The One with Weird Brain Functions

I felt quite low yesterday when I left the office after my failure with my TDD approach. While I was on my way home, my coworker sent me a Slack message telling me what the cause of my last problem was. When I got home, I opened up my laptop again, fixed my mistake and everything worked.

It always startles me how easy it is for my brain to switch to “You’re a complete failure!” I have gotten some pretty positive feedback in the last few weeks, I learned a lot, I understood a lot of what was said in meetings and I implemented some (small) things completely on my own. It doesn’t make any sense for my brain to go into crisis mode so easily.

Today I went to the gym in the morning. It was hard. I think the only thing that pushed me to go was the fact that the bathrooms at my gym are pretty warm compared to my own bathroom and just putting on my clothes felt like a better idea than going into the cold bathroom. The first few minutes on the elliptical were bad, I felt completely unfit, tired and weak. I told myself to hang in there for 15 minutes and then switch to some machine that is rather low impact. When I got to the 15-minute mark, it felt quite good and the song that was playing was nice, so I just kept on “running” for another 30 minutes. I felt fresh and awake the whole day.

I know that working out is good for me, both mentally and physically. There has never been an instance where after a workout I thought “I shouldn’t have done that, now I feel bad”. I always feel better. And still, I use “but I’m too exhausted today” as an excuse for not working out so often.

Why are our brains so weird? Why is it so easy to fall into crisis mode when just one tiny thing goes wrong after a series of successes? Why do we skip a workout because we’re “not feeling good” although we know that it would make us feel better?

Any tips on books to read on brainy stuff?