Body Basics



Put more scientifically Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout the brain and body (Melasch et al., 2016) They relay information to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe and regulate other chemicals such as insulin.


So what we feel is the overlap between brain function and physical sensation.


But keep in mind the emphasis here is on a basic (simplified) insight and not biochemistry, neuro-science or physiology. So it is not an exhaustive list nor an exhaustive coverage.


Instead it is just enough to consider how (and what) you feel?

Chemistry and physiology may seem overwhelming or even boring but ... it is not, especially when you look at it through the lens of what you 'feel'


So this is the lens we use to examine these neurotransmitters, hormones and other 'feeling chemicals' and responses.


However what you will notice is that while they are active in emotions, all are  essentially related to physiological changes, and the amount of effort to be exerted by the body (and the mind).


This is because whether serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, norepinephrine  or any of the others, they all impact body function.



Increases in adrenaline  accompany a variety of emotional responses but the key actions of adrenaline include:- increasing the heart rate, increasing blood pressure, expanding the air passages of the lungs, enlarging the pupil in the eye, redistributing blood to the muscles and altering the body's metabolism, so as to maximise blood glucose levels (primarily for the brain).




Norepinephrine , also called noradrenaline or noradrenalin is in the family of catecholamines (working as both a neurotransmitter and hormone)


Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline and works by narrowing the blood vessels in the extremities to redirect blood to essential organs such as the heart and brain. It also produces greater resistance for the heart to beat against, and this increases blood pressure. It also helps regulate pain.


Serotonin a neurotransmitter, serotonin facilitates the movement of messages from one area of the brain to another and is understood to influence either directly or indirectly, most of our approximately 40 million brain cells. It is mainly found in the brain, bowels (digestive tract) and blood platelets, and is thought to be especially active in constricting smooth muscles, transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulating cyclic body processes and contributing to wellbeing and happiness.


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, enabling us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them


But while dopamine plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior, it also inhibits norepinephrine release and acts as a vasodilator, and reduces insulin production.

 The neural circuits involved in emotions are modulated by numerous chemical neurotransmitters, with a balance necessary for normal emotional states and arousal levels (Gerra et al., 1998). Excessively low level can  result in feelings of flat moods such as sadness and numbness. or erratic and unpredictable when certain chemicals are too high (Dremencov, el Mansari, & Blier, 2009) ,



— But normal emotional states and levels of arousal also reflect a fluctuation in these chemical levels. Where the body lacks sufficient levels a chemical imbalance exists and needs to be addressed .


So how we feel triggers the change and the change is understood as a feeling. Remember though the sensations are not of themselves feelings, with excitement and anxiety sharing common chemistry and physical sensations, but a different 'emotional' experience.


Comfort with these sensations comes in part with understanding them, their nature and the available responses




Take a look at the brief overview