Serotonin’s Role in Depression and Willpower (and how to make more)
Serotonin is a neurochemical that does so many different things in your body that it’s really tough to nail down its function precisely. Your brain’s prefrontal cortex, which primarily controls your personality and executive functioning, relies heavily on serotonin.
Many studies have found higher levels of the neurochemical associated with positive moods and decreased levels correlated with lower moods. One theory, still widely believed, blames depression on too little serotonin. It’s not that simple. Read more
How Your Mind Shapes Your Brain
Every second of your life, every single thing of which you are aware – sounds, sights, thoughts, feelings – and even that of which you’re not aware – unconscious mental and physical processes – can be directly mapped to what’s happening in your brain. Over time, patterns emerge and actually shape your brain’s form and function. What you do, experience, think, hope, and imagine physically changes your brain through what’s called experience-dependent neuroplasticity.
Every minute of every day, you are literally shaping your brain. Read more
Are You Torturing Yourself With Your Thoughts?
In 1995, on December 31st, at 7:56 pm my older brother by 10 months and best friend in the world, Chris Hampton, took his last breath, at the age of 33. My mother, father, and other brother were all at his hospital bedside that New Year’s Eve night.
Death didn’t happen quickly and it was not a particularly peaceful experience to me. I now realize that this was more a reflection of my state of mind at the time rather than the actual happenings. The process of dying seemed to take forever with time passing in agonizing, slow-motion. I watched in horror for more than an hour, as Chris struggled to breathe with the pauses in between his raspy, strained breaths becoming longer and longer. Read more
Five Ways To Grow New Brain Cells
It used to be believed that you were born with all the neurons you were going to have. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the birth of new brain cells, called neurogenesis, was observed in the hippocampus in the rat brain. Even then, scientists were skeptical that neurogenesis happened in humans. It wasn’t until the 1990s that neurogenesis was confirmed in the brains of humans, other primates, and several species. There are a number of behavioral, environmental, pharmacological and biochemical factors that affect this process, many of which you have the power to influence. Read more
The Quickest Way To Change How You Feel Is To Change How You Think
Science has confirmed, without a doubt, that your brain is shaped by your life. Your experiences, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings literally, physically change the form and function of your brain, a concept known as neuroplasticity, from the day you’re born until the day you die. We all come into this world with the same basic brain structure, but as you go through your life, just doing the stuff you normally do, and repeatedly activate the same circuits in your brain over and over, your brain changes to reflect these patterns. Read more