Who Controls Your Moods?
Who You Spend Time With Impacts Your Mood
When you are with positive, supportive, and loving people, you feel happier and more content, and you live longer. This is not only intuitively true but research has demonstrated it again and again. For example, in a study at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, 10,000 men were asked, “Does your wife show you her love?” The detailed health histories of the men followed over ten years who answered yes showed fewer ulcers, less chest pain, and longer lives than those who answered no.
When you spend time with negative or hostile people, you tend to feel tense, anxious, upset, sick, and less intellectually on the ball. Being around people who make you feel stress causes your body to secrete an excessive amount of adrenaline, which makes you feel anxious and tense and puts you on your guard. Increases in the stress hormone cortisol can disrupt neurons in the hippocampus, one of the main memory centers in the brain.
Through the years people have told us that living with a person who suffered from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, or borderline personality disorder has had a negative impact on their physical and emotional health. The chronic stress for family members associated with these illnesses when they are untreated or under-treated can be devastating. Mothers of untreated ADD children, for example, have a higher incidence of depression themselves and often complain that they are physically sick more often and cognitively less sharp than before they had the child.
In our experience, a hallmark of unhappy people is that they have a tendency to surround themselves with negative people – with people who do not believe in them or their abilities, people who put them down, discourage them from their goals, and treat them as though they will never amount to anything. Surrounded by these types of people, you eventually get a clear message that you are no good.
Are you surrounded by people who believe in you and give you positive messages?
Do you spend time with people who encourage you to feel good about yourself? Or do you spend time with people who are constantly putting you down and down playing your ideas? Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Are they positive or negative? The reasons people surround themselves with negativity are easy to understand. People who grow up in negative environments often grow up to be negative. It is what they are used to and, in a strange sort of way, it is what they are comfortable with, what their brain knows. A Choctaw medicine man once told us, “People do not seek happiness, they seek familiarity.”
If an insecure parent continually belittles his child to make himself feel better, the child grows up believing that he is no good and that he is not worthy of being around people who make him feel good. When the trauma of divorce of death happens in a family, a young child often erroneously believes he is at fault and carries around tremendous guilt for a long time. Some children who witnessed parents struggle through a difficult marriage get the message programmed in their brains that relationships are inherently problematic, and they, too, get caught in incompatible relationships.
Adults, as well as children, can be beaten down after years of living through a difficult marriage or being in an abusive job situation. Many people will stay in a job they hate, for example, because their boss leads them to believe that no one else would hire them and that they are lucky to have the job. Just as in an abusive marriage, in an abusive job situation, employees have their self-esteem beaten down to the point that they no longer believe they can go beyond their abusive environment.
Past relationships have a real impact on present ones.
If your past relationships were filled with negativity, chances are your present and future relationships will be the same unless you make a conscious effort to overcome the past.
If you are experiencing depression caused by your past or present relationships, you are not alone. Depression CAN be treated and Amen Clinics CAN help. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.