Spartan Brain Chemistry 101

January 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

by Jason Jaksetic

Dopamine:  Brain juice that produces motivation and a feeling of reward.

Serotonin:   Nectar of well-being and happiness.

Endorphins:  Brain fuel that triggers positive feelings in the body similar in character to those triggered by morphine.

It is a scientific fact that increased levels of the three things listed above result in feeling good.  Putting it simply, these three are the sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll of the brain.

You most likely aren’t conscious of it, but when you strive for that “awesome feeling” you ask your brain to pump out more of these happy juices.  Certain activities result in higher doses of these chemicals and so we are predisposed to want to perform these activities.  Kind of makes sense if you think about it.

For example, sex produces plenty of this stuff of happy thoughts.  Most people find sex a fun thing to do from time to time.

Unfortunately, there are unwise means of harnessing higher levels of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.

Like drugs and alcohol.  Drugs and alcohol, while producing an initial high, subsequently cause a severe low.  That’s how a cycle of addiction often begins.  This is not a sustainable, healthy, safe, or morally principled way of keeping the happy juices flowing.

However, exercise is a sustainable, healthy, safe, and morally principled way of pumping your brain full of happy sauce.

Ever hear of a runner’s high?

With this information in mind, how could you not embrace a healthy lifestyle?  You will improve both your physical and mental health when you introduce aerobic and anaerobic activities into your daily routine.

Sitting on the couch and eating potato chips has not been scientifically proven to make you a happier person.  Actually, according to several studies, it may even lead to a higher risk of depression.

But there is no doubt that getting your ass in gear and increasing your fitness level will improve your sense of well-being.

So what are you waiting for?



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