We all want to feel happier with our circumstances in life. But it can still be very difficult to feel happy when you’re coping with difficult obstacles or when you’re suffering from mental health conditions like depression.
We all have happiness chemicals that the brain releases to make us feel better, and we all can access these chemicals naturally by using a few simple strategies.
In this guide, we are going to take a closer look at happiness chemicals and how to hack them whenever you feel a little bit blue.
Happiness Chemicals and How to Hack Them
The mind is the most complex organ in the human body. Even after spending hundreds of years researching and studying the brain, we are still baffled by the complex workings of the human brain.
This soft and squishy organ is responsible for so many different thoughts and feelings, and it controls a great many hormones and chemicals that can have a huge impact on how we feel at just about any second of the day.
The alteration of brain chemicals via medication (called psychopharmacology) only began in the 1950s and has only been around for a couple of decades. Over the past 50 years, people have discovered all sorts of methods that can boost their mood and make them feel better.
Let’s take a closer look at happy chemicals and how to access these chemicals whenever you desperately need to improve your mood.
What Are the Four Happiness Hormones?
In simple terms, happiness hormones are chemicals the brain releases that can make you feel better or happier.
These chemicals are produced in the endocrine system (glands and organs that develop and deposit hormones into the bloodstream), which includes the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, ovaries, testes, and many others. These glands produce quite a few different hormones that can boost your mood, such as the following:
Oxytocin is also referred to as the love hormone. This bonding hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and is biologically released through touch, music, and exercise. When this hormone is released, we tend to feel warm and loved.
Endorphins are a natural painkiller that is developed in the pituitary gland. These hormones are triggered when we feel stressed or are in pain. There are over 20 different types of endorphins that can boost the way you feel or reduce your response to pain. Some are released through laughter, love, sex, or when we enjoy good food.
Dopamine is the brain’s reward system and is released into the bloodstream whenever we feel accomplished about getting something we want or achieving a goal. Dopamine release is a type of reinforcement that can make you feel much better, but the desire for dopamine can also be addictive.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates our moods, emotions, and appetites. Serotonin production can make you feel confident and accomplished.
Great Ways to Hack Happiness Hormones
You don’t always have to take prescription medication to get your daily dose of happiness hormones.
Don’t get us wrong, prescription medication is extremely helpful and necessary for treating mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, and you should speak to a professional if you have an ongoing condition.
That being said, there are many simple activities you can try if you need a quick boost or when you feel a little bit blue in a high-stress situation. Here is a quick look at some great strategies that will release happiness hormones.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to feel better. When you work out, endorphins are released into the bloodstream which can give you that “runner’s high” feeling or make you feel just a bit more energized. Any type of physical activity should give you a good spike in energy. The more you enjoy working out, the more your body will start to crave these happy hormones.
Get Outside More Often
Exposing your body to UV rays can help you absorb vitamin D and will increase serotonin levels. You will also get a lot more fresh air, which can clear up some brain fog. Getting out more can make you feel a lot more confident. Spending time outside with friends or family will also increase your oxytocin levels.
Practicing gratitude and good self-love habits through regular meditation on the things you can be thankful for or by making a list is a great way to boost your happiness. When you practice gratitude, your brain releases dopamine into the bloodstream because you start to feel more accomplished about things in your life.
Practicing gratitude for the people in your life can cause the release of oxytocin and increase the production of serotonin because you will realize that you are loved and have every reason to be confident.
Rewarding yourself with small treats like a favorite TV show, pleasurable activities, a bubble bath, something tasty like dark chocolate, or something fun to do on a lazy day can release dopamine into your bloodstream and is bound to make you feel much happier within seconds.
Stress can release endorphins into the bloodstream, but it can affect your health negatively and can leave you with seasonal depression.
Invest in some stress relief spray or find another way to deal with stress so these feelings won’t become too overwhelming.
Enjoy Physical Contact
Physical contact or social interactions with family or friends can increase your oxytocin production. This cuddle hormone can also be released when you have sex and can make a huge difference in your happiness levels.
We hope that this guide helped you understand more about happiness chemicals and how to hack them so you can feel better on those dark and lonely days.
If you need any more wellness tips and advice, then we welcome you to have a look at some of the other guides we have on Well and Wealthy. With our guides, you will find great advice and products that can help you take back control over your life and personal happiness.