Tired, irritable, dissatisfied? You may be missing Happiness Hormones. Produced by the body, these special wellness agents naturally spread their dose of good humor and pleasure. Serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine ... Follow the guide.
1. The happiness hormone
Although this term has become popular recently, and if you research about the happiness hormone, you will find that all researches deal with serotonin and endorphin.
But in reality, there is a group of hormones and chemical neurotransmitters responsible for our feelings of happiness, the most important of which are: serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin. Let's get to know each one separately:
1.1 Serotonin; mood booster: This neuro-transmitter is the natural anti-depressant and increases self-confidence and feeling happy as it is one of the hormones that help treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic, and a feeling of sadness.
This mood-stimulating neurotransmitter is particularly sensitive to physical exercise. This is the reason why a brisk walk works wonders for morale. Exercising 10 minutes a day is enough to have a stimulating effect.
1.2 Endorphin: it may be one of the most well-known hormones in general human contexts. Produced by the pituitary gland and is known mainly as a "pain reliever."
The most common stimuli for endorphins in our bodies are extreme physical activities that are orgasmic and sexual intercourse, which justifies the recommendations to maintain regular sexual activity and life.
Reports said that jogging, in particular, raises the level of endorphins, in addition to acupuncture.
1.3 Dopamine; well-being and anti-fatigue: in addition to getting rid of fatigue, the dopamine hormone is also called the stimulation and success hormone. It stimulates a person to do his work successfully and increase the feeling of enthusiasm and energy.
1.4 Oxytocin; the female ally: Have you ever heard or felt that hugs increase happiness? Oxytocin also called a love hormone or a hug hormone, as its secretion is affected by physical (non-sexual) communication between the two partners. Research is still studying today the extent of the effect of this hormone on men and women, whether it is equal or uneven, but it never doubts that it exists and exists.
The digital world today deprives us of this physical affection and strips relationships of this dimension. This is what makes specialists advise always to preserve a special area of our lives for tangible and real relationships.
2. How to boost happiness hormones
Eating chocolate, laughing, practicing positive psychology, smelling a good smell… There are many ways to secrete the happiness hormones. Here are some ways to implement without delay to distill even more well-being in your life.
2.1 Walk in nature to boost your happiness hormones:
It is clear that the practice of sport releases endorphins before and after physical exertion. This hormone turns out to be a real bulwark against stress, anxiety, and depression. It also provides a feeling of pleasure and euphoria. Conversely, when you are in good shape, you tend to ruminate and stay at home. Serious mistake. To secrete the hormone of happiness, start by walking at least 30 minutes a day. Go for a walk in the countryside for 2 hours each week. One study showed that city dwellers living near green spaces had better health than those who were deprived of them.
In Japan, city dwellers already practice therapeutic "forest baths," which reduce the presence of cortisol, the famous stress hormone.
2.2 Take care of what you eat:
Food is by far the best way to achieve nirvana. Psychologists, experts in nutrition, suggest to privilege:
Summer smoothies: "Ideal, the banana smoothie, rich in vitamin B, magnesium and tryptophan, and the green avocado smoothie (zinc, magnesium, vitamin B, fatty acids and tyrosine with anti-stress effect). Add a hint of ginger, rich in zinc, vitamin B, and tryptophan.
Pumpkin, chia or sesame seeds, to sprinkle on summer salads as they are rich in zinc and omega 3.
Foods rich in vitamin B, magnesium, and, most importantly, omega 3, the essential fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own, boosts serotonin and melanin. Long live sardines, bluefin tuna, halibut. Without forgetting the essential tryptophan, an amino acid precursor of serotonin, present in chicken, fish, legumes (split peas, lentils, dried beans ...).
Fermented foods to pamper our intestines (this second brain lined with neuromediators). Pickles, sauerkraut, yogurts, and pickles are, according to Pr Michel Le Joyeux, "smile" foods particularly appreciated by people in a good mood. It is good to eat them at least three times a week.
2.3 Expose yourself to the sun:
Exposure to sunlight for thirty minutes a day helps to control the body's biological clock, which ensures that it rebalances and stimulates the brain to release the hormone, serotonin, in particular.
2.4 Get massaged:
Massages are really good. Everyone (or almost) is already aware. What most of us don't know is that massages have an immediate influence on our serotonin levels. Physiologically, massage is an effective way to reduce the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which has the effect of reducing the production of this neurotransmitter.
Studies have shown that getting a massage from a professional can lower cortisol levels by 31%. When cortisol production is slowed down or even inhibited, our brain is in a state of optimal serotonin production.
Besides, as if reducing our stress levels is not enough, massage has the power to increase the production of the "reward and pleasure" hormone, dopamine.
So, experts quickly said that massages are the number one solution to boost our brain levels of serotonin and dopamine and the other benefits for maintaining good health.
Also, a simple massage given by a loved one will be enough for many. However, those in turmoil and who feel concerned by the symptoms of a low serotonin level will prefer to consult a specialist, who will be able to assess and act on the levers of psychological stress for the person.
Meditation has countless benefits, including a positive impact on the immune, cardiovascular, and hormonal systems. For example, a study by F. Falkenström in 2010 found that participants in a 12-day meditative retreat had much higher well-being scores than a group of witnesses. Mindfulness meditation would allow us to release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, three hormones of happiness. To conclude, your happiness is up to you. Meditation is a completely free technique, simple and accessible to all. Try to meditate in the mountains, to let yourself be carried away by an exceptional environment.
2.6 Fill up with light:
Those who suffer from seasonal depression will recognize themselves. Lack of sun can have negative effects on mood. Research has shown that daylight, via the hypothalamus, increases the level of serotonin. However, this is not a reason not to take the harmful effects of the sun seriously. Ideally, take advantage of the morning's first rays, which are less intense than those that shine between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
2.7 Laugh as much as you can:
Laughter is serious. Irresistibly contagious, it allows you to synthesize serotonin, the hormone that regulates our mood, but also endorphins, which reduce anxiety and stabilize mood. Some doctors even recommend using laughter therapy to treat stress and depression.
Oxytocin is one of the other great hormones of happiness, and it is especially secreted when you hug your partner, your parents ... or even your pet. At birth, the baby has an absolute need for physical contact to be able to develop. But as life goes on, contact between members of the same family or a couple tends to become increasingly rare. When someone touches you with affection, your body secretes oxytocin, known as the attachment hormone. This causes a state of well-being, so never break the contact; it is essential.
2.9 Get a pet:
Studies have confirmed that raising and caring for a pet and playing with it for only a quarter of an hour increases the serotonin and prolactin hormones. It reduces cortisol, which reduces stress and loneliness, and reduces the negative energy that a person feels.
One of the best ways to strengthen happiness hormones and increase their effectiveness is to exercise daily for at least half an hour, and one of the advantages of exercising is that it helps to organize sleep and protect the brain and maintain the heart, in addition to that it increases the rate of the endorphins and serotonin hormone, which helps to improve the mood and raising the energy levels of the human being, and for this reason, make sure to exercise continuously.