Have you had a chance yet to see the Pixar movie Inside Out? It’s a must see for every child, teenager, twenty-something, middle-aged and older. Why, you ask? Well, it perfectly illustrates how humans deal with feelings on a daily basis and how to overcome periods of extreme emotions.
Let me give you a quick synopsis of the movie (no spoilers, I promise): Riley is an 11-year-old who just recently moved to San Francisco with her parents. Her world turned upside, and her emotions went from Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) to Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith). Together with the other emotions, Anger, Fear and Disgust, Riley’s emotions worked around the clock, trying to adjust to this new life. However, in the chaos of moving, Joy and Sadness get lost in a new part of Riley’s brain. Left alone in emotion headquarters, the other emotions (anger, fear and disgust) are left to keep Riley going. However, Riley needs Joy and Sadness back to make herself feel right once more.
Here are some emotional quotes (ha, get it!) from the movie:
Sadness: “I know you don’t want me to, but I miss home. I miss Minnesota. You need me to be happy, but I want my old friends and my hockey team. I wanna go home. Please don’t be mad.”
Joy: Hey, look! The Golden Gate Bridge! Isn’t that great? It’s not made out of solid gold like we thought, which is kind of a disappointment, but still!
Anger: I say we lock ourselves in our room and use that one swear word we know. It’s a good one!
Disgust: Okay, caution, there is a dangerous smell, people. Hold on, what is that? That is not brightly colored or shaped like a dinosaur, hold on guys… it’s… broccoli!
Fear: I sure am glad you told me earthquakes are a myth Joy, otherwise I’d be terrified right now.
You are probably wondering why I’m telling you about a kids movie, so here it goes. In one person, an 11-year-old girl for instances, all sorts of emotions are taking place. At times, one emotion is more in control than the other but every emotion gets their chance to make you feel something. As humans, we deal with emotions daily and at times go through extreme feelings of sadness, indifference, happy or anger (probably because one of our emotions gets lost in another part of the brain or something.) However, learning to identify our emotions and knowing when we feel out of balance can help us fight even the toughest of feelings.
Little Black Rain Cloud
One of the most common emotion that people suffer too much from is sadness— otherwise known as depression. Depression affects of 14.8 million American adults, a staggering 6.7 percent of the nation’s population. Due to low production of serotonin (the feel good hormone) in our brains that trigger depression and sad feelings, scientists have created antidepressants to help. Antidepressants balance the chemicals in our brain known as neurotransmitters, which can improve a person’s mood and emotions. However, they aren’t the only ways to help counter depression. For those seeking alternative ways to improve your Joy, here are a few suggestions to help:
I know, easier said than done, but let me explain. People always say it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, and they’re right. Studies show that when you think more positive and try to move away from sad thoughts, your serotonin levels improve.
Meditation is a good way to start with to help encourage those positive thoughts. This therapeutic practice can increase dopamine levels and feelings of happiness by helping your mind and body relax.
It has been proven that exercising can increase serotonin levels, as well as the firing rate of serotonin neurons. In layman’s terms, the more you move, the better you’ll feel. Of course, that doesn’t mean if you start training for a marathon right now, you’ll be the happiest person ever. What I mean to exercise for happiness is to find a relaxing form of movement that can help get your blood flowing and make your brain produce more serotonin.
Great exercises to try for this is yoga or Tai Chi. They help move your body and restore energy flow without causing you to have to work too hard.
Although chocolate is delicious, it’s not the feel-good food I mean. Consuming foods with omega-3s in it (like fish) can improve a person’s mood. You also want to focus on clean saturated fats and a moderate amount of protein to give your body the fuel it needs to keep you going and happy.
Be in Nature
Ever wondered why you feel happier in the summer and less motivated in the winter? Sunrays and brain waves! In the summer, we experience more sunny days than gloomy ones, helping to boost our happy hormones. A new study from Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne has proven that our brain produces more serotonin on days filled with rays of sunshine than clouds. In their study, they determined that the only factor that had an effect on a patient’s mood was the amount of exposure to sunlight. This finding supports seasonal affective disorder, which occurs more during the winter time when there is less sun exposure.
Of course, with this, please take sunshine therapy in moderation and wear sunscreen. You don’t want to have lifted spirits and a sunburn at the same time.
Don’t let Sadness take over your brain, give time to Joy, Fear, Disgust, and yes, sometimes Anger. And, remember to use HealingRadius to help you find a wellness or fitness center near you, so you can increase your serotonin levels and get back to being completely emotional, inside and out.
Did you love learning about how to fight depression from the inside, out? If so, let us know in the comment section below or share your own blog with us.
The best thing you can do to help yourself is to heal yourself. Find and book an appointment with a wellness or fitness center through HealingRadius.com!
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.