among men, moods and feelings are less relevant and ignorable.  When we are among our women, our moods and feelings can have a great effect on the Nurturing environment they are trying to create for the family.  For the first half decade of my own marriage, I didn’t know I was having moods.  I thought I was a poker face.  Looking back on it, watching me hide my moods was like watching a child hide behind their hands and say, “You can’t see me!”

As we go through our young adult development stages before marriage, we find ways to manage our moods that are satisfactory to ourselves, and because the moods do not have a direct effect on anyone at that time, we no longer find them as relevant.  When you add a spouse to your life, it doesn’t take long to notice the moods of the other person and you can find them as more difficult to ignore than your own moods.  If we are going to get our relationships to work, if we are going to win our own Level 2 Battles that can lead to Levels 3, 4, 5 and 10.

One of the Warriors in training shared the following description of his Level 2 Battle.  We will use it for practice.

“you’re never going to get it done,  there isn’t enough time,  and no one understand how much I have to do and how long it’s going to take”

There are 4 Steps to winning a Level 2 Mood Battle.  The 4 steps have to be done so fast that in order to successfully do them, they must be outlined in advance, and practiced in slow motion.  Again, this is similar to the process Musicians, Athletes and Soldiers have to use to become skilled at what they do.

Step 1: Notice It
Step 2: Name It
Step 3: Flip It
Step 4: Find it

In order to do Step 1 in real time, you have to carefully do Step 2 in advance.  Let’s look at our example.  He needs to name the feeling he is having the best he can.  The more accurate he is, the better he will be able to notice it the next time it happens.  When I was first doing this with myself, I needed to use a thesaurus.  Word processors have synonym suggestions that can be helpful.

I would consider feeling words for this case like, “overwhelm, fear, pressure, loneliness, …”  He needs to decide which word(s) fit best for what he is feeling in that situation.  I usually have the client “go there” for a few seconds to make sure we have all the right feelings.

I would like to note here that most of the people I work with have legitimate reasons for the feelings they are having.  I don’t usually meet people who just make things up.  The more legitimate people find their feelings, the more they “let” themselves feel the feelings or be in the mood.  This gentleman has a lot of work pressures and home pressures.  His feelings are not imaginary.  Satan relies on this and will feed “good reasons to feel this way” into the mind until the pressure becomes unbearable.  This is how he builds up to Level 3.  Level 3 is the shift when Satan offers an idea that will relieve the pressure….

As moods/feelings increase, we don’t notice that on the even more subtle level (Level 1: Chemical), our chemical levels are changing in the brain.  The more negative feelings grow, the more the brain energy moves from the frontal lobe (Values) and toward the middle brain (Survival).  If you are going to win a psychological battle with Satan, you will need clear chemicals and you will need to be in your frontal lobe!  You will need to shift your brain chemistry first.  We do that by shifting into a mood or set of feelings that are more useful.

So, let’s guess that the word this warrior is going to use to identify this mood is “overwhelm”.  To do Step 3: Flip It, we can use a thesaurus again to find the antonym or opposite word(s).  You see, one of the mistakes in many self-help concepts is the idea of getting away from a negative mood by just stopping it.  If you try to get away from a negative mood, there are 360 directions you can go, but that is just in 2 dimensions.  So many more in 3 dimensions!  To successfully get away from a mood/feeling, you must identify what mood/feeling you want to go to instead.

So, Step 3 in this case could be “clear headed, confident, patient”.  When I am with a client in a one on one session, they usually look at me askance and hear things in their mind like, “What are you talking about?  That doesn’t make any sense.  No one in this situation could feel that way.”  
Training for combat is very similar to training in this situation.  The “natural” behavior when someone pulls a gun or a knife on you is not very useful and won’t keep you alive.  A drill sergeant will have his men practice and practice and practice, first in slow motion, then faster and faster until it becomes “natural” to respond in a way that actually works.  The same is true for fighting Level 2 Battles.
The “natural” emotional response for this man is “overwhelm”.  When Satan attacks him again, he will need to respond with “clear headed, confident, patient” instead if he is going to win the battle for his family, and to avoid getting to Levels 3, 4, 5 and 10.
Step 4: Find It.  Again, this step is done in slow motion in advance, and then practiced.  How does a man find clear headedness, confidence and patience?  He will need some key phrases built upon true principles.  
“My battles are hard, but not harder than those of Mormon and Moroni.  I can approach them with the same composure they used.”
“I can be the hero for my family.  I don’t need a cheer leader.  I can be manly because I am manly.  It is part of my character.  It is part of who I am.”
“I have a God on my side, and he has an army of Ministering Angels on his side.  Those that be with us are more than those that be with them.”  
“Moses had more responsibility that I have, and he succeeded.  Joseph Smith had more responsibility.  The Atonement has the power to compensate for my weakness (Ether 12:27) when necessary, so feeling overwhelmed doesn’t make it better.”
“I will now…..”
“And I will….”
“And I will….”
The warrior will have to write his own power thoughts, and then he will have to review them over and over and over again.  With practice, the warrior can have this entire paragraph of thoughts and feelings flood his body in less than 2 seconds.
So, for the final step,` we use Question 6 from the Captain’s log in the book “Like Dragons Did They Fight” to prepare for the next time you get attacked.  You can be ready in advance by predicting with accuracy and precision the next Satanic attack designed to hit with the negative emotion.  In this case, our warrior will need to predict the next time he is going to feel “overwhelm”.  I strongly recommend the warrior narrow down to a specific location and time within 15 minutes.  By getting it this specific, he will be more likely to notice it, the next time Satan tries the same attack.
With this warrior I would ask him, “When and where do you think/guess Satan will hit you with overwhelm?”
Then I have them remember what feeling they have chosen to fight for!  In this case, “clear headed, confident, patient”.  Then fight to Find It.
If the man will do this 3 times each day, in advance of the next attack, he can experience a new emotion/mood at the time of the next attack.  Ideally, the man will enter his home with this manly mood and will watch the ripple effect on his wife and children.

About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.