Life progresses at the border of support and challenge. So, sometimes the high's of life are balanced by the lows. We often complain about the lows but that's like closing the gate after the horse has bolted... It's too late to complain.
The high's of life are addictive. They produce serotonin, dopamine, and more of those gorgeous natural drugs that make us feel like heaven has arrived early. Blissed out, we search for the same experiences with as little time loss as possible.
Enter emotion. Emotions are not the original cause of serotonin or dopamine but they are a fast short cut to cause them. Hence, like a sugar hit or a shot of vodka, emotions become the go-to for our appetite and addiction to chemicals that make us feel great.
In Innerwealth teachings we call the mass population "neophytes" because they are addicted to emotions and the other substitute triggers for body - mind chemicals that cause "highs." The word neophyte is borrowed from the ancient mystery teachings. It simply means, fads. And in mastery of life we know that "what goes up, must come down." Hence a shot of anything that triggers a "False" high, is also going to fulfil its destiny in a "Real" low. And it's these lows that the neophytes are trying to deal with by finding "fixes" that cause a temporary delay in the "Real" low.
A few examples of "Real" lows are:
- Wake up tired
The Low Hanging Fruit for Overcoming "Real" Lows (GRUMPY AND TIRED)
WALKING AROUND with a short fuse? You’re not the only one. “We all face a certain amount of uncertainty and stress in our everyday lives, and sometimes that can manifest as irritability,” says Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, the Jenkins/Pokempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan. But the truth is that the smaller choices we make every day—how often we’re on social media, what we eat and when, our alcohol and exercise habits, and even what we do during our downtime—can affect our moods more than we realise. Here, six habits that may secretly be making you cranky—and how to tweak them into ones that are better for your mental health.
1. You’re Snacking on the Wrong Foods
Whether you’re stuck at your desk or at home, it’s tempting to munch on chips or sugary granola bars. These aren’t just bad for your waistline; they’re bad for your mood too. A study published in 2020 in the European Journal of Nutrition looked at almost 15,000 people and found that those who ate the highest amounts of ultra-processed foods had a 33 percent higher risk of developing depression than those who included them minimally in their diet. “These foods tend to be lower in essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins that play a crucial role in brain health,” explains Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a nutritionist at New York University. Ultra-processed foods also tend to be low in fiber, which may affect your gut microbiome—the mix of good and bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract—which in turn negatively impacts your mood. The good bacteria in your gut produce a lot of neurotransmitters implicated in mood, like norepinephrine and GABA, notes Drew Ramsey, MD, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center and the author of Eat to Beat Depression. And while the mood-boosting hormone serotonin is usually thought of as a brain chemical, more than 90 percent of it is made in your GI tract, which is even more reason a healthy microbiome is important.
Your best bet is to fuel up on probiotic-rich snacks, such as Greek yogurt, kefir, or even cottage cheese, Ramsey advises. Include other probiotic picks, such as tofu, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles, into your diet every day. And if you have a carb craving, reach for sourdough bread—it’s baked with fermented flour that contains good bacteria. (but you will get fat)
2. You’re Drinking Too Close to Bedtime
It’s hard to wind down and relax after a long, stressful day, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of us are turning to a nightcap—or two or three—to help us nod off. In March 2020, alcoholic-beverage sales in stores were up 54 percent (over the previous year), and online sales soared well over 400 percent throughout April, according to data from the Nielsen Corporation. “Many people believe it will help them sleep, but it disrupts your natural sleep patterns, so you’re less likely to get that deep, quality sleep you need,” explains Dean Drosnes, MD, the medical director of the Pennsylvania Caron Treatment Center. Even moderate consumption of alcohol can impair your restorative sleep quality by 24 percent, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Mental Health. This in turn can make you irritable. “Alcohol is a [central-nervous-system] depressant anyway, so it can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety,” adds Drosnes. You don’t need to give up your daily cocktail, but Drosnes suggests having it earlier in the evening—around dinner time—and limiting yourself to just one.
3. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Social Media Feeds
Research increasingly shows that the more time you spend scrolling on sites like Facebook and Instagram, the greater your risk of depression. In fact, a 2018 University of Pennsylvania study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that college students who limited their time on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to just 10 minutes a day reported significant decreases in depression and loneliness compared with those who didn’t. “These sites can foster all sorts of unhealthy comparisons to others, especially if they’re posting photos of their so-called fabulous life and you already feel crummy,” says Bruce Rabin, MD, PhD, a professor emeritus of pathology at the University of Pittsburgh and the director of the Healthy Lifestyle Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
They can also invite a news cycle into your life 24/7, which in turn can leave you depressed and anxious. “I recommend my patients schedule a time to check emails, scroll through social media, or watch the news,” says Leela Magavi, MD, a regional medical director for Community Psychiatry in Newport Beach, California. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself scrolling at all hours of the day, including in the wee hours of the night, which can impact sleep length and quality and definitely worsen irritability. And try to take some of that extra time you used to spend on social media on another activity, such as volunteering. People who volunteer regularly have better health outcomes, including lower rates of anxiety and depression, than those who don’t, according to a 2017 review published in BMC Public Health.
4. You’re Skimping on Physical Activity
Ever wonder why you’re especially grumpy when you haven’t had a sweat session in a few days? Blame it on being sedentary. “It lowers levels of feel-good brain hormones such as serotonin, which can cause you to feel angry and irritable,” says Moyad. You don’t need to do much to feel better: A single bout of exercise is enough to increase levels of feel-better brain hormones such as endogenous opioids and endocannabinoids (these are responsible for the so-called runner’s high). If you’re having trouble squeezing in regular workouts, Moyad recommends focusing on slipping in little bursts of activity throughout the day. “All those basic household chores like sweeping, vacuum cleaning, gardening, dusting, washing windows, ironing, making beds, laundry, washing dishes, and stair climbing can potentially address fitness deficits,” he says.
5. You’re Skipping Lunch
Almost three-quarters of Americans no longer eat three square meals a day, according to a 2018 survey by market research provider OnePoll. The main meal that’s fallen by the wayside now is lunch, with almost half saying they substitute it with some small snacks instead. But opting out of a midday meal is a recipe for disaster, says Cordialis Msora-Kasago, MA, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Menifee, California. “It causes your blood sugar to plummet, and since there’s not enough glucose for your brain to function well, you end up feeling irritable, confused, and fatigued,” she explains. In addition, your body may ramp up its production of the stress hormone cortisol as an emergency response, leaving you feeling even more stressed and grouchy. Ideally, you want to space meals and snacks out evenly through the day so you’re eating every three to four hours, says Msora-Kasago. This will help keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent that “hangry” feeling.
6. You Forget to Give Yourself Some Love
In a May 2020 survey from the nonprofit organisation LeanIn.org, a quarter of women reported experiencing physical symptoms of severe anxiety such as a racing heartbeat. Half complained of sleep issues, and almost a third said they were just more overwhelmed in general. But this is a path that leads to burnout and general resentment. “It takes a lot of initiative and planning to make time for ourselves, but if we don’t carve it out, it doesn’t come,” says Erin Murray, MS, a nutritionist and health coach in Boston. Aim to do something that’s just for you every day, whether it’s taking time to pick up ingredients so you can cook yourself something you love, setting aside a few extra minutes to read a great book, or taking the evening completely off to binge-watch Ozark. “When we have no time to reflect and recover mentally, our ego gets grumpy,” Murray adds. Another mood-changing option: doing three minutes of meditation, such as deep-breathing exercises. A 2014 review of 47 studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindfulness-meditation programs improved symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The High Hanging Fruit of Mind Control
Ok, not as sexy as the low hanging fruit. But Innerwealth reveals that it's not just what we do that impacts our quality of life but how we think plays a vital role. This is a deeper penetration of the human condition than mood management because we're looking for sustainable change, called evolution, rather than behavioural modification which is very temporary.
The addiction to dopamine and serotonin is global. The sources of it are infinite. And the products that deliver it are growing at an exponential rate from apps, to vibrating underpants and drinks that provide alcohol, sugar and caffeine in huge concentrations. BOOM markets....
Pharmasuticals are providing a catch net for the consequences of the addictions. Mental health, emotional health and mind altering pharma to keep from self harm are the most expensive and powerful drugs available. All based not on a glitch in human nature, but actually, the expression of it. We love serotonin and dopamine, and we want it, NOW.
The short path is what we've spoken about in low hanging fruit above. It's really dealing with the effects of the addiction. But now, let's speak about cause.
1. We Want to MUCH
There are seven levels of the mind. The lowest, the primal one, is absolutely switched on by the idea of having what we don't already have.
Most people want what they haven't got... Wouldn't it be easier to what what you've got. - Leonardo da Walker
The fear of boredom. The discomfort of satisfaction. The need to impress others. Envy. So many triggers that make satisfaction an almost devilish experience. But surprisingly, it's the fastest way to achievement. Satisfaction breaks the addiction to serotonin and dopamine as a drug of reward because in satisfaction, both serotonin and dopamine trickle at a sustainable rate into our DNA. We can get used to building and empire of success on the back of satisfaction. If we can just be brave enough to build goals on satisfaction.
2. We think we think...
When a movie comes on Netflix and the sexy, strong, intelligent and powerful woman reaches for her next drink, it's often a scotch, (gone are the James Bond Shaken not stirred - a great sexual reference), but the scotch is rarely from an anonymous bottle. Little do we realise that we are thinking what someone else wants us to think, but doesn't want us to know they want us to think. They place the product in the movie and pay for the advertising and yet, we don't even know. When Trump went for his second term, social media changed the tide. But was the information accurate or were people simply doing the thinking for us? We think that we think but garbage in = garbage out. We really don't think.
We think that we think. - Leonardo da Walker
Mindfulness means Step by Step Thinking - No Reactions - Leonardo da Walker
3. We associate High's the Success
It's an astonishing realisation that it takes 30 years to become an overnight success.... - Leonardo da Walker
It's an astonishing realisation that it takes 30 years to become an overnight success.... Why? Because we link the feeling of achievement, the satisfaction of achievement, with the process of getting to achievement. In other words, if we are on fire at training we think we are winning. But the training isn't winning. Nor has it anything to do with the satisfaction of success. Premature ejaculation means enjoying the satisfaction before the race and many people suffer from it. Feeling high is not a path to success. Achievement is the reward for success. On the way to success there is a process. The less emotion you put into the process, both ups and downs, the faster you achieve the result of achievement. The satisfaction of achievement can become so addictive that when it happens it feels disappointing. This is because we can easily start to fuel our satisfaction with substitutes that trigger or the good chemicals and make us delusional that in training, we're actually achieving. Or in work, getting an email done is somehow an achievement worthy of reward. I simply try to tell my clients to CTFD. (calm the f..k down). Uppers and downers are not the end. They are the process and they can't become the goal. An emotion free vision is the goal. Goals are steps to vision. Satisfaction in doing the work, rather than celebrating "highs" is the ultimate key to success.
HIGH FRUIT of MOOD CONTROL - It's not what you think or how you act that makes the most difference, it's HOW you think - seek balance in every thought and satisfaction will be your friend. - Leonardo da Walker