A Biology Lesson - Empathy

Humans come with built-in chemistry sets that control different aspects of how the mind and body work. One set gives us the incentive to protect not just ourselves but also others. 

Four primary neurochemicals create this set: endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin - these are all essential to normal healthy brain function - contribute to our positive feelings of happiness, pride, joy, achievement, and fulfillment. More than just making us feel good they are mandatory for our ling-term survival. 

Endorphins mask physical pain with pleasure.

Dopamine is behind the warm flush of satisfaction we feel when we complete a project or each an important goal.

Serotonin is the source of the feeling of pride - we get it when we perceive others like or respect us. Every person deep down desires/ needs to feel that we and our work is valued by others.

Oxytocin at the same time is working to promote empathy and trust, allowing bonds to deepen. Oxytocin has long-term effects that amplify the more we bond with someone.

We developed a herd mentality long ago, thanks to these cooperative chemicals, we find comfort when we're part of a group. 

EMPATHY - The ability to recognize and share other people's feelings.


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