Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands across your body. They travel through the bloodstream, acting as messengers and playing a part in many bodily processes. Hormones affect our mood. Some are responsible for stress others for happiness and joy. Certain hormones are known to help promote positive feelings, including happiness and pleasure. These “happy hormones” include
- Dopamine: This hormone is released when you are working towards a goal or celebrating a win (even a little one). In other words, dopamine is produced after you get something you want or need, even if it requires money or efforts. To get this reward hormone, the standard you set to achieve your goals should be something to aspire to: not something super easy and not too hard either. Dopamine is associated with pleasurable sensations, along with learning, memory, motor system function, and more.
- Serotonin: It is produced in the brain and the gut. In the gut, lots of serotonin gets released after eating a meal. It produced an emotional response to people you love and in social situations where your social status is enhanced. It is related to reducing stress and earning status, respect and recognition. This hormone (and neurotransmitter) helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory. Your serotonin increases when someone important to you loves you.
- Oxytocin: Often called the “love hormone,” oxytocin is essential for childbirth, breastfeeding, and strong parent-child bonding. This hormone can also help promote trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships and oxytocin levels generally increase with physical affection like kissing, cuddling, and sex. Oxytocin fosters our trust in people around us and our sense of security in a group of people.
- Endorphins: These are substances that come from exercise or are released to help you ignore pain when you’re in a dangerous or stressful situation. Endorphins also stem from crying laughing, so both of these things can be really useful.
Set goals for yourself, workout, be happy, hug your loved ones and laugh.