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The Happy Hormones

Happy Hormones

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. Our bodies secrete and circulate 50 different hormones. They are involved in a lot of essential processes in our body, like heart rate and digestion. Hormones are also responsible for our mood and feelings. 

Certain hormones are known to help promote positive feelings, including happiness and pleasure. They are often referred to as the “happy hormones”

These include:

  1. Dopamine 

Dopamine is known as the “feel good hormone”. It is an important neurotransmitter that is part of the brain’s reward system. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan. This neurochemical helps us to focus our attention, discover things we find interesting and strive to improve our lives. Your body spreads dopamine along four major pathways in the brain. Like most other systems in the body, you don’t notice it (or maybe even know about it) unless there’s a problem.

  1. Endorphins 

Endorphins are the body’s natural stress and pain relief chemicals. They are involved in the body’s reward circuits and are related to important activities like eating, drinking, and physical fitness. Endorphins are also responsible for minimizing discomfort, pain and maximizing pleasure.This is why endorphins are sometimes referred to as the “euphoria chemicals”.  

  1. Serotonin

Serotonin is known as the “mood stabilizer”. It has an impact upon every part of you, from your emotions to your motor skills. Serotonin helps us with sleeping, eating, and digesting. Balanced levels of serotonin make you feel happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious and more emotionally stable.

  1. Oxytocin

Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone”.  It gives us the feeling of trust, and motivates us to build and sustain relationships. Oxytocin is released into certain parts of the brain where it has an impact upon emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors. It  plays an important role in our prosocial behaviors and emotional responses, contributing  to relaxation, trust, and psychological stability. Females usually have higher levels than males.  

How to boost your “Happy Hormones” naturally? 

  • Get some sun

Sunlight boosts the production of serotonin and melatonin, which can help improve your mood, increase your energy, and help you get better sleep. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun can also boost your endorphin levels. If you go outside a few times a week for about 15 minutes each time, it is generally thought to be enough exposure to derive this benefit.

  • Get some fresh air

The more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe which will increase the amount of serotonin that is released in your body! Breathing fresh air directly affects your mood during the day. You may have noticed that certain environments promote better moods than others for you. The reason is simple, the air quality can directly trigger and influence moods. One way to make sure your home or office environments are primed for a good mood is to invest in a high quality air cleaner. A high quality air filter, like the ones that  utilize making sure that the air in your home or office is of the highest quality.

  • Listen to music

Listening to music is proven to be one of the fastest ways to put yourself in a good mood.  Your favorite song gives you an instant hit of dopamine. But the type of music you listen to is important. Some songs promote more positive moods than others.  According to McGill University researchers, listening to music that you like a lot  consistently boosts  your dopamine levels.  You already knew that listening to your favorite music improves the way you feel. Now when you play your favorite songs, you’ll know that it’s affecting your body chemistry. 

  • Indulge in dark chocolate, wine or spicy food. Or all three!

 Whether you consider chocolate an occasional treat or enjoy it regularly, it can satisfy your sweet tooth. Eating chocolate also produces endorphins, promoting feelings of bliss. These pleasurable feelings may help contribute to chocolate cravings you might have when feeling down or stressed — if something makes you feel good, you’ll likely seek it out again. If you don’t care for chocolate, you can also get an endorphin boost by enjoying a glass of red wine, or eating spicy foods like hot peppers. 

  • Exercise and physical activity 

Physical activity stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin. One of the many benefits of working out is that it promotes a good mood,feelings of confidence and reward. Being active on a regular basis has proven to be an effective way to take care of your mental health by relieving stress and anxiety.  

  • Set aside some time for meditation, yoga or tai chi.

Meditation,  yoga and tai chi are three more ways to trigger endorphin release. Meditation alone can help you relax and achieve an inner sense of calm. It can also offer other health benefits like improved physical wellness, a healthier state of mind, increased ability to cope with illness and a better night of sleep. While practicing yoga and tai chi we coordinate both breath and movement within the body. Additionally, these practices can help to calm the mind.

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