4 Easy Hacks to Boost Your Happy HormonesFebruary 21, 2022
A romantic relationship, a degree, a job promotion, a bigger house, a new car – we always look up to the next major event in our lives to be happy. But did you know it’s the little things we do everyday that builds happiness overtime?
The key is through tweaking your happy hormones through small habits daily that creates more far-reaching feelings of gaiety.
Hormones are chemicals that act as messengers and play a part in many processes in our body. One of which is to regulate our mood.
Certain hormones help promote positive feelings, from elevating pleasure to alleviating stress, anxiety and pain.
Above all other hormones, dopamine (the reward chemical), serotonin (the mood stabilizer and oxytocin (the love hormone) are the major neurochemical drivers of happiness. These three make up what’s called happiness trifecta. Any activity that increases their production causes a boost in mood.
So whether you are feeling happy as a clam or feeling knocked sideways, your hormones are pretty much running the show.
Here are 4 easy ways to hack them to your advantage.
1. Offer a helping hand or shoulder.
Most of us know acts of helping or giving as something big time. But the truth is it could be any random act of kindness or support at no cost. From opening a door to a stranger to giving advice to a friend, it all counts as helping.
Helping others spurs the production of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that boosts mood and counteracts the effects of cortisol or stress hormone. The good news is when oxytocin is boosted, so is the release of dopamine and serotonin. Thus, it only gets better with giving!
2. Get more sunlight.
The sun’s warm rays can be harmful to your skin but with the right amount and balance, it offers mood-lifting benefits.
Sun exposure triggers the brain’s release of serotonin which helps a person feel calm and focused. Researchers also reveal that a drop in serotonin level can lead to major depression with seasonal patterns. This is also why we are most likely to experience depression during winter time.
3. Maintain a healthy diet.
A healthy balanced diet benefits the mind and body and it affects our dopamine production too. Foods that are rich in tyrosine like almonds, egg fish, and chicken are particularly good for bolstering dopamine levels which affects our mood and stress response.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body and is used to make dopamine. Because of this relationship, tyrosine is utilized to reduce symptoms of dopamine-related depression, ADHD and extreme stress.
Researchers also reveal that protein consumption is linked to higher levels of dopamine and norepinephrine which play a role in mood, motivation and concentration.
4. Get moving!
Exercising has been well-documented to naturally help increase our levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain which results in an overall sense of well-being and self-efficacy.
When you workout, your body releases more tryptophan, an amino acid that your brain uses to make serotonin. This boost in this chemical is why people get that feeling of euphoria known as a “runner’s high” after an extreme physical movement.
It’s therapeutic benefit can also help with appetite and sleep cycles which are often affected by symptoms of depressive disorders.
Happiness is subjective, filtered and defined through our own unique experiences. But however you define it, happiness is not just an emotion – it is also a chemical reaction. Follow these four tips for a boosted mood daily.
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