Mood is an area of health that many of us pay less attention to than we should. It is important to take care of how you are feeling mentally as well as physically, especially if you have Parkinson’s.
Dopamine is very important in mood.
Parkinson’s itself affects your mood.
Depression can be a symptom of Parkinson’s, and may need specific treatment in its own right. However, there are some techniques you can use to improve low mood more generally.
Improving mood can actually improve physical function. If a person is feeling better in themselves, it can improve energy, confidence and movement.
Things that work for mood in Parkinson’s are the same things that work for everybody.
One of the things you can do is understand a bit more about your thoughts.
We all have thoughts that drive what we do and how we feel but we are often not aware of them.
Thoughts should not be confused with feelings – there is a difference. Feelings can be described in one word and come from inside you. For example, ‘I feel happy’ or ‘I feel sad’. Thoughts are the words or pictures that go through your mind. The problem is, not all thoughts are helpful.
If you are having unhelpful thoughts, there’s nothing unusual about you, or about the way you’re thinking. Unhelpful thoughts are normal. It’s sometimes useful to know what they are, and see if we want to challenge them and think differently.
Understanding your unhelpful thoughts may improve the way you feel, both emotionally and physically.
While it is not always possible to change a difficult situation, you can change how you think about it.
So what is an unhelpful thought? Here are some traits to look out for…