‘A man is not old until regrets, take the place of dream’ – John Barrymore..
Did you know that your thoughts can change expression of genes in your brain that increase or suppress the release of powerful chemical messengers and hormones that control your emotions. Dopamine and serotonin are pleasurable, evoking feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Expressing gratitude increases oxytocin, a hormone that increases feelings of love, trust and bonding.
As an interesting side note, breast feeding increases oxytocin release in the mother’s brain, and skin to skin contact of mom and baby also increases oxytocin in baby as well. As well as helping the uterus contract after the birth, and later stimulating flow of breast milk, oxytocin may enhance mother-baby bonding. And in regards to thoughts triggering hormone release, the more anticipation of breast feeding, ie the thought, causes oxytocin to be released. Isn’t Nature amazing?
If thoughts have such power, in order to lead a happy fulfilled life we need to pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves and the beliefs we hold about ourselves. The importance of mindset and the mind-body connection in healthy aging, is the reason that half of the first 10 episodes of my podcast Growing Older Living Younger features experts discussing aspects of mind and brain.
In episode 8. 7 Keys to No Regrets Living, Dr. Harley Rotbart emphasizes that we have to discover miracles around us in order to appreciate the non-miraculous moments in our lives, and the magnificence that is all around us. He suggests that whatever our individual beliefs may be, we accept that there is something greater than us, and recognise that there are some things that are out of our control. To have a life without regrets, live each day as if it were your last and don’t put off important things to the future.
To learn more about Dr. Rotbart’s 7 Keys to living without regret, tune in to episode 8. And if you enjoy this podcast, check out the other episodes and subscribe to be notified about what’s coming next.
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