Dr. Mark Filippi Quotes
Total quotes (5)
Total quotes (5)
At the beginning of the new moon, for example, one's acetylcholine rises along with the capacity to perform. Acetylcholine is traditionally associated with attention. 'The mood it evokes in us is an Energizer Bunny-like pep. That vibe can be used to initiate social interactions, do chores and routines efficiently, and strive for balance in our activities.
Nearer to the full moon, an uptick in serotonin increases self-awareness, generating both high focus and high energy. Serotonin, the chemical that gets boosted by drugs like Prozac, is thought to communicate the abundance or dearth of food resources to our brain. 'When under its influence we can feel euphoric, spontaneous, and yet composed and sedate. Whereas acetylcholine worked to anchor us to our physical world, serotonin buoys us to the mental realm, allowing us to experience the physical world from an embodied, more lucid vantage point. We actually benefit from solitude at this time, as when an artist finds his muse.'
Finally, in the last moon phase, we are dominated by norepinephrine, an arousal chemical that regulates processes like the flight-or-flight response, anxiety, and other instinctual behaviors. 'We tend to be better off doing more structural tasks that don't involve a lot of reflection. Its binary nature lets us make decisions, act on them, and then recalibrate like a GPS with a hunting rifle. The key with norepinephrine is that if it's governed well, we experience a fluid coordination of thought and action so much that we almost fail to feel. Everything becomes second nature.' So instead of letting the natural rise of fight-or-flight impulses turn us into anxious paranoids, we can exploit the state of nonemotional, almost reptilian arousal it encourages.
Over the next week, we can enjoy the benefits of increased dopamine. This chemical—responsible for the rush one gets on heroin or after performing a death-defying stunt—is responsible for reward-driven learning. 'It allows us to expand our behaviors outside of our routines, decrease our intensity, and essentially blend with the energy of the moment. If acetylocholine is the ultimate memory neurotransmitter, dopamine is the ultimate experiential one. Functionally, it serves us best when we're doing social activities we enjoy.' In other words, it's party week.