So… I am happy you liked my first blog entry, thank you for reading😊 Here is another episode on what makes us (un)happy… Serotonin… let me first explain what it is and what role it plays in our lives.
Serotonin is another hormone which promotes survival. Its job is to keep you alive for as long as its possible. Who lives the longest in the nature? The strongest ones. They control resources and this gives them feeling of safety. Serotonin’s role is to keep you safe. That’s why we humans too, fight for power, resources and status…to feel safe, to feel special. Feeling special is important for survival.
It is hard to achieve power, resources and status without conflict. There is no win win situation when it comes to serotonin. If you choose to fight you risk conflict, if you choose to withdraw you risk stress. But there are peaceful and healthy ways of creating serotonin for yourself. This will come later in this article.
In the state of nature mammals show the strength to control resources for own survival, they get more food and more opportunities to copy their genes. What’s interesting that strong mammals show incredible ability to become friendly and supportive for weaker members of the herd. Assertiveness and domination release serotonin. Serotonin is not aggression, it’s calm secure feeling.
Amongst all survival needs, social comparison comes first. We build a position first. We seek for social recognition and often we ruin a good life we have because we can’t appreciate the current state, it’s because our brain easily habituates and to feel good, needs more. Searching for serotonin often ends with disappointments. Because our brain habituates to current status, needs new and improved status to get going…When it doesn’t happen brain feels threatened and switches a cortisol mode on.
We learn to restrain serotonin in first years of our life. Controlling this impulse helps us living together in relatively peaceful and harmonious society. This would be truth if not one issue. That restraining leaves us with frustration and irritation. The primary need is not being met so underneath there is a ticking bomb which releases itself through blame and complaint. Usually we blame others. We restrict ourselves from being assertive and that triggers cortisol and saying that it is someone’s fault makes us feel better. We even build alliances with people who think the same as us and we together blame others supporting each other in this process, this makes us to feel good. Neo cortex finds evidence to prove the belief so you can feel superior to others and this is how you get serotonin…. So, to feel good first we need to feel bad. This is a negative and toxic loop.
Here is my proposal to create own serotonin in a healthy positive way:
1. Admit the truth. Accept that you crave for social dominance because you are a mammal!
2. Remember you can’t always get it, but you can always say to yourself that you are strong enough to meet own needs
3. Design new neuropathways – new thought and repeat it for 45 days
4. Keep focusing on your strengths
5. Focus on benefits of the situations you are in
6. Find good in what you have
7. Exercise your intestines daily because lots of serotonin is being produce over there😊
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