People whose behavior is out-of-control usually report extreme, intense negative emotions. They will often fluctuate between extremes of anger, anxiety, depression and shame.
Finding a way to live a life that you want is something with which every person struggles. We all sometimes think “why not me?” when we watch the Olympics or Wimbledon, encounter someone successful in business or meet someone who simply seems at peace with their life.
However, when you have traumatic past experiences, live with a mental illness or have experienced painful life events, how you live your life can feel very much out of your control. Intense emotions like anxiety, depression or rage can make living the life you want seem entirely out of reach. Often problem behaviors like addictions, eating disorders and self-harm are attempts to escape intense emotional pain. People simply want to stop feeling miserable and can’t begin to imagine a life based on choice and what they want.
Is it endorphins, mindfulness or simple fun? This month’s Psychology Today reports that studies in both Germany and at the University of New England found that dance lowers levels of stress hormones and significantly lowers levels of depression.
The mind is an amazing and complex thing. It can solve incredible problems, make connections faster than computers, sense danger from the merest environmental clue, all the while regulating our bodies—the pumping of your heart, blood pressure and artery constriction, circulation, oxygen intake, food absorption and body temperature.
Are you all buttoned up? Do you suppress quirks and idiosyncrasies when you’re around other people? Is it better to get along, not stand out for being a bit odd or peculiar? Or is there some value in eccentricity?
Do you remember childhood play? When you could be completely engrossed in the activity of the moment? No worries, no thoughts about what to cook for dinner, the email you need to send out, whether you’ve bought enough suntan lotion for vacation or taken care of the weeds on the front walk. Just play. 100% engrossed in coloring or building blocks or dressing Barbie.
We are surrounded by our relationships. We’re born into families and, big or small, they shape and define our growth and learning. As adults a constellation of relationships describes who we are: mother, father, aunt, uncle, son, daughter, employee, manager, friend, rival, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, partner. Whether we are working, caring for others, going to school, finding love or hanging out, we are doing so in relation to others.