Our guest speaker for our Integral Human Development class, Dr. Robin Velasco, introduced us to the different neurotransmitters our bodies produce. I want to share my thoughts on our body’s chemical messengers.
Dopamine makes you look for what’s “good” out there…
While dopamine is a HAPPY hormone, and there is nothing wrong with bringing out the joy in oneself, there is a dark side that we should be mindful of. It makes you continually seek rewards. During this pandemic, live selling became very popular. It is online streaming of the e-store wherein the seller displays her products and describes them in detail.
The stock is minimal, most sellers do not have a warehouse, and they store their products at home. Most of the time, the seller only has less than 5 of each item—some just one of each style. With that, the buyers would have to be quick to get it. In this e-market platform, the buyers are called “miners” because of the buying methodology used. Sellers usually give out code which the buyer should type in the comment together with the word “mine” (hence, they are called “miners”). The first miner on the seller’s screen with the correct code gets the item!
This method triggers the competitiveness of the miners and the urge to be one of the few who can add to the cart and check out the item. I often peek at these live selling sessions when I need a break from schoolwork, which I do between 6 pm to 3 am. And, in less than an hour of watching, I easily spent P10K. It is pretty addicting that up until now, I have not used half of the items that I bought. I’ve not only found new friends and acquaintances in the e-shops that I frequent, but I also enjoy repeat miner discounts extended to me by sellers who have grown fond of me.
Yes, impressive until I realized my impulse buying, starting with running out of storage space and an unnecessary increase in expenses. I devised a plan to put a hard stop to this impulse buying. Starting with the live selling, I replay the posted recording instead. This way, it’s like “window shopping.”
Again, there’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself, but like everything else, it should come in moderation, for too much of anything is bad for you.
Endorphin: Adrenaline cocktail
Ever wonder why you don’t feel tired while doing the very popular High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) until after completing the activity? That is because of the natural pain killer in our body, called Endorphin!
I never quite understand the advice given to me before doing exercises when anxious, nervous, or having difficulty sleeping. Now, I know that these physical activities release our body’s fight response and give us an endorphin experience.
Therefore, you can control being succumbed to your fear by simply doing physical workouts (or even cleaning/disinfecting your home). Exercise changes your body and changes your mind, attitude and especially your mood!
Seratonin: The Alpha
This happy chemical comes out when we feel respected and important. For a competitive (and assertive) person like me, it’s euphoria! Although before it grows out of proportion, put a balance on it and think how disgusting it is when you see other persons are seeking relentlessly for attention or acting privileged.
That elated feeling when recognized, whether in the form of promotion, excellent rating, top grades, awards, etc., can easily lift you to cloud nine, as they say. But your values will keep your feet on the ground.
I am blessed that my family, school and company values align well. Growing up, I learned how to be noble and humble. God gave us the talents and skills that fuel our actions; hence, we should glorify His name in all these things that we do.
Oxytocin: The Love Hormone!
That sense of belongingness triggered by touch is Oxytocin. Years may pass without seeing a friend, a family member, or even a former officemate, but there’s an instant bond and easiness the minute you set eyes on each other.
But we must know that this special closeness and attachment should not cloud our vision of doing what’s right. For at times, it does. How often have we heard parents covering for their child’s mistake (or worst crime)? Too many situations are heard wherein one can’t get out of an abusive relationship. There were persons put in circumstances at the risk of losing their reputation to help a friend/colleague. These are the bad side, if you will, of this happy chemical, and you should be able to detect it and take control before it gets out of hand.
My objectivity balances this out. I may be known as the mind-over-heart person, but it is how I protect myself from the unhealthy side of Oxytocin. It serves as my vitamins for making sound and righteous decisions even if it concerns my clan, my core group, or even mi amore. At the sense of the other party stepping on the line, I immediately detach myself from that person—a hard stop talking to them. It was a bit painful at first, but it rid me of the toxicity it could bring.
Reading about these neurotransmitters would confirm that LOVE is all about Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin. Realizing LOVE is nothing but just the impact of neurotransmitters makes it easier to deal with. I still believe LOVE is a choice you have to make every day. It is never a tingling sensation. It is a choice you choose to love this person today.
“That’s what falling in LOVE amounted to, your brain on drugs. Adrenaline and Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Serotonin. Chemical insanity celebrated by poets.”—Tess Gerritsen.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.