The Chemicals That Control Your Mind

Episode #345

Our brain controls everything in our body. It drives every decision we make and influences what we feel.

But did you know that there are several neurochemicals that our brains produce when we feel excited or sad or angry?

What are these neurochemicals that control your mind?

Knowing what these neurochemicals are will allow you to be more in control of your life and will help achieve your goals faster.

In this episode, we’ll learn more about the chemicals that control our minds and their importance in our lives. We will also learn how to identify each chemical and manipulate them effectively.


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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt 0:00 

Look how amazing I am. They get a little serotonin hit when they do that, and it’s important to do it. You can probably think of a time when you’ve just felt confident you’ve been on The Alpha Reset for you, perhaps or something on that when you’re coaching because you’re an amazing coach. I’ve seen you at work countless times, but everyone’s listened; imagine a time when you felt extremely confident in your kind of a chest is puff you just feel like you just killed it when you see a super confident man. That is a guy who’s got a brain led to Saratoga. 

Doug Holt 0:00 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Doug Holt, with my co-host Tim “The Powerful Man” Matthews. What’s going on, brother?

Tim Matthews 0:11 

Yeah, Very Well, Sunny, shining, your furniture has arrived just got a great call within a circle, guys, man, those guys would just open up in a big way with each other, which was great to see. Great to see sure and a lot about kids, and yeah, I’m pleased that they’ve got one another.

Doug Holt 0:30

It’s just amazing to see that group and a lot of The Brotherhood, but the inner circle guys are just have committed to a higher level, and I always heard this, Tim, when I was younger, and I didn’t it, as you hear things here, you’re younger, you’re like, Oh, that’s just cliche. But when you pay, you pay attention. These guys have invested a considerable amount of money and time into bettering themselves for a one-year program at a very high level. They’re playing with guys that are doing the same thing, and what that does is just naturally raises the bar and the intention that’s into it. These guys have invested time, which is probably the most precious resource but also capital into it. There, they’re expanding, they’re talking about their marriages, right and taking that to the next level—but also talking about fatherhood, health deep issues like depression, and things that all men and all people face. But not many people talk about it, and so it’s just cool to see these guys stepping into their greatness even more than they have previously since they’ve gone through The Activation Method, which everybody has to go through first That’s kind of the foundation program and some of these guys they’re going on here to with us because they’ve just hit so to hit their stride.

Tim Matthews 1:40

Huh, yeah. It’s incredible. The pattern, as well as this, is kind of what got them into work on this in the first place, right that they’d keep all of their struggles to themselves. Unlike guys, just remember, you’ve got each other now, like you don’t have to keep it, just lean on each other. One of the guys was setting up a new business in Texas somewhere. I’m like, cool, you can reach out to the guy that lives there and use his contacts, and anyway, it just makes things a lot easier when you remember as well what you’ve got at your fingertips, because there’s a lot of them is so used to just powering through on their own something that served them so well, in the early days when they needed to. Still, they’re not in that stage of life anymore. They didn’t need to just power through on their own.

Doug Holt 2:33

I’ve never heard that expression. You got to remember that you have your fingertips. It’s not something we use here in the States. So cool.

Tim Matthews 2:40

You have at your fingertips.

Doug Holt 2:42

Oh, got it. Got it. Yorkshire accent kicking in.

Tim Matthews 2:47 

I’m proud, I’m proud.

Doug Holt 2:49

as you should be as you should be. So Tim. What I want to talk about today is brain chemistry. Right, and I’m not going to go too deep into the science behind it. But I find it interesting. I was talking to one of the guys in The Brotherhood about what’s going on for him, and I started to describe like, Well, here’s how your brain works, and it opened up just a whole clearing for him. He’s like, Oh, my gosh, it’s also clear now, and so we all know that our brain drives things from a biological or a biochemical reason, and so I want to talk about that today. Does that work for you?

Tim Matthews 3:28

Nope. You do anyway.

