Monday, December 16, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #32 - Create some Serotonin.

"Secret Wonder" collage by Lani, face from ArtTeaLife and textures by FlyPaper.
All of us have a type of chemical in our brains that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another, neurotransmitters called serotonin, which is totally tied to mood.  If serotonin is being absorbed and produced at the right levels then we feel good, we have a feeling of happiness, joy, peace, contentment, etc.  However, if our serotonin levels are low then we may struggle with some negative feelings like anger, sadness, loss of joy, tiredness, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, etc.  While blood levels of serotonin are measurable, we still don't know for sure if the dip in serotonin causes the negative feelings, or if the negative feelings cause serotonin levels to drop.

But when a person receives a compliment, or when their work is recognized and appreciated, it feels good, and the serotonin levels are balanced.  The person giving the compliment also has a serotonin related positive feeling.  When we are in an encouraging and positive environment we are generally more satisfied and happy than when we are in a neutral environment.

So try a daily dose of recognition and appreciation for all you do for yourself.  This is where an art journal comes in handy, you can always review the pages you have finished and find something to compliment yourself on.  This is always possible even if it's some small aspect of a piece.  Try it out!

For this challenge, review the pieces you have done so far with these challenges or as part of your daily practice, and zoom in on a particular aspect you really like.  Give yourself a complement or two and as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play and complements on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  (With the above collage, I was so delighted with the glasses and party hat and overall happy expression that I can feel the serotonin balancing every time I look at it!)


Marta Ockuly said...

I enjoyed your blog related to Serotonin. As a creativity researcher, I am always seeking out new studies related to creative process, hormonal balance and positive affect. Could you share the source of your comments?

Lani Gerity said...

Hi Marta, this is just personal experience but there a book full of art therapy and neuroscience here:

Lani Gerity said...

Oh and you might find interesting links on my personal blog: