The Effects of Happiness on Myasthenia Gravis
We're all told about how depression, anxiety, and stress can make our myasthenia gravis (MG) symptoms worse. But, what about the effects of happiness or extreme joy? What does it do to us? Is it possible that our bodies can react negatively to good feelings also?
These questions came up because of a physical reaction I had just 1 hour after an interview. I was interviewing to become a team member for Myasthenia-Gravis.com. After my interview, I could hardly move.
Feeling like I over-did it
My muscles almost froze and I needed a nap. My eyelids even started sagging. Many of us who live with myasthenia gravis know how it goes with stress overload.
Before and just after the interview I was doing fine. It just felt like a bad emotional overload or when I overdo it physically. So, I wanted to know why this was going on. Research time! This is what I found.
The happy hormones
The happy hormones in our bodies are:1
- Oxytocin: The love hormone
- Serotonin: Responsible for our moods
- Dopamine: The feel-good hormone
- Endorphins: Responsible for pain relief
Hormones are chemical messengers in the body, also known as neurotransmitters.2 The main function of these happy hormones is to inhibit pain and increase a feeling of wellbeing and pleasure.1
The role of endorphins
Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter that produce the same effects in our bodies as the opioid drug, morphine.3 They are the body’s own natural built-in pain killers - who knew?! Our bodies also have receptors just to catch this chemical.4
People can become addicted to releasing their own endorphins for a type of high. It is commonly known as a "runner's high." When the high wears off... we crash. Our muscles feel like we were run over by a big truck and it depletes our strength.5 This is what happened to me!
If you find yourself on this roller coaster ride we call MG, and you have days like this, check in with your endorphins levels. They might have been overfilled for a good reason, but then they suddenly dropped.
Good and bad stress
Stress on the body can be both good and bad. Stress can be anything that changes the homeostasis of our bodies. Most people refer to stress as a negative thing. For instance, physical, mental, and emotional upsets that may be constant or not.6
However, this is not the reality of stress on our bodies. The question is how we maintain a healthy flow of endorphins all day, so as not to get this type of overload. Can we just simply be aware of its effects?
Do you know anyone else in your network (family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances) that also lives with MG?