bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Month: August, 2017

4 Science Based Strategies for When You’re Feeling Down.

(or something like that)

I was reading an article the other day because I was feeling like sh*t and this article caught my eye as I was scrolling through my media feed.

This article was broken into four parts, each headlined by an action, and each part discussed scientific reasons why that action would help bring one out of a temporary ‘funk.’

(I say ‘temporary funk’ as this post is not  meant to address the situation of those who suffer from clinical depression or other mental illnesses…just as I believe that the article was not meant as a replacement for seeking medical help, psychological therapy, or taking prescribed medications either.)

These are the 4 strategies as I listed them in my notebook, and the descriptions are my take on the information as it was presented in the article:

1.) Ask yourself: What am I grateful for?

  • Even if you cannot ‘find’ anything, remembering to do so distracts/busies the mind enough to help you feel better.
  • According to the article, worrying – as well as feeling guilt or shame – ‘rewards’ the brain centers, because the brain treats the process of worrying  or feeling shame or guilt about a problem as a valid attempt to find a solution.  The brain treats the worry as an activity – the brain thinks it’s doing something to solve the problem and to the brain, that’s all that matters is that it is doing something.
  • So, the article stresses the importance of keeping one’s mind busy with what is good, as it is all the same to your brain, whether you are thinking of a solution or not.

2.) Label negative feelings.

  • Give that awful feeling or idea a name; don’t suppress your feelings and emotions about it.  It’s part of your brain’s process.
  • When you suppress emotions, your brain still ‘knows’ it and your body still reacts to the emotion, whether you’ve allowed yourself to feel the emotion or not.

3.) Make a decision

  • Making a decision reduces worry and anxiety, as your brain treats the activity of making a decision as ‘finding a solution’ – even if the decision/’solution’ is to allow yourself to feel a feeling for 20 minutes – and move on.  Even ‘I will decide what to do on Monday’ will work – but you must decide and move on.
  • Your brain treats the act of making a decision as a ‘successful’ attempt at a solution – and it calms your limbic system as a result.
  • Even if it is not a ‘100% effective solution’ or even a procrastination (as in ‘I will think about what to do on Monday morning’ or even ‘I don’t know what to do but I will decide later’) your brain registers that as you have decided to do something.
  • Why? Because actively choosing causes changes in attention circuits of the brain and studies have shown this in action: participants were asked to describe how they felt about an action, and then asked to choose how they are going to react to the action.  The simple act of choosing (ie. verbalizing aloud) their reaction caused an increase of dopamine activity in the brain, and the more specific the decision, the more dopamine was released (such as the general “I am hurt, so I will cry” versus the more specific “I am hurt, so I will cry for 20 minutes.”)

4.) Touch people

  • We need to feel love and acceptance from people.  If we do not and we are rejected, it is painful. The brain registers this lack and this rejection as if we have experienced physical pain. According to science, rejection doesn’t feel like a broken heart; your brain treats the rejection like a broken leg.
  • Touching someone that you love, even a pet – for 20 seconds or more – actually reduces pain: “A hug – especially a long one – releases the neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin, which reduces the reactivity of the amygdala (the base of the pain center) in the brain.

~~~

I would link to the article – if I could find it – so I will keep looking for it, and update with it if I can…

Found it: http://theweek.com/articles/601157/neuroscience-reveals-4-rituals-that-make-happy

 

 

 

crazywalls

Announcement.

According to Etsy, I have been a customer of various shops hosted there since 2010, and as much as I always intended to open my own shop, I never did.

But I have been making my own devotional jewelry – usually ankle bracelets and necklaces – since 2010.

As well, there are several altar items

– such as altar cloths, sculptures, and other various accessories –

that I’ve always made for myself, since I couldn’t always find what I wanted for my altars.

So after years of getting compliments on what I’ve made, I’ve decided to see how it goes…

Here is my Etsy shop,

CrowsKnot

where you will find some of the Norse-inspired

(and definitely Loki-inspired)

glass bead jewelry and altar items that I’ve made.

Thanks for checking it out!

 

Songs from the musical vacuum:….take me back to the start.

A friend of mine once told me that I must live ‘in a musical vacuum’ because there’s a lot of popular songs that I’ve never listened to, much less heard of.

Often, I don’t want to agree with her for two good reasons.

First, I’ll pretty much listen to any and all genres of music.

And second, I’m pretty much listening to music all of the time.

Yes, much like Starlord, I have a soundtrack to my days, if not, my entire life…so I cannot fathom how this could be.

I do not want to  believe that I live in a musical vacuum.  I tell myself that I’d know a popular song if I heard it before, wouldn’t I?

Yeah.

Yeah.

 

So last night, she sent me a link to this:

 

This is Lennon Roach.

He is an munitions system specialist for the US Air Force stationed in Lakenheath England.

So I listened to the song, and then I went to bed.

~~~

But I woke up this morning with bits of that lovely melody and heartfelt lyrics still resonating in my head.

So I’ve been thinking of this song all morning.

I must’ve clicked on the link a dozen times, listening to it since last night.

Because of the way that it was shared, I did not see the tag that identifies this song, but I found myself absolutely falling in love with the words and the melody.

Once I’d practically memorized the lyrics of the song…I realized I had to know more.

So I Googled the song lyrics, expecting that this would be an original piece.

It’s not.

Much to my surprise, I found out this morning that it’s a cover of Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist.’

Heh.

Oops.

Maybe I do live in a musical vacuum.

I stand corrected.

 

Pandoramancy: Lost.

There is nothing wrong, and yet I have been rather socially-avoidant today, just fumbling through the hours.

It happens.

But then a notification came through my email: an old acquaintance of mine wrote a post on zir blog little while ago, and damned if it didn’t give me a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia:

You see, I too, have had Him come to me as Peter Pan, and yet oddly enough, I was an adult – with adult responsibilities such as a job, bills to pay, and a child of my own – so I didn’t understand the meaning of His usage of that particular face during His visitation at that time.

And yet…

I believe that it was a sign, a marker of sorts – meant to remind me of the part of me I hid, that part that I never really allowed to be- the part of me I’d chosen to tuck away from my everyday awareness.

Perhaps it is a cliche – the playful attitude, the sense of wonder – but I will not deny its importance.

I was a serious child with a vivid imagination and if anything, I’d always thought someday, I would come back to that part, I would allow myself one day…

To remember the boy who waited at the edge of those bad dreams…

The young man who lived in the woods

whose face I drew incessantly

whom I was half in love with

before I even could have known what love was.

As He was – and yet He was not – Peter Pan, but it was not until I realized much later that the face of Peter Pan was a convenient and rather apt metaphor for what I had pushed away from myself.

Come find Me, He said.

You know where.