What are Happy Brain Chemicals?
Happiness is a state of mind and it has a different meaning for different people. Generally it is a feeling of joy and gratefulness. The feeling of happiness itself is the result of a chemical reaction happening in your brain. In fact, all the feelings are a result of a chemical reaction taking place in the brain due to different circumstances and our surroundings.
Happiness derives from a cocktail of four hormones namely:
If you are someone who is depressed and sad, stick until the end of this article to know how you can instantly boost your mood. Or visit a Psychiatrist in Lahore to talk it all out.
How to Hack Happy Brain Chemicals?
Here is an in depth detail on what these hormones are, how they affect your physical and mental well being and how you can hack them.
Dopamine, the feel good or reward hormone, is spread over four major pathways in the brain. Most people are unaware of what dopamine is until a problem arises relating to dopamine levels. Dopamine is really important for the human body, it helps us think, plan, focus, and strive. Also it plays a major role in kidney function, lactation, sleep, heart rate, movement, pain management, blood vessel function, and control of vomiting. A lot of mental health issues like schizophrenia, ADHD and Parkinson’s disease are either a result of too much or too less dopamine.
Here is how you can trick your brain into releasing more dopamine:
Dopamine is released every time you achieve a goal no matter how big or small. So it is recommended to set tiny goals for yourself everyday. Shopping, sex, eating your favourite food, catching enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and going out in the sun can also help your brain release more dopamine.
Oxytocin or the love hormone helps us build healthy and strong relationships. Its major role is to facilitate childbirth by stimulating contractions in the uterus.
Oxytocin is released every time you hug or cuddle with your loved ones. It is also released when men and women orgasm. For lactating mothers oxytocin is released when their baby latches. People with low levels of oxytocin experience anxiety and depression. Hack your brain to produce more oxytocin naturally:
- Hug, cuddle or make love with a loved one
- Listen to music
- Exercise regularly
- Give or take a massag
Endorphins are a feel-good hormone playing a major role in relieving all sorts of pain and stress. Endorphins promote cognitive health, memory and a healthy immune system. Low endorphin levels cause anxiety, depression, pain in different areas of the body, mood swings, weight loss and trouble falling asleep.
A person who is physically or mentally hurt or needs a self esteem boost can benefit greatly from a spike in endorphin levels. Here is how you can aid your brain in producing more endorphins:
- Eat palatable foods like dark chocolate
- Eat spicy foods, when you eat spicy foods your brain produces endorphins to counteract the pain of food burning your tongue.
- Exercise regularly
- Laugh with your friends and family
Serotonin is another feel good hormone, it makes you feel extremely happy or in other words euphoric. When you feel like everything is right with the world and your life can’t be better it is the high levels of serotonin speaking. Other than making you feel immense joy and happiness, serotonin plays a vital role in memory, sleep, digestion, sexuality, fear, stress response, body temperature and breathing. Commonly used antidepressants (SSRIs) Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors work by increasing serotonin levels. Naturally serotonin levels can be increased by:
- Working out
- Going out in the sunlight
- Eating salmon, nuts, eggs, poultry, spinach, soy products
- Drinking milk
Taking a step towards a happier and healthier you is the biggest gift one can give to themselves. If you feel like you need help on this journey consult the Best Psychiatrist in Karachi.