An open-minded individual…
From my experience, sometimes people can mistake the feelings associated with being stuck in an old boring routine, or stuck in a old way of being or thinking, with being depressed. Not always, but sometimes.
Here is the secret, your brain is designed to learn, it loves to learn, when you are not learning…YOUR BRAIN IS BORED! Hense, the meh feelings.
Well here is some information from the secret life of therapists…
When you get outside your comfort zone, and come see a counsellor like me, we help
you to do the work necessary to change the neurobiology of your brain through developing coping strategies, new ways of being, new learning, through a science supported counselling interventions like Behavioural Activation. This is a pretty cool therapy for depression, that focuses on activity scheduling to encourage people to approach activities that they are avoiding, along with analyzing the function of their cognitive processes (thoughts), such as rumination (cycling thoughts), that serve as a form of avoidance. Getting out there and doing, rather than avoiding, helps you to become refocused on your goals and valued directions in life. You tend to feel happier and more empowered. Eventually experiencing the benefits of doing, creates energy and excitement to try new things.
A wee bit of advice..
Sometimes people find “doing the work” takes too long or it is simply just too hard. Yes, rewiring your brain is hard work! But if you do the work, you get lasting results with so many mental and physical health benefits.
The dopamine short cut means using various substances, legal and not, to elicit a dopamine response artificially, thus fooling the brain. While so many other activities elicit dopamine naturally, like exercising, good sleep, healthy eating, sunlight and music. Yes music! Listening to music taps into the dopamine system, in part, because hearing something new is a signal that the brain is learning something, and we have evolved to enjoy acquiring new information.
So do the work instead of tricking your brain. Tricking is not learning, it just keeps you in the same place…feeling…
Eudaimonia, a funky Greek work that means “personal happiness”. More specifically it is the pursuit of happiness, manifestation (creation) of personal growth, self-actualization, flourishing and life meaning. It is very different from it’s cousin, hedonia which is the pursuit and/or experience of pleasure, enjoyment, comfort, and reduced pain. Eudaimonia is a journey, a process, sometimes hard, sometimes easy, but the benefits are immense. It is the satisfaction that comes from constantly developing and living one’s life to the fullest.
Psychological Well-Being Revisited: Advances in the Science and Practice of Eudaimonia (Full Article)
Growing evidence shows that qualities such as purposeful engagement, self-realization and growth, and enlightened self-regard are relevant influences on how long and how well people live.
Multiple studies have linked these indicators of well-being to reduced amygdala activation in response to negative stimuli (this means lower anxiety), sustained activity in the ventral striatum and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (emotion regulation) when viewing positive stimuli, and increased insular cortex volume (increased emotion experience such as compassion and empathy).
Ok, enough nerdy science, even though I love it!
It is not about me, it is about you getting out there, being open to new things, new information, new behaviours, new experiences, new activities.
Start with becoming a “Yes Person” when it comes to trying healthy new things!
Trying something new often requires courage, but it opens up the possibility for you to enjoy something new. Trying something new forces you to grow.
Our opinions and ideas make perfect sense when we look at them through our own lens, and with that, the perspectives of others can sometimes seem wrong. If we want to experience positive mental health, we need to develop a better understanding of the world and other ways of doing things. There is no use in clinging to our beliefs because they’re more familiar and comfortable to us, especially if they hurt or hinder us.
The secret of Change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old,
but on building the new” – Socrates
Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)
eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success