Understanding the Key Neurotransmitters and How It Affects You

Living in the digital age promotes progress and development but one side effect is you are increasingly detached from your physicality. You have to understand that because of modern life, the balance of neurochemicals is disrupted making you more prone to anxiety and eventually depression. This is why many pharmaceutical companies are keen to readjust the imbalance through pills and powders.

Knowing this, it is important that you get in tune with your body now before it is too late. You should start by understanding the different neurotransmitters and how it affects your body if you want to improve your wellbeing. When you hear about neurotransmitter, it refers to the chemical messengers of the body. Basically, it is utilised by the nervous system to send messages between neurons.

A neurotransmitter can influence a neuron in one of three ways – excitatory, inhibitory or modulatory. The excitatory transmitter will generate an electrical signal while the inhibitory transmitter prevents the generation of the electrical signal. Modulatory, on the other hand, regulate the population of neurons. The interactions of neurotransmitters are crucial in different functions of the nervous system as well as controlling the bodily functions.

Here are the key neurotransmitters you should know about and how it affects you:

Dopamine

Dopamine is involved in different functions from motor control, motivation, reward, and reinforcement. To increase dopamine, you should regularly set goals and achieve them.

Serotonin

Serotonin is linked with memory, appetite, sleep and mood functions. In response to eating food, it is produced in the gastrointestinal tract.

gaba for depression

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is linked to human bonding, trust, and loyalty. For a couple living far from each other, oxytocin drives the feeling of longing to bond with that person again. There was also a study that explored the oxytocin levels of owner and dog after spending time together.

Endorphin

If you wonder how to increase gaba, the answer is definitely. It is known as “self-produced morphine”. The truth is, endorphins function like opiates. It is secreted by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus especially during a vigorous physical exertion including sexual intercourse.

There was a clinical study in 1999 that revealed inserting acupuncture needles into particular body points trigger the secretion of endorphins. With this, acupuncture is a good way to stimulate the release of endorphins to your body.

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric Acid)

If you wonder does gaba help with depression, yes it does. This is because GABA is an inhibitory transmitter. It works by slowing down the firing of neurons, which will create a natural calming effect. Increase in GABA level will alleviate symptoms of depression and boost mood. It can even improve sleep and can help women deal with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). Additionally, it can alleviate pain and decrease blood pressure.

It has many benefits. You can naturally induce GABA through practicing yoga and meditation. There was a study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealing that a 27% increase in GABA levels was noted among yoga practitioners. Aside from yoga, you can also consider GABA supplements.

When you tackle anxiety or depression, the first thing that you should do is to make simple lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes should aim to improve brain chemistry to make you feel better thereby maximising your full potential.

Author: Robin Gupta