How Brain Chemicals Affect Your Emotions

Did you know that some chemicals can have an effect in your brain? These chemicals can boost your mood and avoid depression.

brain chemicals

Every day, your brain communicates with you by sending chemicals from one neuron to another. When this continues, it can have an effect on how you feel. These chemicals are divided into two: excitatory (chemicals that stimulates the brain activity) and inhibitory (chemicals that give calming effect).

Below are some of the chemicals that can have an effect on your emotions:


It is a chemical that sends signals to your nerve cells. It is mostly located in the digestive system, but you can also find it on your blood platelets and in your central nervous system.

Serotonin is made of essential acid called tryptophan. This acid enters your body through the food that you eat such as red meat, cheese, and nuts. However, tryptophan deficiency can end up giving you mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

But what is the main function of this chemical?

Serotonin has an effect on your motor skills and emotions. It is also known as a mood stabilizer. Taking much of this chemical can improve your sleeping, digesting, and eating habits. Some of its advantages are:

Bowel movement

Serotonin is oftentimes located in the intestines and stomach. It can then help improve your bowel movement.

Blood clot

The chemical can be found in blood platelets as well. When this happens, serotonin narrows the tiny parts to help blood clots, making wounds heal faster.


There has been a lot of chemicals that can be associated with depression. One of these chemicals is serotonin that can regulate happiness and anxiety. In this case, if you have less serotonin, you have the tendency to be more depressed unlike those with high levels of serotonin.

There have been studies to prove that serotonin can improve your mood. According to a study in 2007, low levels serotonin can be linked to insomnia and anxiety. However, there are also researches that claim that having too much of this chemical can lead to depression. What you can do in this case is to just make sure that you have an adequate amount of serotonin in your body.


Just like serotonin, dopamine is also a chemical that comes from the brain. It is in charge of controlling the pleasure center and your brain’s reward. It can also help improve your emotional responses and regulate your movement.

Some researches claim that lack of dopamine can result in Parkinson’s disease and addiction. Some of its functions are:

  • Pleasurable reward
  • Memory
  • Movement
  • Attention
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Behavior
  • Learning

The chemical is formed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), particularly in the midbrain. When the brain is lacking dopamine, your actions tend to be slower and uncoordinated. But if there is an excess in dopamine, your body might do unnecessary movements.

In addition, dopamine releases pleasure. This happens when one seeks a pleasurable activity. Such activities are sex and intake of drugs and other food. The well-known dopamine transporter blocker is cocaine. By taking cocaine, you have an increase of dopamine as well.

Dopamine can help in improving your memory. But take note that the level of dopamine in your body should be balanced to prevent having side effects. It can also help you in concentrating and focusing. There are also studies that claim that dopamine can help your vision by improving your attention to things. The chemical can even determine which memory stays short term and long term. With that, dopamine can also boost your cognition skills.


It is a powerful neurotransmitter that sends signals to the nerve cells. Glutamate is crucial in memory and learning. The chemical is known for having two receptors: NMDA receptor and non-NMDA receptor. These are responsible for “exciting” the cells. When this happens, there will be positive ions on the cells. On the contrary, when there is too much of this chemical, it can lead to the damage of cells or worse, death.

There are a lot of functions of glutamate. Some of these are:

Improve brain function

Glutamate is regarded as the main excitatory transmitter. With that, it helps in memory, function, and other brain functions. It even has a vital role in brain development. In fact, you will need this chemical in forming memories.

But when there is a low level of glutamate in your brain, you might suffer brain problems. Some can even have schizophrenia, epilepsy, and autism.

Increase satiety and appetite

Glutamate can help you have high-protein foods which are actually good for your body. This can help increase your appetite as well as satiety.

Increase longevity

Surprisingly, glutamate can slow down aging, especially when it is found on yeasts. It can then increase your lifespan.


This chemical functions as a hormone that is helpful in your body’s response. You can feel this chemical when you experience a fast heartbeat and sweaty palms. Usually called a stress hormone, norepinephrine triggers a response whenever you face a situation.

Some of its other functions are having an increased amount of oxygen in your body, increase in heart rate, a higher amount of glucose, and improved breathing rate. It can also maintain your blood pressure especially in times of shock.

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages when this chemical is low in your body. You have a higher risk of ADHD, hypotension, and depression. This is because being low in norepinephrine will result in having troubles in concentration. Good thing, there are ways for you to avoid this. You can take any of the following medications:

  • Dexedrine
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall

However, you should always consult with your doctor first before buying anything. It is also important that you are diagnosed first before looking for a treatment.

These are just some of the chemicals that can affect your emotions and other parts of your body. You can take these chemicals for a chance to improve your brain development, memory, and so on. But always remember that excessive intake of these chemicals has a disadvantage as well.

A balance of these chemicals can give you a stable mood too. To do this, you must have a balanced diet, exercise, and limited stress.

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