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Body chemistry Body chemistry
by Joseph Gatt
2020-07-09 09:20:35
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Let's make science fun, simple and useful.

Our bodies work with hormones.

There are three “big” hormones that we secrete:

-Oxytocin: the “love” hormone. That hormone that gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your body. That hormone that makes you giggle, that makes your body feel nice and warm. If you secrete a lot of this, save tragedies and accidents, you should live a long life. Very healthy hormone.

boche001_400-Seratonin; the “happiness” hormone. You probably don't have that “warm” and “fuzzy” and almost “erotic” feeling when you go to work every morning, but maybe you go to work smiling, feeling calm, light, with music playing in your head. You're known as that guy or girl who has that constant smile, who likes to make other people feel good about themselves.

Seratonin is also the “self-confidence” hormone that is when you are happy, you feel good about yourself.

-Cortisol: the “toxic” hormone. Why toxicity? Here's my version.

You get caught doing something illegal. Or you get caught doing something immoral.

Or you are doing something illegal or immoral.

Some kind of “paranoia” develops in your head. What if the person “knows my secret?” Or what if the person “blackmails me to keep the secret, rolls me in the mud, and eventually reveals the secret?”

Toxic hormones start flowing around your body. You become cranky, irritable, paranoid. You start arguing with people for no reason, start resenting people, start trash talking and your behavior is toxic.

So let's work with an example before I conclude with implications.

This guy K. used to live with me before I kicked him out of the house. He was an alcoholic, and despite being engaged to a woman, was dating other girls (and sleeping with other girls, and I suspect he was paying those girls as well).

I couldn't care less about K's alcoholism or philandering. It's his life and I don't judge him. What did bother me was K's paranoia and aggressiveness. We were chatting once and I told him that I used to drink rather heavily for a couple of years, but that I now try to limit myself to drinking once every couple of months, every three months or every four months. He was enraged, berated me, and told me “you'd be drinking every day if you had the money!”

This other time I was wearing a red t-shirt and K started asking me too many questions about my choice of red. Red was on the top of the pile of t-shirts I had, I told him, explaining that I don't really pay attention to what I wear at home. The interrogation turned violent, because I got sick of his obsession with the detail. He thought I was implying that I might blackmail him about his philandering or something.

Eventually, too many things became taboo with this K guy. I couldn't discuss money because he'd accuse me of trying to extort him money and buy his silence. I couldn't discuss women because he'd accuse me of implying that he was philandering. I couldn't discuss people's partners for the same reason. There were too many songs that I couldn't play because he would think I was trying to imply something with music.

Bottom line, I got sick of this game, and played politics to make sure I never see the guy again.


How do I build a healthy body, how do I get those oxytocin and seratonin hormones bubbling, how do I get rid of the cortisol?

Yoga? To me yoga is more of an “escape” than beating the stress problem at the root. Stress comes back as soon as you're done with your yoga session.

Exercising? Yes sports releases a lot of seratonin and oxytocin “while” you exercise, but if you don't tackle the problem at the root, the cortisol will be back as soon as you stop exercising.

Same goes for healthy eating, music and dancing, outdoor activities, or any “stress-relieving” activity really.

How do you avoid stress and build a healthy body with lots of seratonin and oxytocin?

Some say that “religion” makes you live longer. Studies have not confirmed this 100% but there's some truth to it, and I'll explain how.

If you believe that God (or a divinity) is watching over you and that you must serve God (or any divinity) by leading a life of integrity, you should become a happy, warm, fuzzy person.

That is, if you are not trying to “fool” God with your actions, you should be a happy, fulfilled person.

This usually means two things: telling the truth, and not doing anything “immoral” or “illegal.” In sum, don't try to do anything “evil.”

Now there will be temptations for you to do evil. There will be circles where you will be told that “evil” is the right thing to do. There will be people (like this “K” guy) who will behave in ways that imply that evil is “normal.”

Something that a lot of people say to excuse evil is this: “he's been through a lot of trouble in his life, so he does immoral stuff, and that's the excuse.”

A lot of people have been through trials and tribulations and yet lead lives of perfect and complete integrity. No one is completely moral 100% of the time (OK most men watch porn and most people lie about finishing their work when they're only half-way).

But. The key to happiness is, to me: tell the truth, and live a life of integrity. It's a lot easier defending yourself for minor moral slips (that everyone does) than defending yourself against major moral or legal slips.

My two cents.

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