What are happy hormones?
The human body produces chemicals called hormones to serve as messengers and participate in various biological functions. Aiding in mood regulation is one of the crucial roles they perform. Some hormones aid in fostering positive emotions like pleasure and contentment; such hormones are called happy hormones. This blog is a comprehensive guide on happy hormones, their benefits, and methods to boost them.
What are the types of happy hormones?
The following are the types of happy hormones:
- Dopamine is one of the happy hormones, also called the “feel-good” hormone. It is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in the reward system in the brain. Along with learning, memory, and other things, it’s connected to pleasant feelings.
- Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and hormone that aids in mood regulation and digestion, hunger, sleep, learning, and memory.
- Oxytocin: Oxytocin is a hormone frequently referred to as the “love hormone” and is crucial for breastfeeding, childbirth, and healthy parent-child relationships. Additionally, it can encourage the feeling of connection, empathy, and trust in partners and others. Physical affection often results in a rise in levels of oxytocin.
- Endorphins: Endorphins are hormones the body naturally creates to ease pain in reaction to stress or discomfort. Levels may also rise due to rewarding behaviours like eating, exercising, or having sex.
What are some ways to boost the production of happy hormones?
Improving the production of happy hormones helps improve mood and lead a happy life. Some of the ways to promote happy hormone production are:
- Get more sun: Studies suggest that UV rays from the sun promote the production of serotonin in the human body. Spending a few minutes under the sun at least a few times a week is better. Make sure to apply sunscreen to avoid the harmful effects of UV radiation.
- Spend more time with friends: Cracking jokes and laughing improves the production of dopamine and endorphin in the body. Who else can help one laugh harder than one’s dearest friends? Laughing can also help in relieving stress and anxiety. Watching funny videos together or reminiscing about the good old days also helps.
- Exercise is a must: Workout, in general, is good for a person’s overall health. It also helps in improving the emotional well-being of a person. Regular workouts increase the production of endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine levels. Including friends and family in the workout schedule can make exercise more enjoyable.
- Food is crucial: The kind of food intake also plays a role in the production of happy hormones. When a person consumes something delicious, there is an increase in endorphins. It is said that spicy food triggers endorphins, and meat, yoghurt, eggs and beans trigger dopamine production.
- Take supplements: Some supplements increase the level of happy hormones in the human body. Green tea and green tea extracts, probiotics, and tyrosine, are a few supplements to consider. Supplements are not recommended for those with health problems. Take advice from a healthcare provider before going for supplements.
- Music works magic: Listening to instrumental music or that genre of music that gives you pleasure may trigger dopamine production in the human body. Music lovers can improve their mood by simply listening to their favourite songs, and a change in mood triggers serotonin production. Studies have proven that the performance of music also releases endorphins.
- Meditation: Meditation is known to be beneficial in reducing stress. But it is also linked to the increased production of dopamine.
- Sleep is vital: A perfect night’s sleep is essential to remain healthy. Lack of proper sleep leads to an imbalance of hormones, especially dopamine. This affects the mood the same way it affects physical health. There is no benchmark on the optimal time range one should sleep. But the generally accepted time range is 7 to 9 hours.
- Keeping pets can help: Keeping pets and petting them boosts the oxytocin level of both the animal and the human being. Even though you may not have a pet, visiting a friend with a pet to cuddle and play will help .
- Plan a date: Spending time with your partner or loved one can improve oxytocin production. The interaction can help one align thoughts positively and make one feel blissful and happy.
- Say no to stress: Stress is an unavoidable part of life. But continuously living in a stressful environment is unsuitable for mental and physical health. It severely affects the dopamine and serotonin levels, in turn affecting the mood. If you are overstressed, push the pause button. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from the source of the stress for a while. Meditation, interacting with people, and working out are ways to manage stressful situations.
- Get a massage: Studies have proven that a good massage triggers the release of all four happy hormones. Get a good massage from a licensed therapist and release all the accumulated tension.
As the name suggests, happy hormones boost good mood, reducing anxiety and depression. Mindfully doing certain activities can boost them along with the right supplements and proper diet. A healthcare provider can help recommend suitable activities that improve mood and positive feelings.