8AM. Met with Jo (psychologist) again. This is our second session.
Bit more talk and confirmation of information I had provided before. Today the conversation was more accelerated, more questions.
Quicker bursts of explanations. She reads me well, I am not good with long winded answers. I like that.
If anything, this was a lovely conversation.
The main focus today was my negativity. I am complaining about everything.
I see negative things everywhere. The car that drives too slow/too fast, the late bus, the sweaty person next to me, the rain, the wind in my face, the dog barking.
I guess it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that’s not a good thing.
This is not the reason for my depression but it also doesn’t help.
Jo explained that I have conditioned my brain to just take up the negative stuff. Immediately. Automatically.
And what my lovely brain does, it just passes any negative information to the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing. The amygdala interprets the images and sounds and it sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus (our brain command centre).
The hypothalamus then activates the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals to the adrenal glands. These glands respond by pumping the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream.
As epinephrine circulates through the body, it brings on a number of physiological changes. The heart beats faster than normal, pushing blood to the muscles, heart, and other vital organs. Pulse rate and blood pressure go up. The person undergoing these changes also starts to breathe more rapidly. (I copy pasted the last paragraph, no I don’t remember all of this)
This is also called the flight or fight response. Problem with the flight or fight response is that it uses all resources to react to the situation and blocks your brain from THINKING , because it is made to help you survive when the tiger comes running after you.
And I pretty much automated the process and use it to react to late busses and changing weather conditions.
Bus late = hypothalamus:”Houston we have a problem” = fight or flight response = no thinking = anger, heavy quick breathing, heart rate goes up = stress x 100 incidents like this per day = contributes to depression! (I made this formula up, bit you get where I am coming from)
Jo gave me two good pieces of advice today.
Firstly: be more mindful, and next time this happens take a deep long breath that counters the flight or fight response and start thinking how to evaluate a real response such as: “I don’t give a flying fuck if the bus is too late, I have much better things to do” OR: “Take the train instead!”
This is supposed to help me “untrain” my negative views.
Secondly: she recommend some quick excercise that help with redirecting your blood flow (sort of) and give you a clear head. Lean over and dangle your arms in front of you.
I”ll be trying all of the above over the next few days.