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How To Access Your Happy Chemicals

by Pamella Richards 7 months ago in how to
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Make time for yourself, and your chemicals will reward you

How To Access Your Happy Chemicals
Photo by Sofia on Unsplash

Being happy is the best cure of all diseases! Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body's extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs. Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. - Patch Adams

How do happy hormones work

Hormones are chemicals produced by various glands that send messages throughout your body. Their rise and fall gives you signals to wake up or sleep, they tell you if you feel full, happy, or sad, and more. These chemicals are also critical in your growth, metabolism, and reproduction.

Why we can manipulate them

Happy hormones are actually secreted in response to things like your environment, relationships, diet, exercise regime, etc. That means we can help influence our mood-changing chemicals with everyday activities.

Serotonin: the mood stabilize

  • Serotonin is the calmest of the happy hormones, and it's all about long-term well-being and happiness. It's an essential mood stabilizer, but it also helps regulate digestion, brain function, and circadian rhythm.
  • A healthy diet - Up to 90% of your body's serotonin is produced in the gut, so the first step is keeping your gut healthy. A diet of fiber-rich plant foods and only a moderate intake of meat and fat will help create the necessary bacteria for a healthy gut. Try to avoid refined carbohydrates, fast food, and animal products.
  • Meditating - Meditation is one of the most powerful tools in mood stabilization, and one of the easiest ways to stimulate serotonin.
  • Walk in nature - There's a reason why it's so important for us to get outside, and it's because serotonin production is so essential to our bodies' functions. Regular sun exposure is also an added way to keep your mood stable.
  • Exercise - Exercise has been shown to promote tryptophan and serotonin levels, and it also boosts the diversity of your gut microbiome, helping serotonin production on two levels. Exercise can be as simple as running up and down stairs regularly, gardening, cleaning the car or house (no special equipment needed).
  • Spend time with close friends - Don't cancel your friends night! Feeling significant among your peers and stable in your relationships with them is one way to help keep that serotonin flowing
  • Dopamine: the reward chemical

  • The pleasurable dopamine is a huge part of what makes us feel motivated and concentrated. It's key to the brain's reward system and makes you feel happy while also keeping you alert. Here are some things you can do to stimulate dopamine.
  • Completing a task - We all know how good it feels to tick off an item on our to-do list, and that's dopamine working. You can immediately improve your day by starting out with a small list of simple tasks and keeping the space around you tidy.
  • Self-care activities - Making time for yourself is important, and your chemicals will reward you. Self-care looks different to everyone, so it could be treating yourself to your favourite food or reading a story from Medium you've been putting off, any activity that sparks a sense of joy in you.
  • Eating food - Dopamine is naturally released when you perceive food, but only before you actually consume it. Apparently the same goes for sex, but I'm not convinced.
  • Working towards a goal - Celebrating little wins along the way to a goal is a great way to trigger some dopamine and make it a sustainable part of your life.
  • Listen to music - We can all agree we're instantly happier when we're listening to a song we love, so it's not a hard sell to convince you to do it more often
  • Learn something new - The pleasure that comes from learning something new, be it a cooking skill or an answer to a question you always wondered, comes from dopamine.
  • Oxytocin: the love hormone

  • Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone that is actually essential in promoting bonding, trust, and love. It is particularly active during childbirth, where it stimulates contractions. Oxytocin regulates stress responses, has been linked to generosity, and it plays a huge role in your relationships. Here's how to increase its level.
  • Playing with a baby - Even after a baby is born, it can help trigger the production of oxytocin, particularly with touch but even with eye contact.
  • Playing with a dog - Interestingly, dogs are one of the few species that can evoke oxytocin in humans! It's believed to be due in part to their evolutionar history of being man's best friend.
  • Holding hands or hugging - Whether romantically or platonically, these forms of touching are quick and easy ways to feel closer to someone and thus feel the benefits of oxytocin.
  • Giving a compliment - Do something nice for someone, whether it be complimenting them on their work or doing them a favor. These forms of bonding are great ways to feel happier.
  • Get a massage - If you don't have loved ones around you, you can still access oxytocin by getting a massage.
  • Show affection - Because we could all heed this advice a little more often: show the people you love that you love them!
  • Buying a Pair of Shoes -  especially if you a woman reading this. The feel good factor we get from shoes is amazing.
  • Endorphins: the painkiller

  • Endorphins are all about relief. Stress, discomfort, and pain are all combatted by this happy hormone, which inhibits the transmission of pain signals in your central nervous system. It does so by binding to opioid receptors, which are the body's natural morphine.
  • Laughter - Laughing out loud does wonders for your body! Put on a hilarious movie or go see a stand-up comedy show for some sweet relief. Some of your friends maybe very cheerful and a delight to be around.
  • Running or high-intensity exercise - The famed "runner's high" where you feel on top of the world has endorphins to thank! Many kinds of cardio will help get you that slice of euphoria.
  • Eat dark chocolate - As if you needed another reason to eat more dark chocolate. 
  • Creating music or art - Perhaps a surprising entry on this list, the act of creating art has actually been linked to pain relief in many contexts, like art therapy, for example.
  • Cold shower - This one is a bit of a harder sell, but once you muster up the courage to blast cold water on your naked body, you'll see why everyone raves about it. The best way to start getting used to this is after a hot shower, just turn the water to cold for a few seconds, or minutes - because your body is already warm, it won't be such a shock.
  • Keeping a positive mood is important, not just for you mental health, but also your physical well-being.
  • Thank you for reading to the end, if you liked this story, please consider leaving a heart ❤

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    About the author

    Pamella Richards

    Beekeeper and lover of the countryside. Writer, Gardener and Astrologer

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