Moods are subtle, changeable, and often hard to identify. You can lose yourself for long periods of time in a mood. Moods are absorbing and generate their own kind of reality. They can cut you off from the world.
There are moods, and then there is perspective, a state of awareness. Perspective means being able to think about things, notice things, ones’ mind is available, able to react, step in, comment, reflect, think. You have a sense of your own agency when you have perspective, whereas in a mood ones’ agency can become much harder to know.
A mood can create a kind of counterfeit reality so that like the prisoners in Plato’s ‘Parable of the Cave’ you cannot easily identify between the shadows and the things themselves. When you are in the grip of a mood your energy and resources start to become used up. Moods can absorb a lot of energy which might otherwise be put to more creative and constructive use.
So how do you step back, break the chains that have fallen upon you (“in sleep, like dew” in Shelley’s phrase)? How do you turn from the counterfeit version of things presented by shadows on walls and turn instead to the light of day? How do you get the chance to see what is going on more clearly?
It seems to me that one needs to find an orienting point, like a kind psychological compass reading. A personal north. If one can find a point of reference then one can start to differentiate between states of mind.
In short, work with people you have confidence in, people who generate feelings of trust, safety, wise counsel, people who develop ethically grounded relationships. Such relationships can provide an orienting point and enable you to develop perspective.