‘No one really knows why our thinking suddenly changes the way it does giving us a different feeling state’.
This spoke to me, as for the longest time, without really realising it, I’ve been hoping I might come across some explanation, the ‘reason’ for why our moods change.
Hearing it from George Pransky who’s been looking at this stuff for 30 years or so, took a load off my mind.
Ie: ‘There is no answer right now, Kate; MOVE ON!'
And then he wrote something else which spoke to me as it helps to ‘normalise’ my thinking: It had the: hooray!-I’m-not-the-only-crazy-one kind of normalizing effect, the best kind…!
He wrote: ‘Although we may respond to our low moods differently, we all experience our low moods in similar ways.’
The characteristics of low moods/ mouse moments George Pransky identifies are:
1. Our mental activity – or thinking velocity – increases. (definitely)
2. Our thinking gravitates to problems and dissatisfactions. (oh yes…)
3. We experience a heightened but distorted sense of immediacy. For example, we think we must do something right away about our circumstances. (errrrrr, yes!!!)
4. We feel self-conscious. It seems we are the center of everybody’s attention.
5. We have a pessimistic outlook. We notice limitations and are blind to possibilities. (this is me!)
6. We entertain many negative thoughts emotions and concerns.
SO WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?
George propounds the view that I’m starting to believe(!), that the very best thing we can do with a low mood/insecure thinking, is... LEAVE IT ALONE.
This is THE hardest thing for me, a recovering over-thinker, to do, but I’m learning to trust it as I’m getting good results.
I always came from the view that if I just think a little bit more about a problem, the answer will come.
Well no, it won't, not while I’m in a low mood; all that tends to come is MORE low mood thinking.
Leaving a low mood alone is a leap of faith, and it is like dragging myself away from an addictive drug when I drag myself away from my compulsive solution-finding trains of thought.
The best 'way' I've found - if there is a 'way' - is keep living; keep doing, even if I don't feel like doing, keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep smiling if I feel like it, keep feeling sorry for myself if I feel like it, just keep living, and one way or another, eventually, something changes, something lifts, even if just for a moment. In my experience, even after periods of depression (depressed emotions as I think of it), the sun has always shone again, and I'm starting to trust it.
My own experiences of depressed emotions have felt interminable though I never felt I needed to seek medical help. I wonder what other people's experiences are because I know when you're in a depression or low mood it can feel that there is NO way out, and nothing is changing and the words above may feel like platitudes. Or perhaps you feel there’s truth in there somewhere if you could only grasp it and bring it into your own experience. I’d love to hear what’s top of mind.