Drugs of Choice for Turbulent Times

We’ve all been there. You wake up feeling full of energy – with mental resources and a will to conquer the world. Then out of the blue, your fate shifts, and you lapse into anxiety that douses your flame and snuffs out any zest for living with it. Has it happened to you lately? Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Brain chemicals can come to the rescue to help you win more than you may think.  For example, hormones you already possess can help you build new neuron pathways for success – in spite of fate’s fickle winds. How so?

Serotonin, sometimes referred to as the molecule of happiness, refuels your brain for learning and opens you to encouragement and inspiration. Serotonin adds focus and so it’s no surprise that it also leads to higher success for people who learn to cultivate its benefits.

This miracle drug fuels tone for winning communications as it allows people to disagree without attacking the person who offers a different perspective. It’s often a matter of choice or default.

To ignore serotonin benefits may be to yield to cortisol chemicals which stomp out opportunities and can block success even on a good day. It’s comes with and extends stress related problems, that can literally shrink the human brain. Serotonin helps to regulate moods, sleep and appetite, so that increasingly people have found help with drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil, which increases serotonin to help prevent these common mental disorders.

Dopamine stirs up a propensity for adventure by speeding brain’s synapses and the American Academy of Neurology shows people reacting differently to success or failure, depending on its levels. Just as too little of this chemical causes boredom and lack of motivation, too much dopamine leads to compulsive behavior. Interestingly, when you hear people stutter, they are likely getting bombarded with too much dopamine into basal ganglia areas that control language. Obese people have fewer receptors than thinner people, so they tend  to eat more to get the pleasure that thin people get from less food.

Researchers gauged how dopamine affects the striatum, that area of the brain stimulated by rewards. The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging in London, affirm newly discovered flip-sides – from lack of drive to compulsive behaviors such as overeating or gambling, stimulated by dopamine effects. People who produce more than normal levels of this chemical tend to become addicted to whatever they do.

Not surprisingly, this brain-reward-chemical begins to cool over time. When that happens, some people simply quit their jobs in an effort to get on with the rest of their lives. Have you seen it happen? Even in a fast changing landscapes of today’s moving markets, it’s hard to satisfy high dopamine levels where the grass always looks greener on the other side.

Luckily human brains come equipped to ride  storms and adapt to waves. Whether your flame fizzles or reignites depends more on your ability to ratchet up neurochemicals that fuel adventure for whatever else you do.

Believe it or not simple choices you make often impact the brain for success or failure.  Literally reshaped by chemical and electrical activity, your brain’s plasticity reboots daily in response to what you do.

What choices will you make today to tip fate in your favor?

23 Comments

  1. I don’t have much trouble focusing or being happy. Regular exercise plus the right amount of challenge is the key for me.

    Jean Browman–Transforming Stresss last blog post..Courage, Equanimity and Love

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by Jean, I am especially interested in your notion of the right amount of challenge, and would like to hear more:-)

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