Doug Holt 3:32

You’re right. I am. So let me just set the scene and just ask you kind of a rhetorical question, I guess. But have you noticed that when guys start to make some money, right, and they’re single, what’s one of the first things they start to do? They start to go out and buy luxury items. They buy a nice watch. Maybe a couple they start collecting watches is what a lot of them start doing. They get a nice car, and they get nice clothes, they start investing in luxury items, and have you ever noticed that?

Tim Matthews 4:03

Yeah, for sure.

Doug Holt 4:04

Yeah, it’s common, and men do it when they get divorced, separated and some guys do it when there are problems at home. Right they start; that’s when they start; they call it a midlife crisis. But typically, guys are having problems with their marriage, and the guy is on his way out or thinks he is, he starts investing in things. He starts coming up with the idea that Yeah sports car is a good idea. Yeah. I want to start, and like I said, collecting expensive watches it’s a kind of men’s jewelry; what’s happening? Are the brains getting triggered because the brain has two primary functions, remember, and we got to use this lens to look through the first function the brain has is how do I survive? Or we haven’t changed that much. How do I survive? How do I survive so I don’t get attacked by that lion, that tiger, the other tribes, people, the other people that are out there trying to kill me and take my resources? How do I survive with the weather, the food, etc., etc.? The second thing the brain is always looking at through a lens is how do I find a mate to procreate. Right now, things have changed in our society, and we don’t have to most of us if you’re listening to this or watching this on YouTube. You don’t have to worry about Tigers probably Coming to attack you, probably not even another tribe coming to get you. However, your brain is looking at that through that lens all the time when we’re looking at being attacked—the same thing with finding a mate. Even if we’re not looking to procreate, our brain is still along those lines, and I need to have sex, right? We’re going to get hit. What happens when these guys are buying these expensive items is they’re getting serotonin hit. Right every time they buy, watch serotonin hit. Now you’ve I know you’ve bought some very nice things in your times him. But remember, when you buy your first nice car, your first nice guitar, first nice piece of furniture, you get huge serotonin hit right serotonin is the biochemical marker that helps us out with pride, confidence, and respect. You’ll say, well, Doug, why is it a good thing? Why does my brain want me to have pride, confidence, and respect? Right, and I’ll get into that in a second here. But once you buy your first nice thing, let’s just cars like a lot of guys can relate to this your first nice car, you get huge serotonin hit right to pride, confidence respect, and you feel great about it. Your second car could be nicer, but the serotonin hits a little lower than your third car. You’re just buying a freaking car now. The serotonin is going away. The reason being is that serotonin is designed to give you pride, competence, respect. What that’s about is climbing the social ladder, and the reason your brain wants you to climb the social ladder is that if you have higher status, Tim, it’s easier to survive. When you have higher status, you have better access to food. When you have higher status, you have better access to shelter, and you have the best shelters. We have higher status, and you have better access to mates. But think about primates out there chimpanzees, or what have you, the alpha in there, he’s going around, he’s slightly screwing all the female chimpanzees, the male’s the females, they’re bringing him food They’re grooming them, etc., etc. That is a higher status. Now serotonin will hit you every time you increase your status. Now we can do this through so some people do it through social media. Look how amazing I am; they get a little serotonin hit when they do that. Right, and it’s important to do it now. You can probably think of a time when you’ve just felt confident you’ve been on The Alpha Reset for you, perhaps or something on that when you’re coaching because you’re an amazing coach. I’ve seen you at work countless times, Tim, but everybody’s listening to this; imagine a time when you felt extremely confident, super confident, and you just kind of a chest is popped you just feel like you just killed it. Maybe you’re speaking on stage or something your business. When you see a super confident man, that is a guy who’s got a brain flooded with serotonin. Another way that serotonin helps us feel confident is through our physical stature. It’s the way a lot of men do it. Now the physical stature could be status like we talked about nice cars, could be big, strong muscles, I’ll protect you, etc., I can dominate you. But those are ways that men’s brains get flooded with serotonin or all these things that allow us to climb the social ladder. It’s also a reason a lot of guys focus on work.

