How To Hack Happy Hormones To Boost Your Mood
Everything you do in your day-to-day life has an impact on your mood and happiness. So here’s how you can hack and boost these happy hormones.
Your brain is the control center of your body, but the hormones are the chemicals that can induce feelings of anger, anxiety, happiness, or sadness.
So if you’re looking for a way to hack happiness, you need to boost the hormones that promote positive feelings.
There are four happy hormones:
- Dopamine – the sensation you feel when getting a reward;
- Oxytocin – also known as the love hormone;
- Serotonin – regulates your mood, sleep, appetite, and more;
- Endorphin – acts as a pain reliever.
Now, to hack the happy hormones, you need to boost these feel-good chemicals. And this is quite easy.
Simple Tips To Increase Your Happy Hormones
Here are simple things that you can do right now to hack your brain and induce happiness in your life:
1. Dopamine – The Reward Hormone
This neurotransmitter has a huge role in mental health. Too much of it is linked to schizophrenia, while a shortage of dopamine might be associated with ADHD.
Dopamine is responsible for numerous body functions and behaviors such as mood, sleep, motivation, learning, attention, pain, lactation, heart rate, and more.
Since dopamine is the hormone associated with reward, the best way to produce it is to complete a task.
It can be a small task such as cleaning your room, cooking dinner for your significant other, mowing your lawn, etc.
Or you can aim higher with a full-hour workout every day, participate in a sports competition, learn a new language or skill, etc.
Another way to boost the dopamine in your body is to do a self-care activity. Reward yourself from time to time with a spa day, new haircut, salon manicure, etc.
When you eat healthy food, your brain triggers the release of dopamine as a reward. So you’ll be able to boost your happy hormones just by eating food. How dope is that?!
In the end, how can you reward yourself if not by celebrating every little win?
Get yourself a piece of cake after every week of hard work. Go out for a drink with your buddies once a month or so to celebrate your fitness progress. Whatever and whenever you want to celebrate something, no matter how big or small it is, do it!
You can hack your brain to release dopamine by completing tasks, taking care of yourself, celebrating little wins, and just eating your favorite food.
2. Oxytocin – The Love Hormone
This neurotransmitter has a huge role in reproduction and everything linked to parenthood.
Studies have found that the more oxytocin parents (natural or foster) have, the stronger the bond between them and their child is.
The love hormone is also abundantly released by your brain when you fall in love, or during sexual activity.
To boost oxytocin production, you can do many other things with your partner besides having sex:
- Hold hands;
- Give your partners a compliment.
Also, you can play with a pet or a baby to release oxytocin and elevate your mood.
3. Serotonin – The Mood Controller
Everything that leads to mood changes has something to do with your serotonin levels.
This chemical is made from the essential amino acid called tryptophan. And since your body doesn’t produce this amino acid naturally, you’ll have to get it from your food to stabilize your mood.
Serotonin is one of the four happy hormones because it reduces anxiety and depression, boosts your mood, raises your libido, and controls your sleep.
To increase your serotonin levels, you should follow these tips:
- Eat foods high in tryptophan, such as red meat, cheese, and nuts;
- Meditate to reduce your stress;
- Walk, run, or cycle (in nature if possible) regularly;
- Get some sunshine.
4. Endorphin – The Pain Killer
Whenever you’re stressed or experience pain, your brain will produce a chemical called endorphin to help you relieve the pain and feel better.
Their effect is very similar to opioids like morphine, codeine, or oxycodone. It dulls the pain and produces a feeling of euphoria.
Endorphin is one of the easiest to boost happy hormones. That’s because there are numerous ways to increase it:
- Laugh – watch a comedy movie, a stand-up show, or meet with your friends;
- Exercise – go for a swim, a run, or a gym session;
- Eat dark chocolate – studies show that cocoa helps increase endorphin levels;
- Meditate or do yoga – they help relieve stress by encasing your endorphin levels;
- Consume spicy foods – they might not be best for your belly, but they definitely are great for your brain;
- Donate to charity – this should make you feel better;
- Do volunteer work – helping others is the best way to make you feel better.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to trick your brain to boost your mood and increase your happiness.
Knowing how to regulate these four happy hormones (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin) is the key to a happy life.