The Four Flower Musketeers of Happiness
This is known simply as happiness, and it can range from a sweet relief, a warm glow, all the way through to a lip-biting, fist pump the air elation.
But what is actually happening inside your noodle? Firstly we need to identify the brain chemicals that cause this feeling. And to simplify it I’m going to put it in context of something we all should know, and if you don’t then go out and read a book or two.
So we have 4 main happy brain neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, the four Musketeers if you will, to fend off the injustices incurred on our happy tree, parry sadness and keep the world peachy. We’ve got Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins.
This guy is the medal winner of the group, dopamine is the reward drug; do something good, score a touchdown, get a promotion, even finishing your taxes will give you a bump in dopamine. This is the pat on the back of neurochemicals.
For our caveperson ancestors, flowers represented the end of a long hard winter, which meant food. This gets Dopamine all riled up because he knows a reward is coming, basically; colors make you feel good.
This guy is the social climber, the power suit of the group. He gets pumped when he realizes how important he is. When he’s lonely he’s miserable.
Serotonin named his sword Gratitude.
The gift of flowers works all kinds of magic on our simple mammal -brains, it makes you feel superior, important, or even just considered. This does wonders for Serotonin’s confidence, and when Serotonin is confident, you are happy.
This is the the Dr. Phil of brain chemicals, he’s all about trust, intimacy, and solidarity in relationships. Whether they be sexy-times, long-term relationships or just buddies, he just wants you to be loved. He’s the peanut butter in the 4 musketeers sandwich, keeping them together.
Oh, and Oxytocin is released during orgasms for both men and women. So it’s important. Very important. But in men, it’s Oxytocin who calls in a little pixie dust called Prolactin, the brain chemical that slaps dopamine in the face (dopamine keeps you awake) and sends men into dreamy land whilst your partner lay awake listening to the snore choir.
This is an easy one, flowers represent social trust, the show a bonding and intention. There’s nothing Oxytocin likes more than to know you’re going to stick around, and flowers do this. And to be Frank, help you get laid.
This is the d’Artagnan of the team. He’s a bit of an outsider, only coming to the party when there’s pain, fear or stress poking around causing trouble. He’s basically a distraction from pain, like a clown at a rodeo. Endorphins love a bit of exercise, a laugh, spicy food, and chocolate. Yeah, he’s a bit of a weirdo.
This weirdo endorphin is really easy to trigger like a child jacked up on sugar in a ball pit. Bright colors and nice smells dramatically reduce stress and minimize fear, this is why sharks and spiders aren’t pink.
So now thinking forward, you want your partner’s four musketeers of brain chemicals to be limber, patriotic and ready to fight then flowers are the key, give them with gusto and give them often.
But remember, with great flowers comes great responsibility.