Right? They focus on work and often neglect the family common it’s a typical commonplace thing, and they’re chasing this brain chemical called serotonin. Now, women, it’s a little different Women are looking for social status differently. They’re comparing themselves in social status to other women around them. How well is that woman provided for etc.? But, it’s about looks for women. So women are so concerned with how they look. Right women will constantly be investing in makeup and, regardless of age, facelifts as they get older because that’s how they get their serotonin hit. Now, to take it a step further on serotonin, serotonin is also why people get upset and troll other people online. Because what happens is, if I were to tell you, Tim, last year, I made a million dollars off one contract that I did was a great contract. They renewed, some people immediately say, Ah, that’s ridiculous, I can’t believe that guy did that he must be cheating or selling drugs or whatever it may be. What’s happening in the brain is trying to justify your status versus the other person’s status. It’s because of serotonin, and we compare ourselves to others, and when we look at it through this lens, we can start seeing how we can utilize serotonin in different ways going through it. So that’s one brain chemical that we want to talk about that we want to utilize today is just the serotonin pride competence respect as we seek status.

Tim Matthews 10:11

How does this? Could I back you up so as you saw this, the symptoms and characteristics of what you described in the comparison, the the the bits sounds a lot like ego to me?

Doug Holt 10:30 

It is a lot like ego. It’s not ego. But this is just a brain chemical ego is a whole another thing in psychology. So it’s a little different. I’ll go over some of the other brain chemicals, and you can see out some of these tied together, right? And I probably won’t have time to do it in just this episode. But what I want guys to get here is that we do a lot of things, like collect watches aren’t because we want to collect watches. It’s because we’re searching for serotonin. Now when I know I’m searching for serotonin, when I go collect, get buy another $10,000 watch, or whatever it is, maybe I can make a choice. Maybe I can choose to get serotonin in a different way that pushes Doug further towards Doug’s goals. Right, so this is all about optics. We talk a lot about optics and in our podcasts, like knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing. So what I want to break down today is just some of these brain chemicals, about five of them, that we’re going to break down and watch how they work and why you do what they do and how they combine.

Doug Holt 11:33 

So another one is dopamine. Dopa means pleasure. This is a good one. Food, sex, money dopamine drives your intention to what you do, and right it boosts your mood. So an example would be, you eat, eat ice cream, or, or I know you love quality chocolate, you eat a piece of chocolate. One of the reasons you eat chocolate is because you get a dopamine hit when you have chocolate. Now, the reason your brain gives you a dopamine hit is that it’s a high-calorie food. So your brain says, ha, jackpot. You just got gave us a lot of calories, so we can guess what survives. So I will reward you with dopamine, and this is a reason that a lot of these food manufacturers have certain formulas, especially around fat and sugar tastes, because they’re trying to when you bite certain types of crisps or chips or whatever it may be, right, you’re getting a dopamine hit on there You get that going through, and always is going to boost your mood. The same thing with sex You have a great orgasm, you get a dopamine hit, or you’re jerking off to porn, the dopamine hits different qualities of dopamine, but you’re still your body temporarily saying, Okay, good. You’re going to one of the two primary drivers, survival and procreation porn, and you get less of a dopamine hit than having sex. Because your brain knows he’s going to give you less like, less reward going through there. So now you want to look at why are you doing that when you get when you just want that ice cream, and you’re on a diet, you’re like, dude, I got to drop two stone, 20 pounds, whatever it is and you crave it. Go? Am I seeking dopamine here? And if I’m seeking dopamine, how else can I get it? Simply with money Sometimes, we just want more money, not just for social status. But, when you get that check in the mail for $50,000and you’re, you’re going to cash it because you’re going to go, do some stuff, that could be dopamine hit hitting you. Now a lot of guys listening to this might be saying, check for 50,000. I get those every week., again, the dopamine, just like the serotonin becomes lower, because your body’s used to it; it doesn’t need it; it’s changed. Now you may get serotonin hits with that too, and we’ll talk about how those all work and how these all combine another one that we want to talk about, and again, I don’t want to get too cerebral here, no pun intended. But it’s oxytocin. We know it. I got two kids. So oxytocin is released when a child is born so the mother can bond to the kid. But it’s also how we bond with each other. So when you fall in love, When you fell in love with Amelia and those guys listening to this to fall in love with their wives, oxytocin was released, right oxytocin came in there and increased in the brain. The same thing happens though, as oxytocin goes down, we start to worry about our relationships, worry about people around us, our trust goes down, and that kicks into cortisol, which I’ll get into in a little bit. But the reason oxytocin happens for us is that it forms bonds. So humans are unique. There are other primates and a few other animals that do this. Still, very few animals in the animal kingdom that we know of have emotional bonds that are lifelong with a non-reproductive partner. So a friend for what we would call a lifelong friend., that’s where oxytocin is released, there have been enough oxytocin deposits in there that the bond is formed, and the bond is strong enough to go through, right, and it’s important to look at that.

