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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When beginning a mindless activity, pause and notice what your body feels like. If it is brimming with intensity, notice that just by taking a moment to focus on it, your body and mind will slow back down. If you continue to pause intermittently to take note of your body’s energies, you might be amazed at how fast the energy returns to a state of tension even after just one minute. If you are angry, you may feel empowered by this kind of energy. You may feel it will help you to finish your task more efficiently. It doesn’t, however, because the energy is there without a focused mind to make the most of it. Being still and breathing deeply will cause a physiological alteration that can bring a calm to almost any moment.
RULE: Be mindful when you are doing something mindless.
It is simply a matter of what you really want in life, how happy you want to be, and the commitment you want to make. As with sticking with the gym or a diet, you have to give it time to transcend into a lifestyle. This rule does not bend: joy can be experienced only in the present, not in the future or past. So if joy is what you really want in life, why go looking in places where it will never be found. Joy is a bit different than happiness or calm it is almost divine but it evolves from moments of calm and happiness.
If you want to make a change in your life, at some point you actually have to do something not just contemplate it. But your amygdala will hit the sirens and warn you to stay put. It is how it kept you alive thousands of years ago, but in present day it is causing us to die of boredom, monotony, and a lack of purpose. Ignore those fears that say, “Not now, I’ll do it later, I have too many other things on my plate, I have to think about it” That s all contrived crap we come up with because our brains are screaming, “STOP! DONT EVEN THINK OF TRYING SOMETHING NEW” and we have no idea why it is doing that. Start a new habit today to do one new thing a day and in 2 weeks you will unstoppable!
Not only is our brain obsessed with finding negativity around us but it has varied ways of dealing with it as well. Like when a bad storm in predicted. It is obvious how people suddenly seem more connected, looking to talk to complete strangers about the latest update. Very seldom will you see people disinterested, although you may hear someone play the whole event down as they take shots at the weathermen. There is no denying that people seem buzzed. We are driven to this place of excitement due to our dopamine levels surging to help us better prepare. We may refer to it as feeling pumped up. This is the drive behind running to the store and stock piling water, bread, milk and snow shovels as if the ones we have at home some how won’t be enough. When we get home we get a wonderful blast of serotonin which tells us we are safe and secure. We know it makes little sense but we are like little druggies chasing those feel good brain chemicals.
If you have experienced this you may have wondered if you have been a sociopath in hiding all this time, secretly enjoying the thrill of possible danger. Have you ever prepared for a 6 foot blizzard only to wake up and see only 6 inches? Even if you hate snow there is a weird sense of let down. Well you aren’t crazy or a statist it is because your dopamine levels dropped back because there was nothing to prepare you for and that feels crummy. The other reason is we human beings find solace in feeling like we know our future. Good or bad, it gives our life a sense of predictability, making us feel somewhat more secure and stable, and that releases serotonin. The next time a storm if predicted know that even if people are complaining that deep inside we are all filled with excitement and buzz although we try to hide it.
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We human beings are just like addicts, making decisions from one moment to the next based on 2 questions: What will give me the greatest amount of pleasure right now or the least amount of discomfort? Every situation—physical, emotional, or social—is fueled, directed, and regulated by the drug effect we are seeking from the brain’s own chemical pharmacy, and this pharmacy is open twenty-four hours a day! The timely release of the “feel good” chemicals in the brain underpins a healthy emotional balance.
However, scientist know that we humans often take bigger steps to avoid the pain of feeling bad than to pursue feeling good and you are going to learn to reverse that. When we are trying to ease discomfort we may chase a hit of any of these three neurochemicals, by reaching for ice cream, having sex, or sitting down to watch a good movie; the multi-taskers in the group may attempt all three at the same time. However, as we all have experienced the feelings are short-lived. That is because these neurochemicals have a job, and that is to push our behavior in a direction, not put us in a “good mood”. That good feeling is just like the proverbial carrot, always tempting us to chase another short-lived buzz and it can become a vicious cycle. We don’t want the buzz we want a sense of wellbeing. This even effects our eating habits as we often eat foods for comfort not to feed our hunger. ( A subject I will be tackling in a future blog that I am writing for Psychology Today)
There are beliefs buried deep in our subconscious that we don’t even know exist, yet they steer our actions. Our evolutionary instincts have left us blind to this behavior. For example the degree to which we align with and commit ourselves to a group or cause is the degree to which we see only what they are seeing. I don’t really think we need to be told this however, we always think it the “others” who see only what they want. Like it or not it is us too. We don’t mean to, it’s not like we see the opposing facts and decide to ignore them, rather our brain only let’s us see what is “best” for us. This is why the Middle East will never have peace and republicans and democrats will never understand how the opposing party can “see it “ that way. Evolution has taught us that staying with “our group” is the best way to stay safe. Repeated studies have shown that we humans see only what we want to see, and hear only what we want to hear. This is why lawyers pick a jury according to what beliefs they hold, because they know they can sway them. The facts don’t matter. A really good point to remember next time you are in argument. No one is immune to this. Hold your opinions lightly. As far as evolution is concerned, being objective and making our own decisions often is not in our best interest, so the brain always steers us toward going along with “our” crowd. Only an extremely self-aware person who has no ego will have a shot to evaluate something from a purely objective stance, regardless of what others think.
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For thousands of years, our amygdala functioned very well at keeping us alive in the wild by sending waves of these stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and epinephrine through our bodies as soon as we saw a lion in the bushes or a dangerous snake. It did that so we would do one thing… run like hell. Not worry, evaluate, or analyze it.
Back then, people’s lives were in constant jeopardy, either from physical harm or from becoming a social outcast. Ten thousand years ago, if a woman’s mate seemed unhappy with her, the woman’s alarm bells would scream because if the man left, her family would have no food or protection and her offspring would die. The same happened when people were shunned by the other members of their tribe, causing them to become outcasts. That was a death sentence within hours. So it was not only the lion in the bushes but also the treatment they received from their inner social circle that meant life or death.
Now here you are today with a brain that is still interpreting any problem as a life-threatening situation! Your superior annoyed with you, a fight with your spouse, car trouble making you late for a meeting, or your in-laws coming for a two-week stay—all of these are often interpreted as life threatening as far as this little amygdala is concerned. It focuses on what will kill you—not on what keeps you happy—and therefore, so do you.
Excerpt from “Why We Are Wired to Worry and How Neuroscience Will Help You Fix It Stop Stressing, Reduce Anxiety, Feel Happy Finally!”
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http://TenSecondsToHappy.podbean.com/e/motivation-from-brain/ When we were growing up everything we experienced was molding and shaping our likes, dislikes, what we deemed pleasurable and not so pleasurable, for better or for worse. How that molding took place is one of the most amazing new understandings Neuroscience has revealed in the last 5 years. Neuroscientists have speculated, hypothesized, guessed, […]
http://TenSecondsToHappy.podbean.com/e/men-women-sex/ The differences between men and women have baffled us forever. Get ready to have a lot of Aha! moments thanks to neuroscience. men,women,moods,crying,arguing,mates #marriage #happiness #couples #counseling #neurons #brain #dating #therightguy #why hedoesthat #arguing #understanding