What does happy hormones mean and how to boost them naturally?
Several glands in the body produces chemical messengers and they are called Hormones. They travel through the bloodstream to distant organs and tissues, act as messengers, and play a role in many bodily processes like growth & development and metabolism. Happy Hormones are:
Also, known as the “wellness” hormone, it is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is an important part of the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is associated with learning, memory, motor system function and pleasant sensations.
This hormone helps regulate your mood, as well as sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory.
This is called the “love hormone,” oxytocin is essential for childbirth, breastfeeding, and the strong bond between parents and children. This hormone can also help promote trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships, and oxytocin levels generally increase with physical affection, such as kissing, hugging, and sex.
Endorphins are a natural pain reliever that your body produces in response to stress or discomfort. These neurotransmitters evoke positive feelings in the body. When you do something you enjoy, such as exercising, having sex, eating sweets, laughing, and listening to music, these are released.
How to make the most of these natural mood-boosters
Eating healthy and exercising can boost happy hormones.
1. Eat right
It is important to eat foods that promote gut health to increase serotonin because digestive system produces 95% of serotonin. A healthy diet helps increase serotonin further; it is also related to the regulation of dopamine in the brain.
You can’t get any of these chemicals directly from food, but you can eat foods rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted to serotonin in the body. Protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish, and poultry are the sources of Tryptophan. Some research shows that eating carbohydrates with foods rich in tryptophan can help the body absorb them. Add more prebiotic foods to your diet that support the good bacteria who produce short-chain fatty acids.
Low levels of omega-3 fats and fatty acids affect the dopamine systems in the brain. Genetic and other factors along with low levels of above can increase the risk of developing disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, ADHD and depression.
2. Spending time outdoors
Exposure to sunlight can increase the production of hormones like serotonin and endorphins. When sunlight enters the eyes, light-induced serotonin gets stimulated. The sun’s rays spot special areas of the retina, which trigger the release of serotonin. The sun exposure can also help people with anxiety and depression, especially with other treatments.
3. Regular exercise and meditation
Physical activity not only keeps you active and fit, it also makes you happy by producing happy hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Morning exercise, exposure to sun and meditation can do wonders if done on a regular basis. Meditation can improve sleep quality and can increase endorphins release, which will make you calmer and happier. It’s said that immune function, blood pressure and endorphins levels can be improved by Laughter Yoga.
Doing things that you love to do triggers dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which will make you calm and happy. Give some time to your hobby such as dancing, reading, painting, travelling etc.
5. Spend time with the near and Dear ones
Mobile phones and social media has overtaken the family time. It’s important to spend quality time with friends and family, which will boost oxytocin. Playing board games, sharing experiences, gardening with siblings, cuddling with partners and many more can be helpful.
6. No Stress
Constant stress or dealing with highly stressful life events can lead to a decrease in the production of dopamine and serotonin. This can affect your health and mood badly, making it harder to deal with stress. Yoga, mediation, hot bath can release stress and increase estrogen. Keep progesterone at optimal levels by eating right and avoiding saturated fat and sugar, regular exercising and avoiding stress.
7. Enough Sleep
Studies show that dopamine is released in large amounts in the morning when it is time to wake up but levels naturally drop at night when it is time to sleep. When the brain releases dopamine, it creates feelings of alertness. Low dopamine can cause low concentration and poor coordination.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-8 hours of sleep each night for good adult health.
Sleep hygiene is also very important, which means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, reducing noise in your bedroom, avoiding caffeine at night, and using only the bed to sleep.
8. Listening to music
Listening to favorite music can increase your dopamine levels.