Why is there no continuous happiness?
Why are euphoria and thrills dangerous?
How do we do mental masturbation?
What do falling in love and drug withdrawal have in common?
Almost every one of us believes in achieving true ultimate happiness. Such a psychological jackpot. Even the most sober and adults, at heart, hope for a fabulous life.
Some expect to get into a fairy tale for money – they say you just need to earn money and buy yourself paradise. Others are betting on great achievement and recognition. It seems like some prestigious medal, Nobel Prize, or Oscar is enough for ultimate happiness. Still others hope to go to heaven after enlightenment, or at least posthumously. And most often they expect to catch an eternal buzz with the help of love in a relationship.
Almost every lover believes in endless happiness with a lover. Unfortunately, this is not possible. The chemical processes in the brain are arranged in such a way that the continuous high remains only a distant dream of an eternal paradise.
The lover sways on an emotional swing. Either he is on a wave of euphoria, then in decline and depression. It seems to him that the decline can be removed, and the takeoff can be made permanent – and then true happiness in the relationship will begin!
And for this eternal buzz to come, you just need to love each other with all your might! Hollywood happy ending!
With the same success, you can count on an eternal high for a drug addict. It seems like we remove the withdrawal and only euphoria remains.
But the withdrawal cannot be removed anywhere. Here we run into the boundaries of our brain.
The fact is that when you fall in love, the same chemical processes occur in the brain as after taking cocaine: a surge of energy, euphoria, increased motivation, up to obsession.
It’s all on the wave – as long as the cocaine works. And on the decline: insomnia, impotence, irritability, anxiety, depression. Drug-free life becomes colorless and tasteless.
The same thing happens when falling in love, when euphoria is replaced by depression. This is how the dopamine hormone acts on the brain.
Dopamine is a hormone of desire. Dopamine energizes, literally makes you get carried away and persistently achieve your goal – remember the dedication of lovers.
You don’t want to eat, you don’t want to sleep, attentiveness increases. Dopamine, as it were, promises the achievement of happiness – and you feel a high anticipation.
Drugs and falling in love overload receptors in the brain. The brain quickly gets used to a new level of high and demands it. And everyday joys are no longer pleasing at all – you become insensitive to them.
Therefore, when you fall in love, you are possessed by the beloved, and the rest of life seems meaningless. The brain asks you to press the dopamine lever – and all thoughts revolve around the beloved.
It’s the same with drug addicts. Only sharper. When the brain learns the dopamine jump, it doesn’t want anything else.
Now I will describe the most dangerous property of dopamine euphoria. Do not be intimidated by clever terms, I will explain as simply as possible.
During euphoria, the brain seems to decide that there is too much dopamine, so it reduces its production and reduces the number of receptors that respond to dopamine (this is called the reward system). This is what makes you increase the dose in order to get the same effect.
To understand, imagine that your stomach has increased after yesterday’s gluttony and now the usual portion seems to be too small. In addition, the cook decided that you were already well fed and began to put you half as much.
That is, the appetite has increased, and the portion has decreased. Yesterday’s amount of happiness is not enough for you to be satisfied today. So after all, the happiness itself has become less! And breaking begins.
It happens when we get hooked on the thrill. Obsessive love, perversion, pornography, promiscuous sex, drugs, gambling.
You’ve probably heard about the famous experiment that James Olds and Peter Milner performed on rats – this is almost a classic. They stuck electrodes into the rodents’ brains. The rat pressed the lever and stimulated the center of pleasure for itself. Up to 8000 times per hour.
The rat was losing interest in everything. She ignored food, female, danger, and only stung the lever until she was exhausted.
Dopamine gave the rats no satisfaction. He only promised it. The rat pressed the lever because it felt that it was about to get what it wanted. As a result, I just fell exhausted.
Doesn’t it look like anything?
Shopping, surfing the Internet, TV shows, games are the most innocent ways to train a person to pull the dopamine lever.
We have learned to deceive nature. Most of the public entertainment is this kind of brain masturbation. We watch movies – and other people’s stories replace our own lives. We use flavor enhancers – and artificial food replaces natural food. We watch porn – and someone else’s passion replaces our healthy relationship.
We hit the dopamine lever over and over as we crawl on social media. It seems that you are about to find something interesting. But you don’t find anything special, and after an hour you feel devastated.
We press on it a little harder and more persistently when we consume alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
We obsessively press the dopamine lever when in love. Against the background of euphoria, everything becomes meaningless. Friends, work, hobbies – dopamine obsession devalues everything.
And the greatest danger is drugs. They directly steal joy from the rest of life.
You can do it in moderation: games, internet, shopping.
Undesirable: caffeine, nicotine, alcohol.
Dangerous: obsessive love, fanaticism.
When Coca-Cola appeared in 1885, it contained cocaine in its composition – this explains its name “Coca-Cola”. And only 20 years later in the United States passed the law “On the purity of food and medicine.” And then cocaine was taken out of Coca-Cola. Innocent caffeine remained as a stimulant.
Today’s article is a synopsis of a recent video. Images to the text from the same place.
Another example of uneven dopamine intake is bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive psychosis. On the wave – manic, on the decline – depressive. This is a state when euphoria seizes, you are obsessed with something, and then the wave passes and there is devastation and depression.
You get the same thing after taking drugs. The same thing happens when you are in love. All symptoms of manic-depressive psychosis.
In a blog on progressman.ru I wrote an article on this topic called “Mental recessions.”
Manic-depressive love can be contrasted with calm mature love. There we feel unity and stable quiet joy without any breakdowns and breakdowns. This long-term relationship is accompanied by the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin.
Here we will pay tribute to the ancient oriental teachings. Almost all of them say how dangerous it is to swing the pendulum of dualistic experiences. Call for moderation and nonduality. Buddha himself preached the middle way.
Dopamine in moderation is essential for everyone. He makes life interesting, invigorates and encourages to achieve their goals. Dopamine is a reward for everyday achievement.
Everything is good in moderation, right?
Nowadays, the practice is gaining popularity – dopamine fasting. A kind of hormonal fast. It takes a couple of days to restrict yourself from all the ways to get a quick dopamine boost. These days will have to be lived in a bummer state. You no longer stuff yourself with savory food, social media, sex, masturbation, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
And then the ability to enjoy the little things of the present moment gradually returns. Books, work, simple food, communication – colors return to life.
Be attentive to your condition. Don’t chase the thrill. Be moderate!