I’ve noticed that when I’m in the most physical pain I also feel “depressed”. Depression has become catch-all word and it’s sometimes difficult to sort out. The biggest hallmarks are usually:
Can’t find motivation
Disinterested in life
It’s not necessarily simply depression! by Peggy
Research has uncovered stress links among depression and pain. It can be the effects of excess stress which depletes natural dopamine stores and creates a ripple effect on nearby endorphins.
Turns out that endorphins are necessary to prevent pain and maintain good mood.
And here’s the connection:
- Stress interferes with dopamine function in the brain, inhibiting the messages it sends to create the feeling of pleasure and the absence of pain, and can lead to a state of overstress.
- Dopamine function is correlated to endorphin function. In periods of continual stress, both compounds decline, leading to the weakening of the body’s natural defense against pain.
“According to the Franklin Institute, when dopamine and the endorphins malfunction, minor injuries can become major obstacles and experiences of both pain and misery are heightened. Previously enjoyed activities will no longer provide pleasure.”
Once again . . . lowering stress levels is important. Check out some CATNIP posts on how to lower your stress:
1. Easily addicted: Our brains are wired to constantly seek novelty, and every new email that lands in our inbox with a ping sends a dopamine-fueled shiver of excitement through our cerebrum.
(Turning off notifications and setting and communicating clear email rules in workplaces and after hours can disrupt that addictive dopamine loop.)
Behavioral science would suggest there’s more than just neurotransmitters at work.
2. Pain avoidance: “Another factor that may be driving our inability to disconnect is the peak-end rule, whereby people tend to judge an experience based on what it felt like at its most intense point and at the end. In other words, what we remember most about our inbox is just how awful it feels to face all those unanswered emails — that endless, running to-do list of other people’s priorities — that have piled up. So we keep checking just to avoid that pain.”
3. Short term pay-off: human predilection for making decisions based on short-term payoffs, like deciding to fall back into a warm bed in the morning rather than get up and exercise.
“We love to get things ‘done,'” explained Iris Bohnet, a behavioral economist at the Harvard Kennedy School. “Email is terrible for that. If you only respond to these 10 emails, it feels like an accomplishable task.”
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Bodies cool down while we prepare to nod off. Our blood vessels expand, allowing heat to escape our bodies quicker. Body temperatures, which fluctuate by about 1 degree over the course of 24 hours, will bottom out in the wee hours of the morning.
People tend to sleep best in colder rooms, between 60 and 67 degrees
Sleepy, from Maui’s Story by Peggy
Sleep researchers know that right before you fall asleep, your body temperature starts to drop; in the deepest stages of sleep, your body is at its coolest, about one or two degrees below normal. Some scientists believe cooler temperatures cause sleepiness, and although the pre-slumber cooling process happens naturally, there are a few things you can do to help it along:
Take a warm bath right before bed. When you leave the tub, your body temperature rapidly cools, triggering that sleepy feeling.
Drink a warm beverage – works the same way as a warm bath.
Turn on a fan.
Stick your foot out of the covers.
But why the foot, specifically? The skin surfaces of both our hands and feet are unique – they’re hairless and contain specialized vascular structures that help with heat loss. Specifically, the hands and feet contain blood vessels called the arteriovenous anastomoses, which — coupled with the lack of hair on the bottoms of your feet — are perfectly designed to help dissipate body heat.