What are Hormones?

Lets talk about Happy Hormones. But first we need to understand what hormones are. Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands in our bodies. They travel through the bloodstream, acting as messengers and playing a part in many bodily processes.

One of these important functions is helping to regulate our mood.

There are certain hormones that are known to give us positive feelings, including happiness and pleasure. These are also known as the “Happy Hormones”.

They are Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphin.

Dopamine “The Reward Hormone”

Dopamine is sometimes associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. It is also associated with the brain’s reward system, reinforcing behaviors that are essential for survival, such as eating and socializing. Dopamine is also involved in motivation, learning, and motor control.

Examples of Dopamine release:

  • Completing a task.
  • Eating food you like.
  • Self Care activities
  • Celebrating small wins
  • Achieving small or big goals

Oxytocin “The Love Hormone”

Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love hormone” or “bonding hormone” because it plays a significant role in social bonding, trust, and empathy. It is released during activities such as hugging, kissing, or bonding with loved ones. Oxytocin is also involved in childbirth and breastfeeding.

Oxytocin is released when you:

  • Play with a pet.
  • Give or receive physical affection.
  • Give a compliment.
  • Do something nice for someone.
  • Hug someone in your family or a close friend.

Serotonin “The Mood Stabiliser”

Serotonin is sometimes called the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. It helps regulate mood, appetite, and sleep, and it contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. Imbalances in serotonin levels have been linked to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

You can access the release of serotonin by:

  • Meditating.
  • Swimming.
  • Walking amongst nature.
  • Spending time in the sun getting Vitamin D.
  • Practicing Mindfulness.

Endorphins “The Pain Killers”

Endorphins are a group of hormones produced naturally by the body in response to stress or pain. They are often released during physical activity, leading to what is called the “runner’s high.”

Endorphins can induce feelings of euphoria and reduce feelings of pain or discomfort.

Simple ways to release endorphins include:

  • Laughing
  • Eating Dark chocolate
  • Engaging in exercise.
  • Listening to music
  • Having a massage.
  • Smelling strong pleasant scents releases endorphins. Essential oils are the fastest, easiest, most accessible way to smell a strong pleasant scent.

How do I know if I have a chemical imbalance?

It’s essential to note that the functions of these chemicals are complex, and imbalances or dysregulation can contribute to various mental health issues.

There is no accurate test for chemical imbalances, but some of the signs can include depression, addiction, schizophrenia or mood swings.

Overall, the brain’s neurochemistry is influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, lifestyle, and experiences.

So, maintaining a healthy balance of these neurotransmitters is crucial for our general mental and emotional well-being.