Listen to this quick 3 minute podcast how serotonin could be hurting your friends. Almost everyone knows that serotonin is a neurotransmitter required for a sense of well-being and a bright mood. Most antidepressants focus on a deficit of serotonin in the brain to alleviate depression. But for those of you who do not suffer from depression you might not give serotonin a second thought. But you should, because if you are like most people Serotonin is driving you to be better than others in every possible way. This upbeat, confident feeling serotonin gives you got wired in thousands of years ago to ensure your behavior would keep you safe and alive. And today humans still chase serotonin hits all day long. Are you a sore loser? A know it all? Do you like to brag or post on Facebook a great meal or your vacation spot? Chasing serotonin can have an adverse effect on your relationships when you start to ignore the feelings of others.
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As you are coming to understand our amygdala is the root of our over reactions toward setbacks, comments, and even a weird look from a stranger. Even having a simple disagreement with someone can switch the amygdala to the fight-or-flight position. You enter into a discussion in which you expect the person to agree with you. Then when the person doesn’t, cortisol releases, causing an immediate shutting down of reasonable thinking and processing. Cortisol interrupts the prefrontal cortex as it tells your brain, “Your life is in danger; this is no time to be thinking!” So you raise your voice, yell, and take on aggressive body posture. Your whole body is reacting as if the other person is a threat to your life. This is why arguments rarely prove fruitful and is why discussing topics such as religion and politics is so dangerous. Never forget that no one wants to hear what you think unless you agree with them. So save your breath and your energy.
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