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And now we have three more than I’m going to go through here, and then again, I’ll talk about this. But oxytocin, why would we have it? Again, we don’t want to get kicked out of the tribes who kicked out of the tribe., we’re on our own; it’s tougher to survive in that environment here. Another one that I think is important for guys to know is there are endorphins that you get after your long workout. You get the drink, get the workout, and it’s very similar receptors to heroin. Your body gives you a little kick of endorphins. This is a pain suppressor, so to speak, right gives you that, that feel-good thing that happens endorphins kick in. But something that endorphins often get confused with is adrenaline. Now adrenaline is different because adrenaline is an amplifier of all the other hormones we just talked about. Adrenaline amplifies it all. So you add adrenaline into it, and this is why a lot of guys, as they get older, the midlife crisis guys you are you take risky investments, right, you start investing in businesses, you shouldn’t restart new businesses because you’re bored, and you shouldn’t do it. Right. Or maybe you’re driving race cars, all of a sudden in your 40s and 50s. Or maybe you’re all of a sudden, you’re going I need to go skydiving, and you go bungee jumping, I need to climb a mountain, we got several coaches that have done all of this stuff. This is the reason this is the driving factor that comes through there. Now again, I’m sharing all of these with you guys. I’m going to tie him in here in a second. But one of the reasons I’m sharing it is that we can now look objectively at the things we’re doing in our lives and say, why am I doing this? Attach it to a hormone. Now we can codify it, and now we can say, Hey, is there another way I can? Is this benefiting me or not? Just use porn as an example. Dopamine Are you watching porn? Because you’re going out of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, which I’ll talk about in a second, and trying to get a dopamine hit. Cool. What other way? Can you get a dopamine hit? That’s more beneficial for you? Maybe it’s porn? That’s fine. I have no judgment against guys that watch porn. But what is it? Is it getting you more towards your goal? Now you can start taste changing things, or maybe it’s serotonin hit you’re trying to get, and there’s some nutrition in here, which we can talk about at some point. That affects a lot of these as well. But let’s use an example here, and so one of the reasons I use coffee is that it’s common one Starbucks. One of the reasons Starbucks blew up so quickly is because of these brain chemicals. People don’t talk about it. They talk about marketing in the third place, but the genius behind Starbucks is the use of these brain chemicals. So you go to Starbucks, you buy whatever it is you buy. You’re a chai latte guy, if I recall. It’s been a while since you and I’ve been to Starbucks together.

Tim Matthews 17:59

No, that’s not my bag. But keep going.

Doug Holt 18:00

What is yours?

Tim Matthews 18:03

Not even taking with you, Doug. So lately, it’s been a matcha latte of green tea.

Doug Holt 18:10

Oh, so I’m so far off. It’s a chai tea or not a match. Tea. okay

Tim Matthews 18:13

Oat milk.

