The Enneagram Blogspot: Scientific Proof for the Enneagram
The Enneagram and Brain Chemistry
TYPE Serotonin Norepinepherine Dopamine Eight Low Low High Nine High Low Low One Neutral Low Neutral Two High Neutral Neutral Three Neutral Neutral High Four Low Neutral Low Five Neutral High Low Six Low High Neutral Seven High High High
I just wanted to write out the things I have found over the past week and some insights I have gathered. I found these two articles recently and they are quite eye-opening. It talks about the balance of neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) and how they found patterns about the levels of these in each enneagram type.
Reading through it, I think it is no wonder why 4's can display lots of empathy and compassion for those who are suffering since we often know how it is literally like to feel low, to feel the pain associated with not feeling our best...(due to low serotonin and dopamine).
And no wonder 4's feel like something is "missing" in their lives. I would argue that it just might be these mood enhancing neurotransmitters which the other types seem to have much more of. I think though that being low on serotonin and dopamine, makes us more "sensitive" to what does lift the mood. 4's are drawn to art, to beauty, to music, to good friends, to good books, good words, and role-models, since these things might naturally increase serotonin. And it also might serve as the unfortunate reason of why some famous 4's turn to drugs, to boost these neurotransmitters. I think it's best to boost these levels through meaningful and positive ways, not superficial ways such as through drugs.
I think having naturally low serotonin makes us more likely to indulge our emotions, like if we are feeling super sad, we feel like we can't tend to anything else. These actions are something I read that other types frown upon 4's, saying this makes us self-absorbed, not disciplined. But hey, if you had very low sense of well-being, very low serotonin (due to a big blow to your psyche by some event), then you're gonna notice it and want to take care of it, it is almost like it is crucial to your own survival. I realize now though, how exercise and meaningful positive actions are needed in these tough times. We mustn't just wallow in sadness, we must take positive action to correct it, though its gonna be difficult because of our low dopamine which makes us too tired to take action at times.
I read that 4's might need to learn to integrate to 7 before finding a healthy integration to 1. This makes sense by looking at the patterns of neurotransmitters. 7's have an abundance of natural serotonin and dopamine. I think if 4's just move to a 1, prematurely, we can end up being really critical on ourselves and on the people around us, on the world around us! Because we haven't learned to let go of our past hurts. If we become more present to the joys in our life and in future possibilities like healthy 7's, we will be able to let go of past hurts more readily, and more able to discern what is truly right and wrong, be truly objective (rather than overly critical) like a healthy 1.
Now, some controversy lies in what created this pattern...nature vs. nurture...But either way it shows that if we are to move to healthier states of being, it's gonna take time. It might take exercise, yoga, listening to music, to help boost the serotonin and dopamine levels....while other types, like 6, might use these techniques to lower their high levels of nor-epinephrine, which can be responsible for the underlying anxiety they often feel.
There might be a whole lot more to the science behind the enneagram, but I think these results are a good start. It makes me seriously consider how I need more exercise in my life. It makes me think that I don't have to be so hard on myself if I find myself not growing, still feeling melancholy, and falling back to bad habits, because these are things that are going to take time. It might take more support, focus, and exercise, sleep, to help boost my sense of well-being and confidence.
At first I kind of shunned exercise, I didn't want to just artificially feel happy. But now I see, exercise won't make me artificially happy. It will give me energy and new drive to work through my troubles, and by working through these troubles, then contentment and true satisfaction and positive change will be sure to follow. We just need to start that spark.