Every year, the International Day of Happiness is celebrated on March 20. The United Nations General Assembly established it on June 28, 2012. The day is celebrated to create awareness around the world about the significant role that happiness plays in our lives. This year, we’d like you all to know the four happy hormones that you can trigger with simple hacks to calm yourself down in stressful situations.
Activating the 4 Happy Hormones
Here’s a list of four happy hormones that you can hack by making certain adjustments in lifestyle:
1. Dopamine: The Reward Chemical
Dopamine, the “feel-good” or “pleasure” hormone, is a neurotransmitter that is an essential component of your brain’s reward system. It’s important because it assists you in achieving your goals, desires, and wants. You won’t be able to enjoy pleasant feelings, learning, memory, motor abilities, or other activities if you don’t have enough dopamine. Releasing Dopamine is easy; experiences like having completed an assignment, participating in a self-care activity, and eating foods that you enjoy can help.
2. Oxytocin: The Love Chemical
Oxytocin, sometimes known as the “love hormone,” is a neurotransmitter secreted by the pituitary gland. This chemical’s production is known to be stimulated by touch and intimacy. It is required for childbirth, breastfeeding, and a strong parent-child connection. This hormone can also aid in the development of trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships, and oxytocin levels rise with physical affection such as kissing, cuddling, and intercourse. Apart from that, you can also play with a dog, hold someone’s hand, or hug a loved one.
3. Endorphins: The Painkiller
Endorphins, sometimes known as the “natural pain reliever” or “comfort” hormone, are neurotransmitters that help you cope with the feeling that something is wrong – both physically and mentally. When endorphin levels are low, you may feel as if everything is collapsing around you. Endorphins are produced through activities such as exercise (hello, runner’s high), eating, intimacy, laughing, having dark chocolate, and so much more.
4. Serotonin: The Mood Stabilizer
Serotonin, often known as the “mood-regulator” hormone, is a neurotransmitter derived from the amino acid tryptophan (found in turkey and other foods) that works to regulate the body, boost appetite, trigger sleep, and govern mood. The general feeling of happiness is impossible to achieve without serotonin. In this light, low serotonin levels result in the inability to sleep, depression and worry. To increase serotonin, try meditation, walk-in-nature, swimming, getting out in the sun, riding a bike, etc.
This International Day of Happiness, we hope you learn how to activate these essential happy hormones and make all your loved ones around you aware of the same.