Doug Holt 18:15

Milk with oat milk. Even better for this example. Thank you. So you’re the oat milk matcha latte guy at Starbucks. I’m the black coffee guy. No cream. So anyway, you get your matcha oatmeal coffee with latte thing you get, you get a dopamine hit after the first sip. Ooh, because it tastes just so good. Ah, the oat milk. The matcha just tastes good. You get boom, Tim gets a dopamine hit. You also get a serotonin hit because you have a Starbucks. You can afford a latte. You can afford to have oat milk in it. I mean friggin oat milk in it. So you’re getting status serotonin hit your identity, and then the adrenaline, the amplifier of those dopamine and serotonin come from the coffee. Right, so now you’re amplifying your dopamine amplifying your serotonin. So it’s going to hook you on that, and eventually, when you do this enough, guys, we can think of all kinds of other things sex, sex with another woman, etc. You do enough time. It becomes part of your identity and also becomes something that your brain just says you need a need more than a want, hence getting addicted to coffee. Gosh, I’m in that role, just black coffee myself. I’m going through there, but it becomes frequent, and this is also why a lot of guys find themselves you can make coffee at home all of us can. But they find themselves going to the same Starbucks, Dutch Brothers here in the States, or Dunkin Donuts, or whatever it may be going over and over again when they could just do it at home. Well, why do you do it? While Doug, it’s easier for me, BS? Maybe it is. But the real reason you’re doing it is that you’re getting an amplification of your serotonin and dopamine receptors. That’s where it comes down to now if I know that now I can make some choices, and this is also why many guys get stuck making the same amount of money and not making good investments, but making riskier investments even though they know better. How many times have you and I heard this term from guys who are making risky investments, losing tons of money, and they know better? They knew they should have put it into a better annuity or something along those lines. It’s because of these biochemicals. Right, that is in our brains that our brain is releasing. The last one, I’m going to go over here, and then we’ll wrap it up, and we’ll talk about what guys can do with this information is cortisone. We always hear about it. We’re businessmen. Cortisone is the stress hormone, right, and the reason I’m not going to go into too many issues. Still, the reason that cortisone is cortisol, excuse me is utilized by the brain a lot. Especially as a child but as an adult, it becomes the go-to drug for the brain. It can cause a lot of trust issues, and a lot of guys see these in their marriages, where they no longer trust their wife, right, or the wife no longer trusts them because it works both ways. These could be trust issues at startup business or somewhere else that bleed into the relationship, and when cortisol is running the show, this causes a lot of financial issues for many guys. It causes all kinds of things. Now, some things that cause cortisol are poor communication, that’s why we teach, right, the triadic connection that helps wipe away this the Clean Slate Method, right with the Clean Slate Method that we use, that what we’re doing here is we’re using the Clean Slate Method to boost dopamine and serotonin within both partners, right, which then hits oxytocin for that bond. That’s where the Hidden Motives Technique comes in. The Hidden Motives Technique hits serotonin oxytocin, right, and it’s wiping cortisone cortisol away. Things you want to avoid, guys, it’s common ones with cortisol watching the news. Alright, you’re seeing something that’s happening in Bangladesh, your brain doesn’t, doesn’t comprehend that, oh, that’s Bangladesh, I’m safe. It just sees tragedy. It’s a tragedy or something going on, and it starts messing with your cortisol levels. Over time your body’s used to getting producing that cortisol, your body’s saying, geez, I need to survive, I need to reproduce, and so how do these things play out? So, Tim, I wanted to bring all these to the table as well as those examples. So guys can start looking at this when they go to buy that new watch, that new sports car, or whatever it may be that they might find themselves doing, and now they can look at this and go back to this podcast and say, Okay, what am I trying to achieve? From a brain chemical standpoint? And how can I replace that with something better?

