Tag Archives: dopamine

Neurotransmitters – Infographic

Just like Mark Twain said about the weather, “Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.” That’s pretty much the case with neurotransmitters. I keep running across these various hard to remember names, but really can’t feel like I know them or can do anything about them. So, I thought you might find this infographic useful.

a1b7b3a61c5f6be3ce1a2f445de02e88.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under neurotransmitters

What is the Value of Hugging?

What is the value of hugging? Oh yes, it feels nice and likely makes the other person feel nice, too, but are there real tangible benefits to hugging? Or, is that all there is.

hug

Turns out that there are real measurable benefits from hugging. Scientists have isolated a hormone, a healthy neuropeptide – oxytocin – that is released into the blood stream when you hold a friend close. As a result your blood pressure goes down as well as stress and anxiety.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and as such is loaded with nerve sensors of light touch, heavy touch, p ressure, heat, cold, pain, etc. Just the act of being touched increases production of a specific hormone within the brain, Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which activates greater nervous system and nerve net development. That is just from touch. Hugging is the next level up.

Research from the University of Vienna points out that you need to be selective about who you are hugging. A polite squeeze to someone socially that you aren’t close to can have the opposite effect.

Partners in functional relationships have been found to have increased oxytocin levels. The hormone promotes bonding, social behavior and closeness between family members and couples.

Dr. Kathleen C. Light, a professor at the University of North Carolina Department of Psychiatry, studies oxytocin in married couples and those permanently living together. She has found an increase in the hormone over time in close couples.

The National Institute of Health’s News in Health publication reported that “Oxytocin makes us feel good when we’re close to family and other loved ones, including pets. It does this by acting through what scientists call the dopamine reward system. Dopamine is a brain chemical that plays a crucial part in how we perceive pleasure….

“Oxytocin does more than make us feel good. It lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body, reducing blood pressure, improving mood, increasing tolerance for pain and perhaps even speeding how fast wounds heal. It also seems to play an important role in our relationships. It’s been linked, for example, to how much we trust others.”

hugs

Barbara Frederickson points out in her book Positivity “Although any single hug, or moment of positivity, is unlikely to change your life, the slow and steady accumulation of hugs – or positivity – makes a huge difference. So, find a way to increase your daily dose of genuine, heart-to-heart, hang-on-tight hugs. You will not only give and receive good feelings, but over time, you’ll give and receive good health.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tony

5 Comments

Filed under hugging

Bored People Reach for Snacks – Study

The principle use it or lose it is a valuable one when it comes to health. It applies to all our muscles because we are just organic machines after all. Turns out that when we are bored, our minds are not stimulated and bad food cravings arise. So we need to exercise our brains, too.

cashews

Nuts to you is a good thing …

People crave fatty and sugary foods when they are bored.

That is the conclusion of research being presented this week at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society by Dr. Sandi Mann from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Dr. Mann and her fellow authors, Faye Ibbitson and Ben Edwards, also from UCLan, conducted two studies of boredom and food choices.

In the first study the researchers asked 52 participants to complete a questionnaire on their food preferences before and after completing the boredom-inducing task of repeatedly copying the same group of letters.

In the second study they asked 45 participants to watch either a boring or a funny video, during which a range of healthy and unhealthy snacks were available. The bowls were weighed before and after each trial to how much of each snack had been eaten.

The results from the first study showed people were more likely to express a preference for unhealthy foods like potato chips, sweets and fast food after completing the boring task.

The results from the second study showed that the participants who had watched the boring video ate significantly more unhealthy food.

Dr Mann said: “These results are in line with previous research suggesting that we crave fatty and sugary foods when we are bored. This strengthens the theory that boredom is related to low levels of the stimulating brain chemical dopamine and that people try to boost this by eating fat and sugar if they cannot alleviate their boredom in some other way.

“People designing health education campaigns to encourage us to make healthier food choices need to take boredom, including boredom in the workplace, into account. Bored people do not eat nuts.”

In this instance, the expression nuts to you is a good thing.

Please check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for more.

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under boredom, Snacking

How to Increase Dopamine, the Motivation Molecule

Dopamine has been called our “motivation molecule.” It boosts our drive, focus, and concentration. It enables us to plan ahead and resist impulses so we can achieve our goals. It gives us that “I did it!” lift when we accomplish what we set out to do. It makes us competitive and provides the thrill of the chase in all aspects of life — business, sports, and love.

I am fascinated by these neurotransmitters and how they benefit our lives. When you finish reading this, check out my post on What is the Value of Hugging? to learn more about oxytocin.

Tonyhappy-chemicals-dopamine-serotonin-endorphin-oxytocin

Our Better Health

By Deane Alban      Contributing Writer for Wake Up World      7th March 2015

Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter for motivation, focus and productivity. Learn the symptoms of dopamine deficiency and natural ways to increase dopamine levels …

There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain — about as many stars as there are in the Milky Way. These cells communicate with each other via brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for providing motivation, drive, and focus. It plays a role in many mental disorders including depression, addictions, ADHD, and schizophrenia.

Let’s take a closer look at dopamine — what it does, symptoms of deficiency, and how to increase it naturally.

Dopamine: The Motivation Molecule

Dopamine has been called our “motivation molecule.” It boosts our drive, focus, and concentration. It enables us to plan ahead and resist impulses so we can achieve our…

View original post 1,500 more words

3 Comments

Filed under dopamine, motivation

What is the Value of Hugging?

What is the value of hugging? Oh yes, it feels nice and likely makes the other person feel nice, too, but are there real tangible benefits to hugging? Or, is that all there is.
hug

Turns out that there are real measurable benefits from hugging. Scientists have isolated a hormone, a healthy neuropeptide  – oxytocin – that is released into the blood stream when you hold a friend close. As a result your blood pressure goes down as well as stress and anxiety.

Research from the University of Vienna points out that you need to be selective about who you are hugging. A polite squeeze to someone socially that you aren’t close to can have the opposite effect.

Partners in functional relationships have been found to have increased oxytocin levels. The hormone promotes bonding, social behavior and closeness between family members and couples.

Dr. Kathleen C. Light, a professor at the University of North Carolina Department of Psychiatry, studies oxytocin in married couples and those permanently living together. She has found an increase in the hormone over time in close couples.

The National Institute of Health’s News in Health publication reported that “Oxytocin makes us feel good when we’re close to family and other loved ones, including pets.  It does this by acting through what scientists call the dopamine reward system.  Dopamine is a brain chemical that plays a crucial part in how we perceive pleasure….

“Oxytocin does more than make us feel good. It lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body, reducing blood pressure, improving mood, increasing tolerance for pain and perhaps even speeding how fast wounds heal.  It also seems to play an important role in our relationships.  It’s been linked, for example, to how much we trust others.”

hugs

Barbara Frederickson points out in her book Positivity “Although any single hug, or moment of positivity, is unlikely to change your life, the slow and steady accumulation of hugs – or positivity – makes a huge difference. So, find a way to increase your daily dose of genuine, heart-to-heart, hang-on-tight hugs. You will not only give and receive good feelings, but over time, you’ll give and receive good health.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under happiness, hugging, oxytocin