That my dear friends is happiness. A creative nutcase somewhere ( can’t find the origin of the it, but I think it is from theinnerartofacell.), whoever you are I love you. This is one of my many favorite renditions of happiness. Physiology is my favorite! And such happy colors to boot….
The long rope is the connection tentacles from neuron to neuron in the brain. The cute and happy orange guy is actually a myosin motor protein, these little guys react with other proteins like actin to achieve movement in so many places in the body, mainly muscle contractions. They work independently of ATP ( I’ll get into this energy some other day) , they are like the ultimate DJ/conductor, love these guys. But here in the brain, this myosin attaches to the big green ball (in physiology and biology it’s called a molecule of a hormone called endorphin. My freaking favorite! When released into the body by soooo many different actions, it moves into the brain and with our little myosin protein buddy, they hook up and run around and touch everything they can!
This picture is actually of what happiness looks like (except prettier when computer generated and holding still). That is happiness! I seriously can’t get enough. Well, physically I can, but that also, is another story. Mentally I can’t help but smile and get butterflies in my stomach thinking about it. See, it works…. there it is again… (I can’t stop smiling and giggling, my chest is warm and alive!). Oh my God, thank you Endorphin and Myosin (and a few other hormones at work that are involved, but we are sticking with the picture).
For most of you, at least not yet, you may not feel the joy of the Endorphin and Myosin picture, but I bet you are familiar with the sensation I described. It’s a combination of energy moving, certain muscles contracting, and a warm contentment. Sometimes it can be more intense depending on the triggers and how much of the hormones are released into the system.
Hormones are the chemicals created within the endocrine system. Besides amino acid derived hormones, there are Eicosanoids, peptides and steroids. Every tiny little thing that happens in the body is controlled by hormones that connect with every cell in the body through receptors in the cell walls. It is so cool to think about how the body is designed to function, I’m sure if you stick around, I will get more into the beauty of physiology and the chemistry that makes us tick. It’s kinda my thing.
So, the brains neurotransmitters interact with hormones or even certain hormones to affect the body and the brain itself. The endorphin hormone is an opioid neuropeptide, created in the brain ( hypothalamus and pituitary gland). They are released during exercise, excitement, sex, orgasm, eating spicy food and pain. They block the pain receptors in the neurotransmitters, they act as an analgesic and also create the intense feeling of well being aka happiness. Love is a feeling created by endophin release. This may explain how we relate excitement, sex, orgasm and pain to the sensation we call love. There is a bit more detail that I haven’t covered about how the hormones work together and/or shutting other hormones down, but for laymen conversation, I’m just touching the surface of the neurotransmitters at the moment with endorphins ( I hope you enjoy the subject).
So how can we solve many of our brains negative reactions to sadness, disappointment, anger, stress, anxiety, confusion? Find daily ways to release your endorphins. Find and participate in actions such as exercise, sex orgasm, eat a ghost pepper or drop a brick on your foot. Or get a massage from someone like me (pain). There are other ways to release endorphins in small amounts, and one is very simple. Strike up a memory of something that has brought you happiness or extreme joy, pain, love. You will experience the same sensation. It is pretty damn cool.
There are exceptions that can occur. To no surprise, they are caused by other hormones at levels too high or low in the blood stream and bodily tissues. Again, another subject for another day.
Make friends with your endorphins today, they are at the ready at any moment to act out and bring you happiness, I only have to look at the picture above to feel it!