Did you know there are some real simple ways for us to boost the release of our happy hormones? Small simple actions have the ability to positively impact our mood, energy and state-of-mind all thanks to the release of our happiness chemicals.
At any given time, there are billions of chemical reactions occurring in our brain. Today we explore the key brain chemicals (or as we like to call them- happiness chemicals) that play a major part in mental, physical and emotional health and mood.
Dopamine: The Reward Chemical
Dopamine is known commonly as the ‘feel good hormone’ as it supports reward regulations in the brain. In moments of pleasure or reward, we often get a rush of this chemical. Alternatively, when we’re running low on dopamine, we often feel helpless and demotivated.
Dopamine is known as the reward chemical because it’s closely linked to the brain’s reward system. It promotes feelings of reinforcement and motivates you as well as modulating learning.
How to get your rush of dopamine:
- Completing a task
- Doing self-care activities
- Eating healthy foods
- Celebrating the little wins
- Getting enough sleep
Serotonin: The Mood Stabilizer
Serotonin regulates mood, energy balance, motor function, pain perception, cardiovascular function, and appetite. As it plays a major role in a range of neuropsychological processes, it is often used as the primary treatment for a number of disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic disorder and OCD, to name a few.
How to up your serotonin levels:
- Meditating or praying
- Going for a run
- Walking in nature
- Sun exposure
- Going for a massage
Oxytocin: The Love Hormone
Oxytocin is known as the love hormone because it plays a role in social bonding and sexual pleasure. Oxytocin can help get your cortisol levels down by making you feel calmer, with a sense of joy and security.
Ways to release your oxytocin chemicals:
- Hug someone
- Playing with your pet
- Playing with a baby
- Showing kindness
- Holding hands (although not necessary recommended during our COVID-19 times)
- Giving someone a compliment and random acts of kindness
Endorphins: The Pain Killer
Endorphins are the brain chemicals that are commonly known as the ‘opiate peptides’ as they are often associated with pleasure, euphoria, sexuality and pain relief.
Endorphins are like a natural opiate peptide as they are closely linked to a sense of well-being and feelings of bliss. Low levels of endorphins are often linked to an increase in risk-taking behavior, emotional and physical pain and an increased risk of addiction.
How To Increase Your Endorphins:
- Laughter! (like watching a comedy or chatting with friends)
- Essential oils
- Dark chocolate
We hope you enjoyed our little hacks for releasing your happiness chemicals. These happy hormones are all closely related to our mood, perception, energy, digestion, mindset and more, and although scientifically complicated, hacking them is all too easy! Just simple acts in your day…like taking a walk, having a laugh…can help increase your feel-good hormones.