Video: Emotional Sobriety – Tian Dayton
Attaining that “Feel Good” State the Natural Way: Finding Emotional Sobriety
Our thoughts, emotions and our behavior ALL effect our body chemistry. Just climbing out of bed in the morning and getting into a hot shower or bath, for example, elevates our levels of serotonin “nature’s natural anti depressant” and makes it easier for us to get into a positive frame of mind. In fact, extensive research studies reveal that taking a brisk walk four times a week can be as effective in managing depression as medication.
It is remarkably easy, actually, to attain that “feel good” state if we just adopt a few good habits and keep them going. Here’s a little about what these “natural antidepressants” can do for us:
Serotonin keeps our moods balanced and up beat. It calms anxiety and improves our sleep.
Touching releases oxytocin, that bonding chemical that mediates emotional closeness. It paradoxically helps us to feel close and connected AND to set boundaries.
Hot baths or showers give us a shot of prolactin (and serotonin) which is associated with that serene state that nursing mothers enjoy.
These are nature’s mood stabilizers; they act in the brain and body in the same way that anti depressants act; they help us manage our moods.
When we don’t make use of the medicine chest nature put inside of us to calm and soothe ourselves, we may want to turn to synthetic or artificial solutions to feel better and regulate our emotions. We might grab a substance like alcohol, drugs, or food to unwind or de-stress. Or maybe we turn to addictive behaviors like gambling or sexual acting out to jump start that high feeling. To pacify ourselves or settle shattered nerves.
Emotional sobriety is about establishing a routine of healthy activities that elevate our moods naturally.
Serotonin management amounts to paying attention to all of those little things that make us feel good and systematically building them into our daily routines. Walking to work, exercising with a friend, taking time to relax and just be, breathing…all allow us to calm down the natural way. We know intuitively that certain activities just make us feel good…that pampering ourselves with relaxation, massage, pleasant surroundings, good food, friendly company or listening to music…all open that secret door into our sense of well being. Even thinking positive thoughts throughout the day releases serotonin into our bodies and elevates our immune functioning; we can sense it. When we intentionally make these sorts of activities and intentions part of our daily lives, we’re managing our moods the natural way and taking care of our mental (and physical) health. So that instead of engaging in synthetic mood managers that may be unhealthy or even self destructive, we can depend on those that are sustainable and natural to stay in balance and to achieve and maintain emotional sobriety.