How Your Body Works Can Affect Your Mood

Physiology and Your Mood

If you want to get the most out of yourself and your life, then it is crucial that you learn to control your mood.

Your mood will affect your ability to focus, your enjoyment of any and all activities, and so much more.

But of course, controlling your emotions is easier said than done.

This is something we would all like to do, no doubt, but if it were that easy, then we would all be happy all the time!

There is a secret to doing this, though, that many people miss.

And while it may be impossible to guarantee that you’ll ever have complete control over the way you feel, it can sure make a big difference and help to give you a lot more control.

How Your Body Affects Your Mood

Physiology is the missing key that so many people fail to see as being important. To put it another way, your body and the status of your physical being.

Why do we even have these feelings? They are designed to nudge us in the direction of things that are beneficial to us while simultaneously discouraging us from engaging in activities that can be detrimental to us.

When we are afraid, it drives us to go to somewhere we can feel more secure. When we have an unpleasant feeling of revulsion, we are less likely to have a desire to consume food that has gone bad.

On a more fundamental level, though, being hungry has an effect on your emotions and prompts you to behave in certain ways.

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In most cases, having a low blood sugar level coincides with being hungry. This, in turn, causes the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the hunger hormone ghrelin.

That’s why we get so furious when we’re hungry! On the other hand, eating causes your body to manufacture serotonin, which in turn improves your mood.

This is then converted into melatonin, which puts us in a drowsy state.

Being sick creates inflammation, which is caused by cytokines that promote inflammation. These cytokines decrease activity in the brain, which causes mental fogginess and sadness.

There is a distinction between feelings and emotions. You feel hungry, you feel exhausted, and you feel unwell.

However, doing so causes negative feelings such as anxiety, rage, and depression.

So, where exactly are we going with this? What is the most important thing that we should take away from all of this guidance?

The lesson to be learned is that it is not just dependent on your thinking and the way you live your life.

If you’re feeling irritable or depressed, it could not be because you’re having a terrible day; rather, it might be because you’re starving or sick.

Another factor to consider is the cyclical nature of the changes that occur in our hormones.

Keep all of this in mind when you are attempting to regulate your mood and make sure that you give yourself the greatest possible opportunity of having a joyful and optimistic day by setting yourself up with the best possible conditions to do so!

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The Mind Needs Growth

What makes you happy? What is your idea of a perfect evening? For many of us, the answer would be something akin to relaxing on the couch, watching a great TV show, and eating something delicious. 

Maybe you want to stay in with your other half, or maybe you’d like to program a game.

These things are comfortable, and they are refreshing. These things help you to feel calm and rejuvenated after a tough week.

But you know what? Your brain doesn’t like those things. In fact, these are about the worst things you can possibly do as far as your body is concerned! 

The reason for that is simple: when you relax and when you chill, you don’t challenge your brain. The result is that it starts to atrophy.

“Grow or Shrink”

The brain is able to adapt to whatever you throw at it due to a process called brain plasticity.

Brain plasticity describes the ability of the brain to grow and change shape: to create new neurons and to become stronger.

Herein lies the principle of SAID: specific adaptations to imposed demands.

If you practice languages, you get better at the language. If you practice balance, your brain gets better at that.

But if you’re not growing, then all that extra neural matter is just wasted energy. The result? Your brain starts to atrophy and starts to burn through that extra matter.

The result is that you deteriorate. 

Grow or shrink. Move forward or move backward. Being “static” isn’t an option.

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The Brain Loves Growth

When you learn a new language or skill, the brain will see this as a positive stimulus. It sees this as a chance to get stronger and to ultimately improve your ability to survive.

Thus, it produces positive hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine and brain derived neurotrophic factor.

These not only help you to learn, but they also prevent the atrophy we discussed. They protect the brain against degeneration, and they make you smarter.

So, while you might feel like the very best thing you can do for your brain is to relax and sit down, the brain actually much prefers challenge and learning.

Sure, have your evening off, but make sure your life isn’t just a case of alternating between stress at work and doing “nothing” at home.

Keep learning, keep going to new places, and keep taking on new challenges!

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