HOLDING HANDS OF COMPASSION –
Nov. 17, 2023 – To understand how positive emotions build resilience, it helps to know a little bit about the biology of emotions. When we experience an emotion, whether positive or negative, our brains release neurochemicals that influence how we think, feel, and behave. Fear, for example, triggers the release of adrenaline to prepare the body for danger. Anger releases cortisol to energize us to take action. Love releases oxytocin to promote trust and bonding. Each emotion has a purpose and is linked to biological processes that support our survival. Positive emotions like joy, interest, pride, awe, and amusement spark the release of dopamine and serotonin. These “feel-good” chemicals boost mood, energy, focus, and motivation. They open us up to new ideas and pursuits by broadening our perspective. Research shows that regular experiences of positive emotion can make us more resilient when faced with stress or adversity.