What are happiness hormones? And how you can make more.


Do you ever stop and think about what makes you happy? Spending time with loved ones, exercising, hugs, sharing a meal or ticking things off your to-do list…? All of these everyday actions cause the release of hormones into your body to make you feel good. And the great news is, learning more about them can also teach you how to make more.


Hormones aren’t just for teenagers and pregnant women. Everyone (both male and female) is ruled by these little chemical messengers. The endocrine system is responsible for creating and distributing hormones into the bloodstream, which is the body’s way of communicating with itself. There are four main happiness hormones that release feel-good energy into our brains and bodies; all of which can be triggered naturally.


“The release of these chemicals help to make us feel happy. And the good feelings associated with make us want to experience those chemicals again and again,” says endota natural therapist Theresa Prsa.



A life hack that makes you happier


Often referred to by the acronym D.O.S.E, the four main happiness hormones are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin. You’ve probably heard of these before, but let’s break down what they do and how they work.

 

Do something for yourself

Do something for yourself

Dopamine

This is the reward chemical. It’s organically triggered by things like praise, positive outcomes, winning and food. It gives us a reason to go back for more, so it can help you form habits and affects focus, movement and memory.

Stimulate it naturally by:

  • Celebrating the little wins in daily life

  • Listening to feel good music

  • Finishing a task or project you started

  • Engaging in self-care rituals

 

Do something for yourself

Discover meditation

Serotonin

This one is a mood stabiliser. It also helps with regulating sleep patterns, improving general happiness and decreasing anxiety. Our gut bacteria is responsible for about 95% of the body’s supply.

Stimulate it naturally by:

 

Spend quality time with your loved ones

Share a hug with your loved ones

Oxytocin

People often refer to this as the love hormone. It’s released when we feel safe, connected, and close to people we trust and it helps strengthen bonds between humans. There’s a surge of this hormone after childbirth and while breastfeeding.

Stimulate it naturally by:

  • Preparing and sharing food with loved ones

  • Sharing hugs or holding hands with friends and family

  • Cuddling up to a pet

  • Giving compliments

  • Giving or receiving a massage



Spend quality time with your loved ones

Enjoy a workout

Endorphin

The natural pain killer. Endorphin is involved in the fight or flight response and helps manage pain, reduce stress and increase pleasure.

Stimulate it naturally by:

  • Eating dark chocolate

  • Exercising

  • Laughing out loud with friends

  • Watching your favourite, feel-good movie

  • Being creative



 

Find what works for you


There’s a lot you can do in your day or week that activates these feel-good chemicals. You can even try a combination to release more than one hormone at once.


“If you needed yet another reason to book in for a massage, they can boost all four of your happiness hormones at once,” Theresa adds. “Aromatherapy is another way – blending essentials oils like lavender to help alleviate anxiety or depression, peppermint to uplift and orange to calm the mind and support a positive mood.”


Booking in a massage can boost all four of your happiness hormones at once. Find your local spa here.

 

She also says that taking the time to reflect on your own happiness is a great first step in self-care. From there you’ll be able to find how to best get your happiness hormones flowing. “Channeling some positive energy about what makes us feel good is important. We are all unique, what inspires one may not inspire another. The best way to get these hormones flowing for me is to have balance in my life,” Theresa says. “Learning and understanding how these hormones impact our lives, plays a vital role in us building positive pathways to a fulfilling life. It’s about loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves by tending to our emotional and physical needs.”


It is important to be mindful about our lifestyle and how we’re treating ourselves (and how we’re allowing ourselves to be treated by others). Carve out some time in your calendar to prioritise self-care, no matter what shape or form that might take, and you’ll feel the benefits from the inside out.

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