I woke up sad today. I am sure you have had days like that. No real reason, but it’s just the way I felt. I know many of my clients have days like this because they feel like they aren’t reaching their daily goals. They get so frustrated, and I can understand that feeling. My sadness was based on a conflict. I want to do something, but I am not sure that I can do what I want to do. Then the indecision, the not knowing if I want to really achieve a certain goal. After the sad feeling comes to wanting someone to understand how I feel about my conflict. I let people know I was sad and as dear friends, they offered their help, but how can they really help me? I don’t understand it myself. Why did my mood change so suddenly? Where did this come from? Many neurodiverse people suffer from the ups and downs of challenges, their off-kilter self-regulation. Their emotional changes can come on suddenly. They can get depressed, moody, sad, angry, unhappy, feel unaccomplished, or just not feel ‘right’. They have no better ability to explain their mood change than I could today. However, we do know that each of us must work at being happy. For many, it’s natural and it’s a daily gift. For others, happiness isn’t always there for them to easily grab and hold on to. What are they to do when happiness eludes them?
The brain is a complicated mechanism. Science Daily says that Dopamine is a so-called messenger substance or neurotransmitter that conveys signals between neurons. It not only controls mental and emotional responses but also motor reactions. Dopamine is particularly known as being the “happy hormone.” It is responsible for our experiencing happiness.
Spectrum News further explains that Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that neurons release into synapses, the tiny spaces between them. It regulates movement and feelings of pleasure and motivation. Defects in dopamine circuits have been implicated in a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, drug addiction, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Roughly 30 percent of children with autism also have ADHD. Dopamine has also been linked to autism.
I was reminded of a great quote from an article I read from 2015, greatergood.berkeley.edu “That which does not kill us outright makes us stronger,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche more than 100 years ago. As a psychotherapist for 20 years, I’ve seen clients bear this out many times.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Researchers call this “post-traumatic growth”; found that adverse experiences often promote hardiness and resilience, shaping how people handle subsequent challenges. In other words, experiencing trauma doesn’t simply condemn us to a life of suffering and helplessness. Instead, we can pull strength, courage, and wisdom out of misfortune after having been caught in it.
Now there’s evidence that the benefits may run even deeper than that: A recent study suggests that experiencing adversity can not only equip us to deal with negative events but also help us appreciate the positive ones, possibly increasing our overall satisfaction with life.
In 2016, Yes Magazine wrote that resilience is the rapidity with which we recover from adversity. Some people recover slowly, and other people recover more quickly. We know that individuals who show a more rapid recovery in certain key neural circuits have higher levels of well-being. They are protected in many ways from the adverse consequences of life’s slings and arrows. It takes a while to improve your resilience. Recent research that we’ve conducted in our lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison—new work that’s not yet published—asked whether these specific brain circuits can be altered by regular practice in simple mindfulness meditation. The answer is yes—but you need several thousand hours of practice before you see real change. Unlike the other constituents of well-being, it takes a while to improve your resilience. It’s not something that is going to happen quickly—but this insight can still motivate and inspire us to keep meditating.
OrganizeU4Life has measured statistics to show that self-confidence can be achieved in less than 60 hours of brain exercise training. With self-confidence comes a better sense of self, which leads to happiness. Our acclaimed virtual program improves clients’ focus, cognitive, and self-regulation skill sets, the very elements that lead to knowing how to reach a sense of emotional stability.
Two thirty-minute sessions a week for 60 hours or less will help you reach new goals. The next time you feel sad or frustrated just know that The Best Is Yet to Come….When We Work with You!
-Take It from the Deb-Meister