None of this is really new but it’s something I needed to get off my chest.
Y‘all remember that song with Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth titled They Reminisce Over You, right? Turns out there’s a little science to this reminiscing. Might I add the homie Lupe did his own version off the Food and Liquor II album. But carrying on, the idea of drawing back to past times is always what we thought of it. Some say reliving the past.
As I wrote before, the science behind reliving our past or using memory does something in the body. So while we’re either thinking of the good ole days or reliving a traumatic experience, our body is also living in that moment chemically.
To drive home my point, I’m reading an older version of Who Turned Off My Brain by Caroline Leaf. In it shes says,
When you first start to develop a thought by building memory, it activates a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the heart of your endocrine or hormonal system which responds to your thought life. This dynamic pumping gland releases the chemicals related to the emotions attached to the thought.
She continues saying,
…if you feel a sudden jolt of fear, your hypothalamus secretes a hormone called CRH which doctors have dubbed the “negative emotion hormone.” Autopsies on suicide cases show 10 times more CRH than is present in the brains of people who die from natural causes.
There’s more to add but what I want to get across is this. If our emotions have a corresponding effect that produces chemicals in our bodies, then it’s safe to assume that reliving old times has this same phenomena occurring.
So on one hand I understand when people say live in the present moment and never the past because some of it isn’t pleasant, and if so, then biologically we would be flooding ourselves with chemicals that wouldn’t serve us. The flip side however is reminiscing is beneficial when drawing on our proudest and most glorious moments. Spend more time with them.
That act would produce the same byproducts as if we’d gone back in time, and you know it’s true because anytime we get together with old friends, those good ole memories we tend to share give us a high and that’s not a coincidence. I start to understand why some people say know thyself.
But time again we might get caught up in destructive thinking where our bodies respond during difficult times. Worrying, guilt, fear, anger, etc. Now imagine all the things (i.e. television, people, social media) that drives and manipulates us to feel in certain ways. In today’s world that’s infinite!
Speaking of television, peep this. https://t.co/4xbVjZ3AHv
The cartoon character Charlie Brown once said “I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time.” If only this were true for many of us in the real world. From transgenic food to industrial chemicals, from radiation to mobile phone towers, the new technologies of our modern world have offered us wonderful new benefits, which also pose a host of new risks.
They all have their place from a biological perspective, like survival for instance. But now, when we tell each other, especially us guys, to control our emotions or not let them control us, understand it’s something that has to happen and for good reason. We use to hear, “suck it up” or “wipe those tears” because they get in the way of productivity and do us damage not just mentally, but physically and on a cellular level if not kept in checked.
That (emotion) in and of itself has a time and a place to being nurtured versus suppressed, but when you know what’s going on inside the body in response to it, then it’s imperative we learn to control and master that and not be subject to it.
The reason is we’re ultimately in control, at least when it comes to how we respond and act on these things we call emotions. So the real question(s) falls back to what am I giving my energy and attention to? What wolf am I feeding?