When I feel like this, I know I should go to that party, exercise or spend quality time with my boyfriend, but I just can’t get out of the door. Usually, I put this down to laziness or self-sabotage, becoming frustrated with myself for making poor decisions.
Popular psychology and mindfulness meditation apps are touted as an easy fix for various psychological ills, such as depression, anxiety or stress. But for many people, including myself, the notion that our emotional state is in our own hands isn’t always helpful.
So I began looking beyond pop psychology and into the field of neuroscience. What I learned has changed how I think about my emotional state in a hugely positive way. I’m a long way from “mastering my moods”, as the meditation apps promise, but I’m a little bit closer to understanding them.
My first foray was a lecture on the subject of dopamine by the neuroscientist Ali Jennings (alijennings.co.uk) who is studying the link between depression, motivation and low dopamine levels.