The Science of Well-Being

Well-being can be defined as living the highest and best in all areas of your life and what you produce on the inside determines the quality of your life.

Well-being has nothing to do with how much money you have, how perfect your relationships are or how fit you are. Well-being is about your inner wealth, your relationship with yourself and how emotionally fit you are.

There is however a true bio-chemical science to well-being beginning with the chemical messengers in the body. Peptides and the release of negative hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, often surge when stress is present and can throw our bodies off balance, often triggering depression or mood swings. Emotions such as joy, fear, laughter, grief, and anger impact our biochemistry too. Biochemical reactions to your everyday thoughts and feelings occur not just in the brain but in virtually every system of your body. What biochemical reactions might our bodies sustain if we are in a constant state of low-level fear and anxiety, or if we are harboring a great deal of unresolved anger? Conversely, what biological impacts might our bodies experience when our minds and emotions are relaxed and occupied with pleasant, contented, generous feelings?

Writer Pilar Gerosimo explains; “In the Sept. 2003 issue of Scientific American (“Taming Stress”) neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., writes at length about the vicious biochemical cycles of stress. He explains how an actual or perceived threat activates specific areas of the brain, including the amygdala (a structure associated with both fear and aggression). The amygdala then releases a neurotransmitter called corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system via the spinal cord, prompting the adrenal glands to release epinephrine and glucocorticoids, two hormones that act on the heart, lungs and muscles to prepare them for fight or flight. These same hormones effectively suppress or shut down nonessential functions such as digestion and growth.” In the Sept. 2003 issue of Scientific American (“Taming Stress”) neuro-endocrinologist Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., writes at length about the vicious biochemical cycles of stress. He explains how an actual or perceived threat activates specific areas of the brain, including the amygdala (a structure associated with both fear and aggression). The amygdala then releases a neurotransmitter called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system via the spinal cord, prompting the adrenal glands to release epinephrine and glucocorticoids, two hormones that act on the heart, lungs and muscles to prepare them for fight or flight. These same hormones effectively suppress or shut down nonessential functions such as digestion and growth. If stress becomes chronic, Sapolski explains, the constant supply of glucocorticoids eventually induces another tiny part of the brain (the locus coeruleous) to get involved. It releases norepinephrine that signals the amygdala to produce more CRH, thus reactivating the stress pathways all over again. The amygdala can be activated by the mere sight or memory of something frightening or even an abstract thought and can also be triggered subliminally by sensory information that we don’t even register as scary. In other words, we can be put into a physiological state of fear without intellectually being aware of it.” Pilar Gerosimo, Experience Life — Emotional Biochemistry, https://experiencelife.com/article/emotional-biochemistry/

A few ways to offset these underlying emotions, is to search for ways and activities which increase the “happy hormones” that generate content and calm states of consciousness.

The way to well-being is to proactively practice disciplining the release of positive chemicals, mitigating the lower ones, and avoid stress or learn how to manage your stress levels. Here are just a few suggestions:

· Mindfulness

· Meditation

· Chanting

· Yoga

· Walking in nature

· Energy/bodywork

· Massage

· Reflexology

· Sacral Cranium

· Aroma therapy

· Personal development and transformation

· Practicing spiritual principles

· Napping or relaxation

· Listening to elevating music such as classical or instrumental

The practice of one or more of these induces the release of the happy chemicals of the body. Oxytocin levels increase with relaxation, massage, touch and a variety of other positive stimuli. These biochemical actions are associated with states of relaxation, healing, nourishment and growth, the opposite of the emotional actions which trigger the release of negative hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine.

While we understand the ways to offset stress and reclaim calm, there are other factors which undermine well-being. They stem from an unhealthy emotional body and from a lack of self-realization or self-awareness and go hand in hand with triggering physiological responses and the release of harmful hormones. Additionally, when emotions are not addressed at the time they are surfacing, they begin to burrow deep into the subconscious, then manifest in a multitude of ways including but not limited to cancers, fibromyalgia, lupus, hypertension, depression, kidney stones, weight gain, colds, flu, injuries to name a few.

These are a few emotions which produce negative reactions in the body:

· Harboring — stuffing hurts, slights or anger.

· Resentment— holding on to negative emotions, unable to release and let go.

· Blame — perceiving life with a victim mentality, not taking responsibility for attracting or creating current circumstances.

· Forgiveness, a lack of — lack of any reason or ability to forgive others for their mistakes and shortcomings.

· Judgement — criticizing, condemning and full of contempt for strangers or those in your life.

· Personal— making everything about you and taking everything personally. Most of the time it is not about you but about projection and the mirrored reflection.

· Chronically dissatisfied — Bitching, moaning, groaning complaining

· Gratitude, a lack of — the inability to count your blessings or feel gratitude for the happenings in your life.

“You wear on the outside what you harbor on the inside.” If you want to become or to remain healthy, happy and whole, address your issues and employ these tools, then watch your life, your health and your relationships improve.

Autumn heaven — Ariaa Jaeger

Ariaa Jaeger is a Spiritual Life Strategist who has taught and inspired millions around the world, since her death in the Alps in 1993. To learn more visit her website at www.ariaa.com

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