Happy Hormones: What They Are and How to Boost Them
Happy Hormones: What They Are and How to Boost Them

Happiness can be hard to define; it consists of many factors, social status, health, education, popularity, responsibilities, and many more. How people understand happiness is another very important factor because of different things and events in life make people happy or unhappy. Marriage can be a very happy event in one’s life, while misery in others, career promotion also, quality time with family and friends is the happiest moment for some, while otherwise for someone else. What you can do is define what happiness means to you, and use some hints and tricks and boost them all together, because there is a way to do it, and they are quite easy to master in a short time.

The process of happiness is linked to the production of hormones in your body, which are not constant and they rise and fall during every day and are influenced by everyday events and routines. Hormones are various chemicals produced by different glands in your body, and they influence your life every day, from cortisol to wake you up in a good mood, to melatonin to get you to bed. However, happiness hormones are well defined; all four of them, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, and they all work together in making magic happen.

Serotonin

The sunshine hormone, also the most known happiness hormone, is a neurotransmitter that can be naturally produced by everyday activity. This hormone is essential and responsible for mood, digestion, brain function, sleep, and many not know, but it is produced in the gut and is the hormone antidepressants mainly address. Exposure to the sun can increase the level of serotonin, also exercise and food rich in tryptophan (Soybeans, potatoes, eggs, cheese, beef, chicken, etc.).

Oxytocin

The hug and kiss hormone, also known as the cuddle hormone, is also very active during childbirth where it stimulates contraction (and helps with labor pain of course). Oxytocin is also a neurotransmitter that regulates how you respond to stress and helps you calm your nervous system. The hormone promotes bonding, generosity, trust, and makes romance works. The hormone also regulates the immune system and helps healing and pain. Since oxytocin is stimulated by touch and eye contact, it is also easy to release. Just find a loved one and give a free hug!

Dopamine

Another hormone that plays a vital function in your body and happiness. This hormone is also vital for motor control and cognitive function, decision making, memory, attention, impulse control, and maternal and reproductive behavior. Dopamine is a part of the brain’s reward system, gives pleasure sensations, and can get you easily addicted to and want more. It is usually released when you perceive sex or food, just before the act. People suffering any kind of addiction are well-acknowledged with this hormone because the perception of gambling, drug, and alcohol at addicts releases a great surge of the hormone.

Endorphins

Endorphins are hormones that serve as your body’s natural pain reliever and is released in response to stressful situations. They are your body’s opioid neuropeptides and help you deal with physical pain, but are also released when you deal with rewarding activities like sex, exercise, or eating. Endorphins are tightly linked to dopamine release because when endorphins bind to receptors of the central nervous system, dopamine is released. This reaction is the reason why runners are easily hooked up to running, because exercise releases endorphins, and these release dopamine, and so on.

The Brain Chemicals That Make You Happy

Of course, there are a lot of ways you can increase the release of all these happiness hormones, and it can be easy if you dedicate yourself to it. Here are some which are the easiest:

Running – especially works when you are running outside and have plenty of sunshine, raising your serotonin and endorphins levels. Fast walking also gives results, but running, and setting up goals (time, distance, laps, etc.) gives faster and better results.

Quality time with friends – Laughter is a medicine for many conditions, boosting dopamine and endorphins levels. Close contact is very important too, so forget about social media and go mingle eye to eye, share a joke, have a good time.

Meditate – the release of dopamine can be huge, and also after every session, there is a spike in the endorphins levels. Meditation improves stress management, improves sleep routines, and makes you look younger and more vital.

Make love – sex also counts, but the best results are gained when making love. All the hormones are released at once when you make love, serotonin for the mood, oxytocin from the proximity of your loved one, dopamine before and after the act, and endorphins from the beginning till the end. Nobody is quite sure regarding chemistry and why, but there is a difference between making love and having sex!

Cooking and sharing a meal – funny, but the order of release of hormones works just as same as making love, in the exact order. Of course, the first one is easier for some, while for other the other one. Choose yours!

Get a massage – serotonin, and dopamine hormones are released after a massage, and some research have shown that both oxytocin and endorphins are released also.

Chocolate – not surprised right? Moderate consumption of chocolate (dark, with 70% and more cocoa parts), and releases dopamine just by the craving desire for it, and serotonin and dopamine with each bite. Moderate consumption means 15 g per day, a dosage enough to aid your cardiovascular system, improves digestion and improves your overall mood.

You can also try different supplements, but you should first consult your physician, because the body tends to have a balance, and if you increase artificially one hormone, an opposite hormone will have to be increased naturally by your body, and in time you will need more and more supplements. Sound familiar, right?

References:

  1. https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/serotonin-and-other-happy-molecules-made-by-gut-bacteria/#:~:text=Serotonin%2C%20dopamine%2C%20oxytocin%2C%20and,also%20your%20mood%20and%20feelings.
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone
  3. https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/mental-health/how-to-boost-your-happy-hormones/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4449495/
  5. https://www.happiness.com/en/magazine/science-psychology/happiness-hormones/
  6. https://medium.com/thrive-global/the-brain-chemicals-that-make-you-happy-and-how-to-trigger-them-caa5268eb2c
  7. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/what-are-happiness-hormones-and-how-to-boost-them/photostory/74756900.cms
  8. https://technologyadvice.com/blog/information-technology/activate-chemicals-gamify-happiness-nicole-lazzaro/
  9. https://www.samitivejhospitals.com/article/detail/happiness-hormones
  10. https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_what_makes_a_good_life_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_happiness
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I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.

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