Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Why do we feel the way we do?

Some days can feel like a
very long, dark tunnel...

There are so many different factors that make us feel a particular way, on a particular day.

Sometimes it can be hard to know exactly why we’re feeling down (or happy, for that matter) and without knowing ‘why’, it’s difficult to find a solution (or to remain happy, as the case may be).

We are such complicated, biological, psychological and emotional beings, and each of these aspects plays its part in how we ‘are’.

Did we sleep enough lately?  Tiredness can make us feel low before we even start! Did we eat/drink a load of crap (not literally!) during the last few days?  I’m not a biologist, or neuroscientist, but the saying goes ‘you are what you eat’.  I may not know much, but I understand that certain foods/ingredients/vitamins cause reactions that release certain chemicals into our bodies and brains.  Some of these can make us feel happier or sadder, so our diet has a significant effect on how we feel.

Is there something worrying us?  Are we dissatisfied with, or thinking negatively about something, maybe to do with ourselves or our work?  Thoughts lead to feelings and actions, which lead to thoughts, which lead to feelings etc etc.  This is the basis of much of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy I undertook, and it really works – if we can break the cycle of negativity, we can begin to improve our mood on a day-to-day basis.

Or perhaps someone has hurt us, maybe with something they said, or even didn’t say.  Maybe an act of our kindness was rejected, or we’ve been treated harshly in a way we didn’t deserve.  Emotions can be strong without any help from other factors. I’ve mentioned before how relationships are a major trigger of Depression in me, and rarely do emotions run as high as in love.

And so our moods take hold, one way or another, and it can take some serious digging to discover the root(s).

This is a big subject, so I’m going to finish here for today.  In my next post, I’ll look at some examples in action but, for now, I just wanted to show how complicated ‘mood’ really is.  Even after the next entry, or even the one after that, I doubt I’ll be close to fully understanding it.

But we can try, eh?!

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