If you think about what it is in your head that keeps you leveled every day, then you are thinking about neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are messengers that are in the brain and are a set of chemicals that, aside from other crucial physical functions, determine our mood, feelings, thinking, and behavior. We are only getting to know them outside of labs because they are extremely complex to figure out and, since they divide into five major chemicals, it is important to know what they are specifically responsible for in terms of impact. What we want to discuss about these chemicals we call neurotransmitters here is mainly all major components responsible for our brains’ reward system. That is, such chemicals are naturally produced by our body in order to allow neurons to communicate with one another. Once this communication becomes a regular natural activity, that is when it becomes complex, as it is a collection of chemicals and a collection of nerve cells making the calls together.
Although there are possibly seven different categories of neurotransmitters, here we want to focus on one specific category that is the most responsible one for our social life and everyday decisions, which we know affect our mood and emotions as well as behavior directly. The other reason why we want to focus on only five is that together, they make up the backbone of reasons and motivations that drive us forward or backward. These are endorphin, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and cortisol. This set of five chemicals is strong and effective, while also carrying with them warnings signs that need to be reviewed. That is because such chemicals can also be found in the environment and as we humans find them, we use and abuse them in order to cheat the body. This is called substance abuse, which is responsible for mood alterations, addictions and more severe problems such as mood disorders.
In short, the five major mood altering chemicals mentioned above are responsible for the following set of actions and translate in specific ways that depend on their actions. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for feelings of rewards our brains produce. Serotonin controls the mood of an individual and has strong reward properties. Cortisol is a chemical response that generates stress. Melatonin controls the nature of sleep and alters physical components that are needed to take the body to rest position. Last but not least is Oxytocin, which is responsible for bonding between two or more people. The force of this chemical is influential in the collective sense and we need it to connect with others.
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