Although invisible to the naked eye, hormones are very powerful and can have a huge effect on our health and mood. Just a small amount of a certain hormone above or below the normal level, may lead to great changes in cells or even within the entire body.
In fact, hormones largely affect our perception of things and therefore the way we act, the decisions we make, and the way we live our lives. These chemicals dictate almost every function in our bodies, and influence numerous bodily processes, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and mood.
If you suspect something’s off with your hormones, you should do certain laboratory tests that help measure the hormone levels in your blood, urine, or saliva.
Hormones & Neurotransmitters
Hormones together with neurotransmitters make a powerful duo that has an immense impact on our feelings and emotions, regardless of whether these are positive, like bliss, peace, joy, or negative, like anger, grief, or depression.
Neurotransmitters are another type of chemicals, brain chemicals that are responsible for mutual communication between your body and brain. In addition, these chemicals also transmit signals between nerve cells and neurons.
Furthermore, neurotransmitters communicate with the receptors as well, which can be found throughout the body and the brain in order to regulate numerous processes. Some of these processes include the following: pleasure, fear, joy, anger, mood, emotions, and pain perception. Also, it is important to know that although hormones and neurotransmitters are two different types of chemical messengers, there are some molecules which function as both.
The ability to recognize and control one’s own emotions and the emotions of others, is known as emotional intelligence. To achieve emotional intelligence, you need to dive deep into yourself and acknowledge what is going on inside of you, get to know yourself better, and learn to perceive other people’s emotions and feelings as well. You should learn how to control your emotions and avoid letting them take over your mind. You are the one in charge of your mind and it’s high time you learned how to make emotions work for you and not vice versa.
These Are the Four Main Neurotransmitters
This is not a definitive list of neurotransmitters however, as there are many other types of these brain chemicals. The four we’ve chosen to talk about are simply some of the most important neurotransmitters responsible for making you feel really good and happy.
These “feel good” hormones include serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphin. Let’s learn something more about each of them:
- Serotonin: Some refer to this hormone as the “confidence molecule” due to its role in increasing feelings of worthiness and creating a sense of belonging.
- Dopamine: Dopamine allows us to feel rewarded and pleased with ourselves and our achievements, whenever we achieve a certain goal or objective. Also, when we want to feel pleasure, dopamine levels start growing.
- Oxytocin: Widely known as “the love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone”, oxytocin is truly powerful and plays a major role in human behaviors, including mother-child relationship, pair bonding, generosity, and empathy. This hormone also increases the sense of loyalty and trust.
- Endorphin: This chemical helps alleviate pain and stimulates feelings of pleasure or euphoria. Endorphin is also referred to as “runner’s high,” as it promotes happiness and helps people cope with extreme pain and stress. It also fights hunger and boost one’s immunity.
Here’s How to Elevate Your Happy Hormones Naturally
Having provided you with some useful information on which hormones promote feelings of happiness and well-being, we are now going to tell you how to increase the levels of these “happy hormones.” By putting a little effort, you will succeed in boosting the production of “feel good” hormones in a completely natural way.
- Hang out with your loved ones more often. Spending quality time with friends and family, talking, hugging, fooling around, and holding hands will help boost your oxytocin levels. Also, getting a pet is not a bad idea either.
- Smile more often! Smiling can be so powerful! Even if you don’t feel like smiling, try doing it as often as you can. As it turns out, no matter if it’s genuine or false, smiling moves brain activity towards spontaneous happiness. Your brain simply cannot differentiate between these two. Therefore, by smiling even in a false manner, you will trick your brain into producing hormones which cause real happiness. Smiling also fights negative emotions, stress and depression.
- Be grateful for everything you have. Don’t be greedy and stop complaining about the things you don’t have. Instead, learn to be thankful for the ones you have and the things you’ve achieved in life. The more you start appreciating the good things around you, the happier and more satisfied you’ll find yourself.
- Relax yourself with a massage – Having a nice massage will help you relax completely, relieving your stress levels at the same time. This will result in lower cortisol levels and higher levels of “feel good” dopamine and serotonin. Even a simple foot massage can do wonders.
- Don’t hold back! Allowing yourself to express your feelings and thoughts loud and clear would be really rewarding. You should never hold anything back, neither your positive nor negative emotions, your laughter nor your tears. Suppressing them will do you no good. Let yourself laugh and cry as much and as often as you need. Both will provide you with a sense of relief. Although laughter stimulates production of happy hormones, tears are also beneficial, as once you finish crying, your brain produces high amounts of endorphins.
- Let the sun shine in – Even though this advice is a common one, it is simply very important for us, humans. By exposing yourself to sun, you will stimulate the production of melatonin, which helps induce sleep. Moreover, the more sunlight you are exposed to, the more serotonin your brain produces.
- Learn new skills: Enroll in foreign language courses, learn to play an instrument or a new game, or learn how to crochet. Anything new will be quite exciting to your brain.
- Consume foods that boost happiness: Some foods have an amazing effect on your mood and can make you feel happier. This is due to their ability to promote the circulation of “feel good: hormones throughout the body. These include spicy foods, carbohydrates, chocolate, seeds, and nuts.
- Aromatherapy: Smells can have a powerful effect on our mood and perception. They can evoke strong emotional reactions, make us feel comfortable and secure. In addition, pleasant odors can significantly improve our mood and sense of well-being. Find a fragrance, perfume, flower or aromatherapy candle that you find pleasant, and place them around your house to stimulate happiness through your sense of smell.
- Listen to some music – Everybody is familiar with the profound effect that music has on us as a whole. Some people find consolation through listening to music, some use music as a way to relax, while others find music a true source of happiness and motivation. There is music for everyone and for every emotion you are experiencing. Find what type of music you enjoy listening to, and allow it to boost your mood whenever you need it.
- Start exercising or at least be more active – This is one of the main rules of a happy life, whether you like it or not. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to do some extremely hard workouts, and you don’t have to exercise every day. You just need to start from somewhere. A simple walk in the park, some easy yoga exercises, or dancing can be really helpful. Just start being more active and your endorphin levels will soon start growing.
We strongly advice against sedentary life, which is actually one of the main reasons for feeling depressed.
Conclusion – Find Your Balance
According to the Hindu Vedas, our primary nature is that of ‘eternal bliss’ or “Satchidananda.” We can alter our brain chemistry on our own and improve our well-being. In fact, everyone is capable of reaching their highest human potential through making small changes in their daily lives and choices. We just have to learn how to be mindful of our conscious behavior, and we will all succeed in improving ourselves and our perception of the world around us.
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Gupta, S. (2015, January 8). The hormones of happiness and how to increase them. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/the-hormones-of-happiness-and-how-to-increase-them-242282.html
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