Tim Matthews 22:47 

Huh? Yeah, it’s kind of like neural Association. NACS, you’ll know that, obviously, from NACS from NLP, it’s attachments. It’s interesting because if I felt last night, I wanted to go wanting to grab a beer from the fridge, and I’m like, Hmm, interesting. That’s, that’s out of the norm. Why do I want to do that? I want to get feeling right at I’ll take it back a step, and we’ll live in Italy a few years ago got into the habit of having a cold beer. This restaurant would go for dinner, man; it was a gorgeous walk-in and local plays. The end of the street was standing just in Rome, and they got to know us, and they used to freeze this huge, big, like a pint glass. It was bigger than a pint of keep in the freezer, and they’d pull it out, and they’d pour the beer, and it was oh my god. It’s so refreshing, and anyway, in the beginning, I would just Have an eight because it was all new, and we’re in Rome, and we’ll have an A and anyway got to about two three weeks in. I’ve been doing this nicest only one, but pretty much during most nights. I like as tired to wonder why. Why am I doing this? States have a hold on me. It gets to the point where I’d get to 4 pm, and I start thinking about that beer. At which point I’m like, Oh my god, this is this has got a hold of me I am in control of it is in control of me, and anyways, I looked into it, and I started to unpack Okay, so what emotion Am I trying to get here? It took me a little while to just sit with it for several minutes, but it seems like a lot longer when you see him with it right. Now what it came down to was the feeling of refreshment that I got from that ice-cold glass and the ice-cold beer signal at the end of the workday, and it was like a drink. So why figured out I could do instead was replaced the ice-cold beer with an ice-cold shower. I started to do that, and it worked equally as well wasn’t as enjoyable. But it worked equally as well. Yeah, I did not look forward to it in the way I was looking forward to the beer. But in terms of that, which is what I got from the beer that releases. That’s why I’d feel when I got out of the shower, and I dry myself. I am like, so yeah. So looking back, it’s all about those chemicals and the associations you’re creating. 

Doug Holt 25:38

Well, yeah, I mean, this is what we do when we do one on one coaching with the guys, are we go through this in-depth because what you’re doing is what high performers do, right, you’re making you’re looking at and saying asking the right questions and saying why am I doing this? You don’t have to be a brain scientist to understand the necessity of understanding how this neurochemistry works here and knowing this like okay, I have that beer, what am I looking for? Okay, it’s a dopamine hit. All right. Do I want to do this? Yes or no? No, maybe I don’t want the beer. I’m doing carnivore. I’m going to diet whatever it is. Now you can say okay, how else can I boost my mood or what have you, awesome, I’m going to have sex, my wife Whatever it is You’re going to, I’m going to get that that hit or for you take that cold shower that’s going to do a cold shower is probably going to release adrenaline, which is going to amplify the dopamine for you. You’re probably going to get serotonin hit in there as well, etc., etc., etc. But, so there are many ways and what you’re doing is what high performers do right high performers, in business, high performers, in sports, etc. This is what we walk guys through in the one-on-one programs that we offer. But the point is what I want guys listening to this or watching this, depending on what you’re getting this to understand, is you have a choice. Your brain is going to try to achieve these two goals no matter what. How can I survive? How can I reproduce? So knowing that you’re looking at through these lenses, how can you take your goals and dreams and train your brain to help you get those goals and dreams through the lens of those two things using these neurochemicals. When you can start doing that, guys, it gets fun. Now you can look at the relationship areas you’re having problems with? Maybe you’re in a sexless marriage, right? We talk about that a lot because a lot of guys talk about it with us. Now start looking at these areas. Where am I going in this? What areas are missing here for me? Alright, so this is just a good way of looking at that. So guys, what I want you to do is gone through this. It’s a little heavy compared to some of the other podcasts we put out, but we’ve got several of you guys who have reached out and are looking for some stuff that will help you with high performance. This is one of them. One of the things that we go through and guys in The Brotherhood is that we’re going to be doing a deeper dive into this if you guys are interested. I know a lot of you guys listen to this podcast and go through it but look at your life, guys, are. What are the top two to three complaints that you have currently? And look where it falls into hitting these goals with your neurochemistry? What can you change neurochemically to allow you to achieve those goals better and faster? I think that’s the key, and that’s what I want you guys to get out of this today. Tim, as always great having you here. I’ll let you go for your matcha oat milk latte and let you go pick that up to get your serotonin hit as well as your dopamine hit and some adrenaline. Until then, guys, for the rest of you want to take some action here and as always, go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus, where you can get a new training every month. It’s ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus and we’ll see you, next time, guys, here at The Powerful Man Show.