Happiness hormones: how do you stimulate them?
Happiness hormones: how do you stimulate them?

You may have already read in this article what the influence of your thoughts is on your hormones. Positive thoughts and emotions stimulate the production of neurotransmitters (substances that the brain uses as communication) such as dopamine and serotonin. There are four happiness hormones: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones ensure that you experience a feeling of happiness. Not only thoughts affect the production of these hormones, a number of other things also influence this, we will tell you more!

Dopamine

Dopamine produces feelings of pleasure when it is released by the brain’s reward system. The release of dopamine usually provides a short-lived peak and it plays a role when we are very happy or excited. It also occurs after gambling (often negative) or after an extreme sport such as paragliding or bungee jumping (often positive) . One of the healthiest ways to boost dopamine production is by listening to music that you completely enjoy. Drinking a cup of coffee or specific nutrients that are rich in the substance “tyrosine” (such as avocados, legumes and nuts), antioxidants or certain vitamins also influence your dopamine level. In addition, exercise influences your dopamine levels and ensures adequate sleep to maintain your dopamine supply. Relaxation ensures balance in your hormone levels and ensures that you can recharge sufficiently. In my next article I will elaborate on influencing your dopamine level!

Serotonin

Serotonin plays an important role in, among other things, our mood, our self-confidence, sleep, sexual activity, emotions and appetite. For example, people with gloominess have a shortage of this substance. Serotonin deficiency can also result in increased appetite. The production of serotonin is, among other things, promoted by sunlight. It is not a surpise that we often feel better or more energetic in the summer! Carbohydrate-rich foods and foods rich in the substance “tryptophan” (such as chickpeas, milk, chocolate and banana) can also influence serotonin. Opt for healthy carbohydrates and dark chocolate.

Oxytocin

This hormone is also called the “hug hormone”. Oxytocin makes us feel safe, relaxed and connected to others. It can also give you confidence, make you happy and reduce stress. Physical contact, from stroking to holding each other’s hands and from massage and sex to kissing, activates the production of oxytocin. Receiving a genuine compliment, eating dark chocolate or listening to great music can also boost your oxytocin. So hug, kiss and compliment as much as you can! Is there nobody around for a moment? Then meditation can also be a great way to make more oxytocin and therefore to feel better and happier.

Endorphine

Endorphine has analgesic properties. Endorphins are released during exercise and other physical exertions to relieve the pain of exertion. With an endorphin deficiency you can feel a little down and feel like eating fat and sweet. But luckily there are also ways to boost your endorphin levels! It is in fact fully produced during exercise (longer than 12 minutes). In addition, sunlight has a positive effect on this, just like eating red peppers and having sex and physical contact. Meditation can also give you a boost!

Do you want to boost your happiness hormones? Eat, move, laugh, hug, meditate, listen music, sex, relax, sleep and dance and have a nice day! 🙂

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Schedule the above activities regularly to give yourself the chance to increase your happiness hormones!

 

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Ilya de Groot

Hi, my name is Ilya, I am a psychologist and coach at NiceDay. I love traveling, good food, new experiences and exercising (roller skating and skiing). The balance between effort and relaxation is important to keep, are you managing? I would like to help you with that!

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