We all want to be happy. And, we all relate our happiness to a thing, a person or a situation. We like to believe that some person, situation, or material thing can make us happy. Excuse us for de-romanticizing happiness for you! But, some complex chemical reactions within your body are more responsible for your happiness than anything outside of you. In this article, we will guide you to seek happiness within. Rest assured this isn’t going to be something spiritual.
Meaning of Happy Hormones
Before we take you on the journey of seeking happiness from within, let us give you a brief introduction to happy hormones.
Hormones, as you may know, are the chemicals that travel through our bloodstream acting as messengers and playing part in various processes of the body. These chemicals produced by different glands in our body have their specialized roles. The hormones responsible for promoting positive feelings like happiness and joy are together termed as ‘happy hormones’ in general usage.
List of Happy Hormones
Here’s the list of hormones that often referred to as the umbrella term happy hormones:
- Dopamine – It is a neurotransmitter that plays an important part in a whole bunch of tasks including learning and controlling body movement in addition to giving us pleasurable feelings. Dopamine is an important part of our brain’s reward system. The brain motivates us to do a task that is ‘rewarding’ and makes us feel good.
- Oxytocin – Commonly called the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin too is a part of the happy hormone bundle. It is the hormone that helps in childbirth and breastfeeding. Oxytocin is the hormone that promotes feelings like trust, love, empathy, and bonding in any relationship including parent-child relationships.
- Serotonin – It is the most important hormone linked with stabilization of mood, well-being, and happiness. It impacts our whole body by regulating sleep, appetite, digestion, learning, and memory.
- Endorphins – They are the natural pain relievers of the body.
As highlighted above, it is this dose of DOSE hormones that makes you happy!
Hacks to Increase Happy Hormones in Your Body
Now, that you know what happy hormones are, we can proceed to the hacks to increase those happy hormones in your body. After all, we all want to be happy, don’t we?!
1. Get some Sunlight
Obviously, you know that sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D but that’s not the only benefit of sunlight. A 2008 research claims that sunlight increases the production of serotonin and endorphin in the human body. As you now know, an enhanced serotonin and endorphin level can enhance your mood. So, be sure to spend at least a few minutes in sunlight every morning.
2. Do Some Physical Exercise
Again, we are not going to talk about the physical or mental benefits of exercising your body. Here, we will only talk about increasing your happiness. Physical exercise boosts the production of endorphins, the natural pain reliever. It is this impact that is linked to a runner’s high – a euphoric state of mind experienced after a lengthy or intense exercise session. You do not necessarily need to go to the point of runner’s high but regular exercise can keep you relaxed and happy the whole day.
Some studies also link physical exercise with an increased level of dopamine and serotonin.
Bonus Tip: By exercising in a park or a place where you get morning sunlight, you can double the level of happy hormones.
3. Laugh with a Loved One
Of course, you know laughing makes you feel happy. But, we promised to tell you the ways of boosting your happy hormones. So, if you have not guessed it already, allow us to tell you that laughing boosts the release of endorphin and dopamine in our bodies.
A few research and studies have shown that laughing with someone else further enhances the endorphin level as compared to laughing alone. Moreover, when you laugh with a loved one, your body releases oxytocin too. So, don’t wait for a funny situation to laugh out loud, create one and do it more often.
4. Practice Meditation
A 2012 study claims that the production of dopamine significantly increases during the practice of meditation. So, if numerous other benefits have not yet motivated you enough to start meditation, maybe you can start it now to feel happier.
5. Give time to Some Hobbies
Some activities like cooking, listening to music, composing music, making artwork, etc. are linked with the release of happy hormones. But, if you don’t love cooking, definitely the activity of cooking will not do much good to you. So, choose an activity that makes you feel good and devote some time to it.
You can always enhance the benefit by doing these activities with a loved one. Both of you will be rewarded with an extra dose of oxytocin and a greater bonding in your relationship.
6. Touch Someone More Often
Warning! Don’t use this as an excuse to touch someone without their consent.
Sexual activities are directly linked to the increased amount of oxytocin, endorphin as well as dopamine. But, it’s not only about sex. Any soothing touch, like holding hands, caressing hairs, or a massage, too stimulates endorphins and oxytocin production in the body.
In fact, giving affection to your pet too works similarly for your body. A 2014 research states that oxytocin level in a dog and the dog’s owner increases when they cuddle. So, be close with someone and everyone in a loving and respectful manner.
Don’t give your key to happiness to a material thing, a person, or a situation on which you don’t have any control. You can take charge of your happiness NOW.
We hope the above-mentioned tips help you in generating your happiness from within. You can also find some ‘supplements’ that are claimed to boost your happy hormones but there’s not much solid research to back those claims. So, don’t go for supplements that too without consulting an expert.
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