As we penetrate the very interior of nerve cells it would surprise us to discover the 1, 00,000 chemical reactions taking place every second. Vital chemicals carry messages between brain cells. The brain is also a radio transmitter, which sends electrical wave signals. In fact it continues to send out these signals many hours after death! Among the brain’s many jobs is to be our own chemist. The brain produces more than 50 active drugs. Some of these are associated with memory, others with intelligence, still others are sedatives.
Now let’s meet our happy chemicals- Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphin. When our brain releases them it makes us feel good. Each happy chemical has its special job to carry on and turns off once its job is done. Everyday trillions of messages are sent and received by the brain. The messages that are happy are carried by the brain’s ” 🙂 HAPPY MESSENGERS 🙂 ” (Biogenic Amine). Messages that are somber and quieting are carried by the brain’s “SAD MESSENGERS”. Scientific research over the last several decades has led to the discovery of opiate-like chemicals in the body that associate with opiate specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, including Serotonin- ‘the chemical of well being’. It is a neurotransmitter, involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. It is manufactured in our body using the amino acid tryptophan. Release of serotonin causes the other nerves to fire and continue the message. Serotonin is a chemical that helps maintain a “happy feeling,” and seems to help keep our moods under control by helping with sleep, calming anxiety, and relieving depression. If you’re in a good mood, you’ve got serotonin to thank. And if you’re in a bad mood, you’ve got serotonin to blame. Interestingly 80 percent of serotonin exists in the gut, and is governed by your state of hunger. Get a little grumpy when you skip lunch? Here’s why.
Dopamine of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families plays a number of important roles in the human brain and body. it is an amine that is formed by removing a carboxyl group from a molecule of L-DOPA Dopamine makes people talkative and excitable. It affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain.
Endorphin is the brain’s painkiller, and it’s 3 times more potent than morphine. They are small neuropeptides. . They’re responsible for masking pain or discomfort, which explains their association with the “fight or flight” technique. When it comes to designing happiness, endorphins help you “power through.”
Oxytocin is generally nanopeptides. It modulates social behavior, including effects on motherly care and aggression, bonding between people, social memory, and trust. It also reduces stress responses, including anxiety. It’s sometimes known as the
or the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. Even playing with your dog can cause an oxytocin surge.
It would be amazing if all the happy hormones surge at the same time. It is just that they don’t, do they?