SEROTONIN IS THE “FEEL GOOD” CHEMICAL in the body. It is the neurotransmitter which the body generates that can and does alter one’s mood in an uplifting and positive manner. Because of that, serotonin is essential to our overall sense of wellbeing. Simply put, according to neurologists, the more of it that floods our brains and neuronal and circulatory systems, the happier we are.
If, as conventional evolutionists would have it, we humans have survived and thrived in this world thanks to our hunter-gatherer instincts, then serotonin does more than just make us feel good. It imparts the kind of vital relief that tells us that we have achieved a goal which will allow us to relax and turn our attention away from merely surviving. This is precisely what has allowed the human species to progress with ever more complex societies and build civilization as we now know it.
In the current era, this same instinctual drive plays out in a very different way. Rather than seeking sustenance in a direct way as our ancestors were forced to do, we achieve our desired ends in an indirect manner by earning money and purchasing our objects of necessity. This can trigger serotonin as well, of course, but generally not as much as we would like, for most of us take it totally for granted nowadays that we will have a roof over our heads, food to eat and be able to buy items that give us a momentary lift.
This means that the big doses of serotonin must come from completing a project of some nature or by obtaining something that has been eluding us for months or years. While this is often a thrilling way to live, it is not the best way to sustain the feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the body. After all, it only makes sense that we should want to feel good every single day of our lives, not just on that rare superlative occasion when we win a lucrative business contract, a huge sporting event, an election or the lover of our dreams.
The mistake that so many of us make in this this regard is with taking too much for granted and growing blasé about the fantastic necessities which form the basis of virtually every aspect of our lives. This dulls the spirit and can render our everyday world unimportant when it is anything but insignificant or trivial.
If nothing else, that horror known as “climate change” is certainly a wakeup call to all of us on this particular front. Why? Because clean air and unpolluted drinking water can no longer be taken for granted anywhere in the world. As for the out of control wildfires that are occurring in greater frequency, the hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis that are happening on a more frequent basis, these are precisely the kinds of collateral consequences that have come about due to humanity taking too much for granted for much too long, and we are paying a great price for our collective short-sightedness.
Add in all of the political strife and chaos throughout the globe nowadays, not to mention the moral and ethical crises within our religious institutions, and it really can feel at times as if the end of the world is coming.
Needless to say, such a “feeling” will not contribute to generating any serotonin within us! On the contrary, it can send us into despair if we focus too often and too exclusively on the increasingly dire side of things.
This is why we must cultivate a passion for the moment.
It may seem of little consequence to give thanks multiple times throughout the day for something as simple as the air we breathe and the water we drink, but if we really want to feel good, then this is one of the most effective forms of “spiritual praxis” we can undertake.
Imagine giving thanks for a few breaths of fresh air every time you walk to your car or to the bus, or take the trash out or carry recyclables to your bins. At first, you offer but a bit of gratitude, then you really get into it and start taking deeper and deeper breaths every time you step outdoors. This helps to oxygenate the cells in the blood and that can do wonders for us.
Consider what Patrick Holford says in his book, The Optimum Nutrition Bible. He first tells us how the body produces energy when carbohydrate foods react with oxygen from the air we breathe. Then he explains that, “Oxygen is the most vital nutrient of all, yet most of us breathe shallowly and use only a third of our lung capacity. Deeper breathing not only energizes the body; it also clears the mind. Mastering the right way to breathe is the first step in most forms of meditation, yoga and t’ai chi.” He also informs us that oxygen deficiency allows toxic substances to build up in the body, which is detrimental to us.
So, here we have the most basic of all nutrients being routinely ignored! Yet, we expect to feel good anyway! The same goes for water. Measures must be taken, unfortunately, in this day and age to filter our water in some manner, for we need this truly vital necessity to be as pure as possible. Putting money into the best filtration system that we can afford is the answer here. (Water in plastic bottles, by the way, is not the answer. The plastic leeches into our system and does us no health favors whatsoever.)
Almost needless to say at this stage of things in the information dense world in which we now live, the food we eat should be as unprocessed and rich in vital nutrients as possible. In short, certain of those foods considerably help our bodies to generate serotonin. Find out what those foods are and eat them!
The answer to almost everything is simpler than we often suppose…
If you want to feel “high”, then cultivate a passion for the moment. Do so by verbally giving thanks for the life you have been gifted. Breathe deeply, do so often and give gratitude for that breath and for the clean water you drink. Give gratitude for the healthy foods you eat. Become less of a consumerist and more of spiritually minded person who wants, not only fresh air and clean water for yourself, but for everyone throughout the whole of the world.
Thinking globally is how we will save this Earth of ours!
As for “spirituality”, it is rarely about having the great good fortune of reveling in a blinding flash of divine illumination and much more about appreciating the life we are privileged to enjoy every single day of our lives.
Making the most of our time in this world, then, is not about going on yet another holiday somewhere, but in expanding the moment right where we are at this very minute by infusing it with positive conscious awareness in the form of deeply heartfelt appreciation.
None of us is here forever in this world, after all. That puts an urgency to every second of every day for each and every one of us and makes the moment all the more monumentally important.