It’s All In The Mind !


By Sakhi

Heart, a hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation. In vertebrates, there may be up to four chambers (as in humans), with two atria and two ventricles. This is the definition of the heart if you search it’s meaning on Google( Phew ! People working at Google do have a lot of free time to research any damn thing). Then what is the Proverbial Heart? If that palpitating mass in our chests doesn’t feel anything then, then what is it that won’t think, but feel? Oh My God! Is it all mind ??? So all those times I said, “my heart will go on” or “don’t go breaking my heart” or “hand on your heart” or “shape of my heart”, they were all in vain. It means that I was always thinking, thinking from the mind, and never feeling from the heart, it means that there is nothing called as “selfless love” or “unconditional love”. That emotion are nothing more than hormones? Hormones like Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, Norepinephrine and Epinephrine, Serotonin, GABA, Dopamine, Acetylcholine, and Oxytocin.
When your heart beats a little faster on seeing that someone special, it’s just Estrogen, all those lovey Dovey games, those tiffs were just Estrogen. Feeling comfortable and sleepy in his arms, that urge to kiss him when is Progesterone. When he stammers while talking to her, cause he likes her so much, is Testosterone, when you feel scared of darkness, when you feel the anxiety to see a loved in hospital, when you get that “adrenaline rush”, on the swings, that amusement to see your baby copy you is Norepinephrine and Epinephrine. That calmness and confidence brought on you by your mother’s touch are Serotonin. That woozy relaxed stupor to play scrabble with your dad is GABA, and that feeling depressed to have not met your best friend is the drop in Dopamine levels. Those fat tears you shed when your husband left for the US were an overdrive of Acetylcholine and the immense, overwhelming connection you feel after making love is Oxytocin.

Feeling tired after a great fight or feeling that heartache after being dumped, is just your brain sending distress signals to your body. The reason we feel them, though, is because there is a connection between body and emotions(feelings produced by hormones) In fact, there is no disconnection between body and emotions. Everything we think and feel takes place in the body. It is a mistake to think things happen only in mind. The mind is not separate. Body and mind are one in ways we have only begun to start researching. When you feel your heart was squeezed as you grieved for a parent, was our sympathetic nervous system becoming activated, thus affecting the functioning of major organs to prepare for fight, flight or freeze, causing a constriction in the heart.

imageA mother’s love my friends, we say it’s the most selfless and unconditional love, but let me tell you, it’s not felt in her heart, it’s felt in her brain. She feels it in her brain, not the heart. When you get attached to somebody, you essentially build neural connections related to experiences with that person. That does explain the love and pain expressed by a mother when it comes to her children’s well-being. She has been building an enormous mass of neural connections in her brain since years and thus is attached to them.

“Emotional pain is very rarely, if ever, just stays in mind. It’s experienced all over the body. Specifically for the heart, I don’t know if it’s because it’s electromagnetic, so it’s like a conducting rod. But the people have always spoken about the heart and emotion, especially love and love lost. I doubt it would be a coincidence. In addition to the contracting of arteries, stress hormones in the blood and the pressure of the blood itself. Those are the physical means by which the heart hurts(the ones who just broke up, I did it for you)

Now, too much that can be said and discussed hormones and about the brain, we can go on and on, but let’s explore the most stimulating hormone called Oxytocin, AKA “Love Hormone”. The hypothalamus releases it during physical intimacy, and during breastfeeding to facilitate mother-child bonding.

It promotes attachment; pregnant women are bonded to unborn babies because of it, they sing, feed and bathe their little ones because it generates love in them. It also solidifies relationships like children having contact with their mothers are bonded unconditionally while adoptive children have difficulty forming secure relationships. It crystallises emotional memories creating fond memories in positive relationships, it facilitates childbirth and breastfeeding intensifying the contractions during labour and stimulating mother’s breast during the feeding period, boosts sexual arousal by hugging and cuddling. It reduces drug cravings as it’s an antidote to cravings and the hunger is probably eased with this hormone, it’s also involved with the satisfaction of hunger for food, improves social skills like the ability of people with autism to interact with others, triggers protective instincts such as in soldiers who defend their comrades. It induces sleep making us calm and tranquil. It fosters generosity making us let others borrow our stuff or give money to the poor. Oxytocin eases stress; it reduces anxiety, stress, and depression; it makes siblings get bonded.

imageIt helps turn off fear, making things that disturb us having less impact on our fears, it even is responsible for making fathers love their child. It makes us cheaters and liars; it’s higher levels makes us lie without hesitations and cheat easily. It even makes your dog love you more, dogs displayed more affiliative behaviours and paid more attention to their owners when oxytocin is higher in the bloodstream. It also helps heal age-related ailments; it can intervene with the age-imposed organ degeneration, slowing down the rate at which we become progressively unhealthy. All this said and done; I have tried to let you into a sneak peek of the workings and doings of this Love Hormone.

