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Guilt, as a feeling, combines both fear and the desire to protect oneself from the outside world. It is also a kind of aggression directed by a person towards himself. Tension appears in the body, breathing and heartbeat are disturbed. The man wants to hide. 

Obviously, this is a negative emotion. And its chemistry is based on a decrease in the level of hormones of joy and happiness – SEROTONIN, DOPAMINE AND OXYTOCIN. Fear and anxiety caused by the stress hormone CORTISOL.

SEROTONIN is a hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for cognitive activity, physical activity and muscle tone and mood elevation.

Lack of it will cause feelings of unhappiness, loss of composure and resistance to stress, since it controls the sensitivity to stress hormones, which will be discussed a little later.

DOPAMINE is a hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and reward mechanisms in the human body.

Lack of Dopamine will affect mood – dejection, frustration, lethargy, low motivation for something. The body becomes tired and restless.

OXYTOCIN is a trust hormone and a neurotransmitter of the pituitary gland, the level of which is increased by touching, stroking, hugging and sexual contact. Oxytocin affects feelings of attachment, group membership, and security.


Lack of oxytocin in the blood cause feelings of loneliness, loss of interest in life, the body seems to want to distance itself from others, and tension can increase.

Decreased levels of the hormones of joy, happiness, and trust necessarily lead to decreased protection against stress. The level of stress hormone CORTISOL rises.

Cortisol is a hormone synthesized by the adrenal cortex. This substance is responsible for the speed of transformation of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy, regulates immune responses and, most importantly, adapts the body to stress.

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain and a hormonal agent that triggers the stress mechanism and gives free rein to the synthesis of cortisol in the adrenal glands.

At too high concentrations of Cortisol, the following is observed:

 – weakening of the immune system;

– upset of the gastrointestinal tract;

-difficulty sleeping

– tiredness;

– malfunction of the thyroid gland;

there is aggression and irascibility

Cortisol is released not only in response to real threats, but also to disturbing thoughts. Therefore, one of the first recommendations for reducing the level of this and other stress hormones is to work with thoughts, the ability to be aware of them and let them go, to transfer attention to constructiveness.

Reducing cortisol levels are also favored by:

+ relaxation in a way convenient for you – massage, music, meditation;

+ quality sleep;

+ moderate physical activity and walks;

+ protein foods with enough carbohydrates

Feelings of guilt, like resentment, come from a variety of reasons. They are accompanied by other emotions and states. But knowing the mechanisms of physiological reactions, we can in some way change the course of events – influence the hormonal background by working with thoughts and beliefs, the body, eating healthy and high-quality food, developing personality and communication skills.

Remember that everything is in your hands, and if necessary, seek help from specialists.