Grace builds on nature or perfects nature but we need to remember that nature also comes from God. A doctor writing in the Catholic Digest tells the readers that our negative emotions do us harm and the happy ones give us health. He continues with the place of the hormones in our lives. The external stimulation seems to be the reason for the emotion but we are responsible for the response to the stimulant. The Creator prepared the hormones as the key to our human response.
Pleasure, postive feelings, appetite, sex and the like releases from the brain cells the hormone dopamine. When we accomplish successfully something difficult we are overcome with joy which is the result of dopamine. This is also the reason a glass of liquor, tobacco, gambling, success, drugs, releases dopamine and the reason one can get addicted to the good feeling that follows.
Norepinephrine hormone is vital to the 'flight or fight' response by which the body prepares to respond or retreat from a threat. Endophins produced, relieve pain and stress, are more powerful than morphine. When in stress the arousal of the norepinephrine hormone fights against the stress and endophines treat the after effects. When there is harmony between the hormones that increase happiness and those overcoming stress: we have a wonderful healthy body condition. Harmony is necessary, too much and too little of the secretions bring about problems in the body and a reason for health difficulties.
Serotonin is called the conductor of the the hormone orchestra. When we have too little, depression, obsession, lack of judgement, indigestion....However there is an acute situation when too much brings about serious difficulties but this does not happen to those living a normal life.
With secretions of serotonin we can live a good life and the doctor gives us some of the ways to achieve this. First he recommends receiving at least 30 minutes of exposure to the sun every day. Secondly, walk at least 30 minutes a day. Those with depression have found that walking for about 7 weeks had a greater effect than medicine. Thirdly is time spent meditating. Walking in the sun and meditating you have three in the one act of walking.
Fourthly, to chew food well. 5% of the serotonin comes from the cells of the brain the other 95% comes from the gut, and goes to the brain to give us joy. Fifth, is to eat food that raises the serotonin levels: nuts, beans, bean curd, sesame, milk, eggs, unpolished rice and whole wheat, the less refined the more of tryptophan (least plentiful of all 22 amino acids and an essential amino acid in humans provided by food), refined food is the enemy of serotonin. Sixth, to have many happy memories to look back on, which will trigger the serotonin. Seventh, be interested in others. When we are sharing with others and acting in a loving way, we release serotonin.
The creator has given us two hormones to give us joy. There operation and effectiveness are at different times. At the New Years when we are greeted with "Happy New Year's Blessing" this gives rise to the secretions of dopamine but the returning of the greeting gives us the serotonin secretions. Yes, altruism's love is the trigger to release of serotonin.
God in creation gave us the key to the release of serotonin. When our daily life is filled with love, mercy, sharing, the cup of serotonin is overflowing and leaves us filled with joy.