Now for another perspective on what our brain is capable of doing, I want to show you a glimpse into our day-to-day activities influenced by its mystical power over us. The brain is a mysterious labyrinth of facts and fictions, dreams and realities, fears and phobias. Here are some cool brain facts:

1. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you walk into a room to get your glasses or your pen and as soon as your cross the door you forget why you came there, what were you looking for? It’s called “Doorway Effect”, walking through a door cleanse our memory slate momentarily. Wow, now I can tell my mother, it’s not forgetfulness but “Doorway Effect”(I can see her expressions, LOL)

2. There is also a belief that the creative people have a more stimulated right side of the brain compared to the those who are more analytical and have a left brain dominance! Let my friend call me dumb next time; she will know that I just have a creative right brain compared to her drab grey matter.

3. Ever tried tickling yourself? I bet you all did it(oh come on, in the washroom, in front of the mirror ?) and realised it wouldn’t happen; you can’t tickle yourself because your brain knows the difference between external touch and your personal touch. Dammit ! I double up laughing if someone shows me a wriggling finger from 5 feet away.

4. We all have felt “Déjà Vu” one time or another, it occurs when your brain tries to apply a memory of a past situation to your current one, fails to do it, and makes you feel like it’s happened. I get spooked to get Deja Vu; I thought it might have something to do with reincarnation, thank god! Just imagine, me a queen of some abandoned fort and a mighty prince kissing me as I sleep, Ahem Ahem, let’s not get carried away with my fantasy world.

5. So many times I felt my sister is going to say this or Say that, and she did, giving me an eerie feeling. It is because our brains constantly predict what other people are about to say before they say it, and sometimes we predict right. Now I know what happened that day while I was playing Flash and my opponent kept guessing my cards, next time I will condition my mind to guess his cards(I know it’s far fetched, but who is stopping you from imagining)

6. Has anyone ever told you that, you are a cynical person when you felt your decisions end up in an NO? A recent study has found that, when faced with decisions, the human brain’s weird, the default response is to say “no”. No man, just last weekend I told no to a trip to Goa with the cousin. Must use it to Your benefit, next time you wanna make your hubby take you to movies just ask him “shall we spend all day at home ?”, and watch him say NO.

7. Do you know, that our brain is only capable of maintaining 150 stable relationships? Hell ! I will be glad if I can manage just five, including one with my mum. Kudos to that man who can keep 150 girlfriends secret from each other.

8. Daily we hear incidents of youngsters going into severe depression because a girl/boy they like has turned them down, in rare cases suicides and murder take place due to rejection. It’s a fact that when ignored by a person whose attention means more to us, the reaction in our brains is similar to the physical pain of being slapped or getting punched in the guts. So does that mean that next time when I reject his proposal I can slap him as well, as he is going to feel it anyway?

9. The fact that disturbed me the most is when a person dies, they have 7 minutes of brain activity left. It’s the mind playing back the person memories in a dream sequence. I never stopped thinking what went through my father’s mind; I am still haunted by it. I like to think that he was thinking of me.

10. How many of you daydream and feel shy about it? Do you know we keep altering our memory to make a perfect memory? Mind spends 70% of its time replaying memories and creating scenarios of perfect moments. My school life was mainly sitting at the desk and staring into nothingness as I drooled from the corner of my mouth, nostalgic fond memory no? Oh Oh, I know it’s gross.

These are just a few facts, brain is a multi-layered phenomenon, and it hasn’t been completely unlocked as of yet, though men would say women have more complex brains than them, but I would advise you all to know in your hearts that your every decision, your personality, your dreams and nightmares, your phobias abs manias are all generated in mind. So next time when you say, “you make my heart melt” or “you are safe in my heart” or “let’s have a heart to heart talk” or “Home is, where the heart is”, You might be thinking it as your HEART.. but actually it’s only your mood and feelings where BRAIN is the sole proprietor of all these.. ..Friends, don’t be confused, I haven’t lost all hope in heart. This was just something I often wonder, so just gave words to my random thoughts, hopefully someday I will write down in favour of heart, and present to you the other side of the coin. And that thing you are feeling right now is not in your heart.


PS: Article by Sakhi From quillnparchment



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