Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Our brains, continued

The audio book I'm listening to says that when people are in love, their brains look exactly like someone high on cocaine. The same region of the brain lights up with the same intensity. It's no wonder that people in love are so obnoxious. They seem to believe they will never have another problem in their lives, that they are going to live happily ever after, and that the person they are in love with will take care of them like their parents never did. The brain chemical that creates all this is oxytocin - Mother Nature's way of bonding us to our lovers so we will make babies. Mother Nature doesn't seem to care about the long term, though. In a relatively short period of time, we come to our senses and realize everything we've been thinking and feeling was just a lovely delusion. We usually blame this on our lovers, however, and start fighting because we want that beautiful high back. Well, fighting is not going to get it back. Sorry. But the good news is from brain research is that deliberately acting like we still believe in those illusions, will cause that same region of the brain to light up again. Sometimes your partner will start acting that way again in response to you. Hmmm. Another piece of good news - we can change our brains by changing our thinking and behavior. Wow! A lot of responsibility, but still very good news.

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