WHAT IS A NATURAL HIGH ?
A natural high comes from any activity that makes you feel good—but doesn't involve drugs. Doing things you enjoy, like riding your skateboard or dabbling in photography, releases natural feel-good chemicals in your brain like dopamine, which regulates movement, emotion, motivation, and pleasure
Most of us are so divorced from our ancestral home -- the natural outdoor environment -- that leaving the city and going where the cell towers don't reach feels like entering an altered state of consciousness. Probably because our consciousness has changed. I know when I'm out there, whether it's at a secluded beach, deep in the redwoods, or alone on a snowy mountaintop, I feel different. I notice new things. My brain works better. I'm high by virtue of eliminating the extraneous sensory clutter of the city.
We've all heard -- or performed -- music that has left us with goose bumps and chills. We're utterly struck by it, held by it, entranced and touched in such a deep way that we feel moved physically and spiritually. I always think of a concert my wife and I took in some years ago -- a choral performance that ended with a piece so piercing and transcendent that it took my breath away. The hairs on my neck and arms stood up and I was swept up in some collective out of body experience. To this day, listening to the piece catapults me back in time and I feel it in my gut.
Science has confirmed the existence of the euphoric music-induced "chills." Researchers asked participants to choose music that gave them the "chills" each time they heard or played it. Then they allowed subjects to listen to the music while they monitored their brain activity with PET imaging. (In other parts of the experiment, they listened to other peoples' musical selections or general noise.) Each participant's chosen music, the researchers found, exclusively produced activity in brain areas associated with "euphoria-inducing stimuli, such as food, sex, and drugs of abuse."
The researchers suggest that as humans evolved they developed the ability to experience euphoria from more abstract activities like music. Although unnecessary for hard scrabble survival, music likely contributed to social bonding and the cohesion of human communities, which in turn aided survival. Music is also a way to tap into the rhythm underlying life itself. You won't find any clinical trials, but there's real music happening right under our noses every single day. Musicians just reveal it.
Remember how you'd hang out at night with your friends, looking up at the stars, just thinking and talking about how immense and crazy and impossible and possible everything is? Remember when you were filled with wonder? Dreaming is one thing that still gets to me and makes me feel like a kid again. Best of all, we have direct access to it. It's the great mystery that we get to explore every single night of our lives.
Every night, we enter a fantastical world of our own creation. In this world, time is relative; we can live out entire lifetimes in the span of a single sleep cycle. We become artists, novelists, world-builders and storytellers that put Tolkien, Spielberg, George RR Martin, and Salvador Dali to shame. And we get to live and breathe and act in those worlds as if they were real. It's amazing.
What's going on here, chemically? Some researchers think that our brains release very small amounts of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a powerful psychedelic compound, during sleep. That certainly seems plausible.
Okay, they are more, but you get the point! I was totally surprised the first time it happen to me while doing a walk in Nature with the camera, I just couldn't believe how good I was feeling, later while rethinking this, I realize that it was because I thoroughly enjoy my photography, and this is my reward.
I'M NOT ALONE
I found out much later that other photographers have this same feeling as well, but most don't talk about it much, I guess for the same reason I didn't at first, because it sounds to strange, but now I'm looking forward to getting HIGH!
Peace Out !
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I only shoot what my Mind's Eye sees