Happy Brain

Happiness is an emotion that is not easy to explain and formulate, both conceptually and theoretically. Social scientists happiness; The theory of adaptation, which argues that individuals’ happiness is temporary, the fixed point theory that attributes happiness to genetic predisposition and personality traits, the top-down theory of happiness, which argues that happiness can be understood by the way individuals interpret events, the bottom-up theory of happiness, which connects the basic criterion of happiness to the frequency of pleasure and life satisfaction, the satisfaction of needs. He tried to explain it from many different perspectives, such as the goal theory, which argues that individuals are happy with having certain goals, the activity theory, which argues that all kinds of activities and experiences that individuals do to achieve certain goals, and the judgment theory, which thinks that individuals evaluate happiness within the framework of certain criteria and make decisions on behalf of their happiness levels. Bremner, 2008). Acknowledging that all these social theories are justified when viewed from their own perspective, and leaving the social dimension of happiness aside, “Where is happiness in the human body?” Let’s look for the answer.

Happiness by individuals feltIt is an emotion and it is basically the part of the human brain that is responsible for emotions. amygdala is. Located deep in the medial temporal lobe of the brain, this neuron cluster is a part of the limbic system that controls the endocrine system and autonomic nervous system (Aggleton, 2000). This structure, which provides control of basic emotions such as happiness and anger, especially fear, also sends stimuli to various structures in the brain (such as the ventral tegmental region, locus coeruleus and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus) for the secretion of various hormones such as dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. In a study they conducted, Cunningham and Kirkland (2014) examined the activities of 42 participants in their amygdala against positive and negative stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique and observed that happy participants showed high amygdala activation against positive stimuli. In addition to the amygdala, studies have shown the front part of the brain, called the

associates the prefrontal cortex, which is located in the anterior part of the frontal cortex, with happiness. In a study of a Buddhist monk, he observed that left prefrontal cortex activity increased while the monk was immersed in happy thoughts (Ekman, Davidson, Ricard & Alan Wallace, 2005). In addition to these structures in the brain, it is possible to talk about 5 main hormones that make people happy: Serotonin, Oxytocin, Melatonin, Dopamine and Endorphin. It is known as the happiness hormone, which we have heard frequently lately. serotonin It is a neurotransmitter that provides the communication of neurons in the brain chemically. Serotonin, which has effects on mood, social behaviors, sleep, appetite, memory and sexual desire, is associated with many psychological diseases such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (Tracey, Paxinos & Stone, 2012). This hormone, which gives the human body a feeling of happiness, vitality and vitality, is one of the most important structures used to explain the physiology of happiness. synthesized by the hypothalamus oxytocin hormone, on the other hand, is often associated with milk secretion, while recent studies reveal that this hormone also has an effect on behavior. In an article published by the scientific journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, the function of the oxytocin hormone is not only to connect people emotionally, to create empathy and trust, but also to help people in their own internal processes (peace, relaxation, balance, etc.). ) indicates that it is effective. The hormone of darkness, which we know is secreted by the pineal gland during sleep. melatonin Although the mechanism of action of ” has not been fully explained, it is a hormone associated with the level of happiness (Dfarhud, Malmir & Khanahmadi, 2014). The secretion of this hormone earlier or later than normal, especially during the winter months, causes winter depression (seasonal affective disorder) and associated with a decrease in the sense of pleasure and unhappiness in people. In a 2003 study by Pal, a natural pain reliever that our brain secretes to reduce pain and also produces euphoric feelings. endorphinshormone causes an increase in the level of serotonin hormone and functions as a happiness-enhancing mechanism.

it has been seen. Finally, it is a neurotransmitter known as the reward and pleasure center. dopamine In simple terms, it is a hormone that the brain releases to reward people when they are motivated around a goal and achieve it. In a systematic review by Farhud, Malmir, and Khanahmadi (2014), dopamine was stated as an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in happiness control.

The physiology of happiness, which is tried to be explained in simple terms in this article, actually has very complex structures and mechanisms. This is one of the reasons why it cannot be easily explained by the social sciences. However, in a general biological expression; A human brain that secretes sufficient levels of serotonin, oxytocin, melatonin, dopamine and endorphins is a happy brain if it does not have any structural defect or damage.

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