Christmas according to brain cells
Thought no. 1: “Christmas is coming! Amazing!”
The atmosphere of celebration that surrounds Christmas favours serotonine and dopamine production. These are the neurotransmitters that are in charge of our well-being. In particular, serotonine stimulates our sense of belonging, while dopamine operates directly on the reward and gratification circuits.
Thought no.2: “Christmas with the family, yay!”
A Christmas worthy of its name is spent with the family. The feeling of calm and safety associated with these moments is caused by oxytocin, the so-called “hormone of love”, responsible for maternal instinct and family bonds.
Thought no.3 “Oh no… stuffing ourselves once again!”
Says the hypothalamus, a concentrate of nerve nuclei that, when we eat too much, is activated triggering a slight inflammatory state in the body. Nothing serious, as long as it is an isolated incident…like, for example, the Christmas feasts!
Thought no.4: “Christmas…so stressful!”
What happens to our body right before Christmas, when we are busy rushing for last-minute gifts and preparation? In those hectic moments, adrenaline and cortisol make their entrance. Cortisol, known by many as the “stress hormone”, affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for long- and short-term memory. That’s why we feel so stressed up by the fear of forgetting something or by the necessity to manage multiple tasks at the same time!
Thought no.5: “Christmas brings out the best in us!”
Acts of kindness stimulate happiness nerve cells: this is a fact proven by neuroscientific research. Thinking, searching, and buying presents for the people we love favors endorphin production, creating a positive circuit that makes up for the stress… and the money spent!