The scale of low to up
The "moods", their causes and their effects
Enjoy the ride, but manage it!
The effects of being extremely up
The effects of the effects - they must be managed!
THE SCALE OF LOW TO UP
Depressed Low Mild low Balanced Balanced up Partly high Very High Mania
Existing at a good level of mood is part of what this site is about. Feeling good about life. Having a realistic, sustainable way of operating and looking at things. These are what comprise that which we seek.
THE “MOODS”, THEIR CAUSES AND THEIR EFFECTS
At times, our very humanness will have us in a low mood. There is no pejorative (good/bad) judgment about that, but I believe that we can actually alter our moods by learning and practicing what works. We need not be in a low mood for a sustained time.
At times, we are “ very high”, full of excitement chemicals. And we don’t want to “normalize”, we just want to enjoy it!
Feeling “very high” will come from an identifiable cause (if it doesn’t, then we are talking about mania and psychological disorders which are not what we’re talking about here; that said, the disorder and the just-current high have several things in common, but are just not at the same extreme).
Having a sudden epiphany or going to an extremely enlightening workshop that creates new hope for a much greater life is the most frequent source. Getting a reprieve in life from certain death to certain survival, the euphoria of a wonderful new relationship, getting rid of a problem that has been holding one back in life (and seeing wonderful future prospects in a new life) – these are also sources.
The effect of Hope on the human spirit is remarkable. Read that section.
ENJOY THE RIDE, BUT MANAGE IT!
The objective here is to “enjoy the ride”, but also to keep on managing one’s life so that it works for the long term AND, I purport, to create a new, higher plateau in life that is fully sustainable.
The problem is that when we are in any exaggerated down or exaggerated high our chemicals and our body response cut off a lot of our reasoning/thinking power.
A general policy that is wise is not to make important decisions when one is in a state where one is not thinking straight – and to recognize when that state exists, when one is in a balanced state, calm and alert.
THE EFFECTS OF BEING EXTREMELY UP
The summary list:
Highly confident and feeling capable
Making decisions in a flash
Talking a lot more
Being constantly on the go
Not needing or not being able to sleep
Grandiosity and unrealistic decisions
More detailed lists are in the Appendix.
Notice that there is a lesson in here for those who are in a "low" state: That low confidence and negative thinking are very overcomable. We absolutely can change our state - and regulate it so that we get the proper long term effects.
THE EFFECTS OF THE EFFECTS - THEY MUST BE MANAGED!
Such things as optimism are generally considered to be positive for now and the future, as it keeps people going even if there are failures. However, the disadvantage, which is overcome by the advantages at a normal level, is that the decisions are not quite as reasonable and sound. At an extreme high, this disadvantage can cause irrational decisions that could be damaging.
Feeling “bulletproof” will often cause people who are at a high to make decisions that will not consider the long term trade-offs, often resulting in the use of drugs, which they give themselves permission to do since they are grandiose enough to believe that they are not subject to the problems normally associated with drugs.
Going without sleep has obvious long term effects and may cause the basis for a crash. One must, even more than usual, follow the relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation protocols. One of the things we need to watch out for in most highs is doing that which would create a bigger crash, so it is necessary for them to do what does not seem natural for them: do relaxation techniques and deep breathing and meditation (which lower dramatically the excess adrenaline that is excreted when in the excitement of the high) .
The grandiosity and overconfidence must be brought down to earth by the person on a high seeking and using counsel from another person who will act as the grounder of the person who is not so able to ground oneself. They must test all important decisions by running them through that other person (and/or others).
APPENDIX: THE EFFECTS OF EXTREMELY UP AND OF MANIA
“The positive or hedonistic mood is reflected in descriptions such as
Feeling confident and capable (even grandiosity);
Being extremely optimistic (and unrealistic);
Feeling that one can succeed in everything (not properly evaluating);
Being more creative;
Perhaps feeling 'high as a kite'.
Any general anxiety disappears.”
“ Inappropriate Behavior can be reflected by
Becoming over-involved in other people's activities;
Increased risk taking (including increased consumption of alcohol and drugs, getting a tattoo impulsively, and gambling excessively);
Saying and doing somewhat outrageous things; spending more money;
Having increased libido and getting into relationships that are later regretted and
Dressing more colorfully and with disinhibition.”
Creativity can be experienced as
‘Seeing things in a new light';
'Seeing things vividly and with crystal clarity';
Finding one's senses are heightened; and
Feeling quite capable of writing the 'great American novel'.”