Monday, April 11, 2011

Social Media: Hugs For Your Brain

How well can we expect ourselves to right the world's wrongs, paint a masterpiece or concentrate on making life better for others when we have someone on our back or feel left out? Not very well, eh?

Relax. Evidently, there's a reason for that.

As the theory goes, when your brain becomes wrapped up in BS or feels excluded, it uses up glucose and oxygen at an amazing rate, starving your powers of insight and problem solving. (It's akin to the pain reaction, called the threat reaction.) The old gray matter just doesn't have enough gusto left over for the good stuff. It's left gasping.

Positive things, on the other hand, can cause your brain to release something called oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle chemical”. Contact in the form of hugs, kudos or simply being included in a discussion or activity can cause such a release and the effect on behavior is a heightened feeling of trust, empathy and generosity. Boom. Your brain now has the full use of the glucose and oxygen so you can be better at whatever you want to be better at.

Social Media, whether it be interacting on blogs, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or the hundreds of other sites out there (especially if you know nice people) can help you feel 'with it' and apply yourself better in your other activities. Like solving the world's problems. Or coming up with a new use for the ordinary household pickle.

So come on now, give us a hug and get back to doing good! :o)


  1. we're so in sync, Mr. M, it's crazy! i love the science behind it (and will have to share!) so there. now I've got to get back to doing good...!

  2. There's a nice person right there! I feel the cuddle chemical levels rising already! Thanks Patricia!

  3. Nothin better than a nautral high! :)

  4. Really like the brain cuddle concept, and enjoy it constantly.