Mastering the Moods

When Feelings Lie

Who knows what the creator of that childhood comeback was thinking when they came up with: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Say what? Words are powerful! Words control what we feel. And feelings are powerful too.

Now we probably all wish we could live each day in a glow and feeling great but that’s unrealistic. Bad or negative feelings are a fact of life, and can even be useful as they warn us of danger or ‘something’s not right’. There are certain situations when there is absolutely nothing you can do about the awful feelings that come, like loss and trauma or shock.

The modern human places great value on feelings. But should we? Are all feelings valuable and trustworthy? Do our feelings perhaps lie to us? The ones that say ‘I don’t feel like making my lunches for the week, I’ll just binge on Netflix’  or ‘I need that chocolate bar and can of Coke right now or I will just die’ or ‘I’m never going to have a decent job, I totally bombed on that test’ .

Those lying feelings could be holding you back from getting to where you want to be. The first thing to do when those emotions are filling your head space is not to ignore them (they’ll keep coming back anyway) but rather to answer them. Will you really die if you don’t get that chocolate and Coke? REALLY? Or could you hold off another few hours and find something else to do, so that you can take control of your weight better. Is binging on Netflix going to help you take charge of your health? And is it really true that you won’t get a decent job because you failed a test? REALLY? Lying feelings need a good shaking and  talking to.

When those loving feelings don’t happen.

And then there are the false emotions. The times when you snap for no reason at all- and you know it. “I don’t know what got into me”. If you cry over every sentimental TV ad then you’re getting caught in false pain. If you’re reasonably even tempered during the month except for ‘that time of the month’ then you’re dealing with hormonally distorted emotions. If you’re finding fault with everything about how you look and what you do, then it’s likely that false emotions are ruling your days.

When your brain’s emotional equipment isn’t up to scratch, your daily feelings can really get distorted and you’re not living life with your true emotional nature. Your brain has a fair bit to say about what happens with your feelings and works in with your gut to transmit potent mood molecules. There are 4 key ones and if you have plenty, then you are likely to be as happy as is possible given your life circumstances. But if you keep running low then you will be hitting false emotions on a regular basis and life just gets difficult.

Find your new best friends.

Without these 4 key groups of neurotransmitters, you’ll tend to develop defective moods:

  1. Serotonin
  • With it, you feel positive, confident and easy going.
  • Without it, you’re more likely to be negative, obsessive, worried and sleepless.
  1. GABA
    1. With it, you’re more relaxed and stress free
    2. Without it, you’re more prone to feeling stressed, have headaches, feel wired and overwhelmed
  2. The Cats (Catecholamines- dopamine, noradrenaline/ norepinephrine, adrenalin/ epinephrine)
    1. With them, you’re energized, focused and upbeat
    2. Without them, you’ll feel lethargic and flat and ‘can’t be bothered’
  3. The Endorphins (D- and L-Phenylalanine)
    1. With them- you feel comforted and have a sense of accomplishment
    2. Without them- you’re overly sensitive to hurt, have cravings of any kind, and feel like it’s all too hard.

Nutritional therapy is a key way to get those moods in balance, and find what your true emotional state is. This means eating differently and short term supplementation (3-12 months depending on what else is going on). And of course when needed, also telling those lying feelings that they’re idiots.