The hypothalamus transforms emotions into physical responses, which are communicated throughout the body in the form of neuropeptides…
Did you get all that? I have to admit, my eyes glazed over before I was halfway through the sentence. I’m doing some research for a book on “vision boards” for John Assaraf, and sometimes find myself wading into the deep end of the scientific swimming pool. I need my water wings.
Do you get intimidated by terms like “hypothalamus” and “neuropeptides”? Most people do. For some reason, scientists love to use multisyllabic Greek and Latin terms for the things they study—but there’s nearly always a simple meaning behind them.
Neuro means have to do with nerves, the tiny threads in our bodies that transmit thoughts and feelings. A peptide (which is Greek for “little digestible thing”) is a tiny fragment of protein. (Protein, by the way, comes from the Greek word proteios, which means “primary,” which comes from the Greek word protos or “first.” In other words, protein means “a very important thing,” or, “the thing we’re mainly made of.” Got the sophistication of that definition?)
Voilà: a “neuropeptide” is simply your thoughts and feelings, transformed into digestible little bits of the stuff you’re mainly made out of.
And what about that pesky hypothalamus? It’s a lump of tissue located right under your thalamus, another lump of tissue that sits deep in the middle of your brain. Thalamos is Greek for “inner chamber,” and hypo means “under.”
Presto: “hypothalamus” means the lump of tissue that sits right under that deep inside part there.
Now, put it all together: “That lump of tissue that sits right under that deep inside part there, turns your feelings into digestible little bits of the stuff you’re made of, so they can spread the word.”
Ahh, that’s better. See how simple those complicated terms are?