It got dark earlier yesterday where I live, and I was struck by that “summer’s over” feeling. It was a sadness of losing summer.
Once a bad feeling turns on, our brain easily creates a cascade of bad feeling. One little loss or disappointment sends electricity down a neural pathway to your cortisol, and that pathway is linked to your lifetime of past cortisol experiences. This makes it easy for your brain to see bad signs in the world around you. Like a gazelle who smells a lion, our brain is designed to find external evidence of threat once the internal threat signal is triggered. You can easily end up in a bad loop, where more evidence triggers more cortisol and more searching for evidence.