“Who cares? It’s not like the brain can make a physical difference between positive thoughts and negative thoughts!” Well, in his book Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007) Joe Dispenza talks about how do our brains make a difference between these two types of thoughts. Most of us have neurons, right? Between those neurons there is a small gap called synapse. That synapse is filled with some chemical things called neurotransmitters, which have as a purpose to pass the information from one neuron to another. When we’re thinking about something nice, our brains release some good neurotransmitters like dopamine (the reward chemical) or serotonin (the happiness chemical) to fill that gap so the information can be passed to the next neuron. These two chemicals can make us feel good. When we’re thinking about things that can make us feel bad, our brains fill that gap with neuropeptides and then we feel bad (e.g. dynorphin, neuropeptide Y or corticotropin).
Serotonin and dopamine make us feel good and because of this, we want for more. Since we are so smart, we found ways to do this. This is where addictions come into place. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, movies, video games, chicken nuggets, taking a dump at home after we had to hold it for a few hours and so on, they all release dopamine. That’s why we want for more (probably except for the dump part). We want to feel good, we find ways to do it and the more we get it, the more used to that feeling we become and the same amount of dopamine won’t do the trick anymore. That’s why people overdose.
This just made me wonder the following: “If we’re so addicted to dopamine and positive thinking gives us what we want, why don’t we overdose with positive thoughts?” The answer I got is “Because it’s fucking hard!” As discussed in the first chapter, we encounter problems on a daily basis and if we had shitty surroundings, we now have shitty core beliefs and because of this, we’re having negative automatic thoughts whenever we encounter a tough situation. Because we have those negative thoughts on a daily basis, our brains are used to release neuropeptides so we got addicted. Yes, we can get addicted to shitty feelings and those feelings will keep us in a negative state that will bring more negative thoughts.
What makes you feel so good that you’d like to do it over and over again?