WHAT'S IN THE "WINNING COCKTAIL"?
Emotions are strands of neuropeptides – chemicals released into the bloodstream that arrive at receptor cells and activate circuits of response that lead to behaviour. Sadness, elation, frustration and pride all have a different chemistry and a distinct feeling to them. For example, pride tends to move slowly outwards and upwards from the chest, while frustration often moves quickly inwards and down in a clenching action, forming isolated knots of tension. Being physically intelligent is more than this, however. The internal state of the body motivates us to walk on the shady side of the street on a hot summer’s day, to continue to read a book we are enjoying, to reduce social activity when feeling unwell, to avoid contact with someone who isn’t smiling, to go into business with someone we trust, and so on. The viscera (the organs in the body), limbs and digits (legs and arms, feet and hands, fingers and toes), senses (hearing, sight, taste, smell and touch) and musculoskeletal system (posture and orientation) are in continuous two-way communication with the insular cortex in the brain, a deep, central part of the brain that connects physiological experiences with thoughts and emotions and vice versa. While there are certain chemicals we can't and shouldn't want to influence, we can and should actively the balance of the following key chemicals to enhance our performance at work and home: