Neurotransmitters and the Brain
The human brain is made up of over 100 billion cells, each of which makes connections with many other neurons like it, creating the intricate network we call the brain. Although the human brain remains one the most elusive organs in the human body, having said to be "the most complex structure in the entire universe", much has been learned about the brain and how it affects our thinking, our moods, and our emotions.
Neurotransmittere are molecules in the brain that direct how neurons communicate with each other. Although there are 100's of different types of neurotranmitters, some of the most commonly referred to ones are dopamine, serotinin, acetylcholina, GABA, and norepinephrine.
Serotonin has been known to regulate appetite and mood and is often considered the regulate happiness and contentment. This neurotransmitter is the target of many common antidepressants.
Dopamine has been shown to regulate mood and motivation. Common stimulants (caffeine, cocaine) are known to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, making one feel energetic and happy.
Acetylcholine has been shown to be involved with arousal and reward. It also plays a role in helping to sustain attention.
GABA is an inhibitory molecule that has binds to GABA receptors in the brain, promoting a state of calmness and lack of anxiety. This is the target of many anti-anxiety and anti-convulsive drugs.
Finally, norepinephrine, is known to be involved in the "fight-or-flight" response in humans. It causes heart rate and breathing to increase and increases blood pressure, readying the body to react physically to any threat that may be present. It may also be involved in regulating sex drive.
This of course is an over-simplified view of neurotransmitters and the brian, for in reality they interact with each other in very complex ways. However, it is useful to have some general understanding in how they work and how they affect our bodies and minds. Low levels of one or more of these neurotransmitters is the underlying cause of many conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and addiction.
Luckily, there are natural ways we can regulate these neurotransmitters, helping us feel happy and content. They can be bought at any local vitamin store, but the best one I have found so far is one called "MEDITONIN", which contains several amino-acids and herbs that promote a state of happiness, calmness, and focus. I have found it to work well for me when I am trying to maintain a balanced and healthy brain.