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Easy Ways to Boost Your Happy Hormones

Easy Ways to Boost Your Happy Hormones

Your body has in-built ways to elevate your mood. These are called happy hormones or feel-good hormones.

 

Happy hormones are natural chemicals that promote happiness, pleasure and confidence. The good news is that simple activities like exercise, listening to music, or enjoying a hobby can boost the production of your happy hormones.

 

What are your happy hormones?

 

The following are your “happy” hormones.1

 

Dopamine-The Reward Chemical

 

Dopamine, often dubbed the “feel-good” hormone is your brain’s way of saying, “Well done!” It is associated with pleasurable sensations, along with learning, memory, and more.

 

It surges through your system when you achieve a goal, complete a task, or even indulge in simple pleasures like savoring a delicious meal.

 

Endorphins- The Painkillers

 

Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers. Your body produces these hormone sin response to stress, pain, or discomfort. You may trigger their release by doing activities that accelerate your heartbeat and get you moving. These include working out, dancing, or having sex.

 

Oxytocin-The Love Hormone

 

Often referred to as the “love hormone,” oxytocin thrives on social connections and physical touch. It is also essential for childbirth, breastfeeding, and parent-child bonding. 

 

Levels increase with activities like spending quality time with loved ones, sharing hugs, and extending a helping hand to someone in need. These acts of kindness and affection can foster deep connections and nurture feelings of warmth and contentment.

 

Serotonin- The mood stabilizer

 

Serotonin helps regulate mood, sleep, appetite, memory, and learning ability. It also promotes a sense of well-being. 

 

 

Easy Ways to boost your happy hormones

 

Here are some easy tips to help you promote the release of your happy hormones, which are associated with feelings of happiness and well-being:

 

Regular exercise

 

Physical exercise is not only good for the body, it is great for your mind too. Engaging in physical activity, even just a brisk walk, releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which are natural mood lifters.2 Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

 

Eat mood-boosting foods

 

Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds), which can help boost serotonin levels.3 Dark chocolate also contains compounds that can increase endorphin levels.4

 

Treat Yourself

 

Make self-care a priority by indulging in activities that bring you joy and pleasure. Set aside time for pleasurable and relaxing activities. This could be listening to your favorite music, watching a feel-good movie, or pampering yourself with a spa day. 

 

Connect with others

 

Human beings are social beings. Hence, spending time with friends and loved ones can trigger the release of oxytocin, “the love hormone”. Reach out to loved ones, strengthen your bonds, and foster a sense of belonging and connection.

 

Practice Gratitude

 

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by acknowledging the blessings in your life. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are thankful for, whether it’s the beauty of nature, acts of kindness from others, or the gift of life itself. By cultivating gratitude, you can shift your focus from scarcity to abundance and cultivate a deep sense of contentment and fulfillment.

 

Go outside

 

Sunlight exposure helps your body produce vitamin D, which plays a role in serotonin synthesis.5 Spend some time outdoors each day, especially in the morning. 

 

Ultraviolet (UV) exposure can also increase your risk for skin cancer, so remember to apply sunscreen.6

 

Have a hearty laugh

 

While laugher won’t treat health issues, it triggers the release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.7,8 Laughing helps boost your mood and relieve stress and anxiety.

 

Get creative

 

Engage in activities that allow you to express yourself creatively, whether it’s painting, writing, or playing music. Doing so can boost dopamine levels and enhance feelings of accomplishment.

 

Get enough sleep

 

Prioritize quality sleep to allow your body to rest and recharge. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone balance and negatively affect mood.

 

Experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of a good night’s sleep.9

 

Mindfulness and Meditation

 

Engage in mindfulness practices or meditation to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. This can help regulate cortisol levels, which can have a positive impact on other hormones. It also helps increase dopamine levels.10

 

Conclusion

 

Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin help boost your mood. They promote happiness and pleasure while reducing depression and anxiety. You can trigger their release and enjoy their benefits by incorporating simple activities into your daily routine.

 

References

  1. Badmanaban, R & Nandi, Kushal & Sen, Dr Dhrubo Jyoti & Dholwani, Kishor & Dodiya, Rajesh & Saha, Dhananjoy & Ref, Cross. (2023). BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND MEDICAL RESEARCH Be Happy & Stay Happy With Happy Hormones. 10.24942/bjpmr.2023.1030.
  2. Working out boosts brain health. American Psychological Association. Retrieved March 16, 2023 from https://www.apa.org/topics/exercise-fitness/stress  
  3. Wani AL, Bhat SA, Ara A. Omega-3 fatty acids and the treatment of depression: a review of scientific evidence. Integr Med Res. 2015 Sep;4(3):132-141. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2015.07.003. Epub 2015 Jul 15. PMID: 28664119; PMCID: PMC5481805.
  4. Samanta S, Sarkar T, Chakraborty R, Rebezov M, Shariati MA, Thiruvengadam M, Rengasamy KRR. Dark chocolate: An overview of its biological activity, processing, and fortification approaches. Curr Res Food Sci. 2022 Oct 15;5:1916-1943. doi: 10.1016/j.crfs.2022.10.017. PMID: 36300165; PMCID: PMC9589144.
  5. Wacker M, Holick MF. Sunlight and Vitamin D: A global perspective for health. Dermatoendocrinol. 2013 Jan 1;5(1):51-108. doi: 10.4161/derm.24494. PMID: 24494042; PMCID: PMC3897598.
  6. Sun Safety: Skin Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 16, 2023 from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm 
  7. Akimbekov NS, Razzaque MS. Laughter therapy: A humor-induced hormonal intervention to reduce stress and anxiety. Curr Res Physiol. 2021;4:135-138. doi: 10.1016/j.crphys.2021.04.002. Epub 2021 Apr 30. PMID: 34642668; PMCID: PMC8496883.
  8. Manninen S, Tuominen L, Dunbar RI, Karjalainen T, Hirvonen J, Arponen E, Hari R, Jääskeläinen IP, Sams M, Nummenmaa L. Social Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in Humans. J Neurosci. 2017 Jun 21;37(25):6125-6131. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0688-16.2017. Epub 2017 May 23. PMID: 28536272; PMCID: PMC6596504.
  9. How much sleep is enough? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. National Institute of Health. Retrieved March 16, 2023 from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep/how-much-sleep 
  10. Muzik O, Diwadkar VA. Hierarchical control systems for the regulation of physiological homeostasis and affect: Can their interactions modulate mood and anhedonia? Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Oct;105:251-261. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.08.015. Epub 2019 Aug 20. PMID: 31442518.
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