So what, according to you, makes one happy. A pair of new shoes , a home theatre or a new car? This feeling of happiness is a result of an interplay of 4 chemicals released by the human brain. These are endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin.
Endorphins are body’s natural painkillers and help us in getting rid of all kinds of pain in the body. Hence the term endogenous morphine has been given to them. Serotonin helps in acquiring the feeling of stability, satisfaction and content. (And you thought it was the new dress that you bought on sale today!!) Dopamine is the achiever’s hormone. It keeps us motivated to achieve a target and then feel proud about it. Finally, oxytocin takes care of our relationships. It handles the emotions of love, affection, trust and generosity. These happiness hormones is all it takes to make us feel on top of the world.
All said and done, how does this information help us? Well it does so by telling us that the key to happiness lies with these four hormones. So focusing on increasing the levels of these hormones in our blood, is the surest way of staying happy and content. Simple lifestyle and dietary modifications can help us in achieving the same. Sun exposure and regular exercises are known to increase the levels of serotonin and endorphins in blood. Avoid foods with high sugar content as they decrease the serotonin leading to anxiety and depression. Eat a high protein and egg diet along with colored fruits and vegetables. Regular yoga and meditation exercises increases the level of dopamine and oxytocin, so does massage. Lastly, make some good food and have it with your loved ones. This one targets all the four hormones.
So, the next time you feel sad, skip shopping or movie and hit the gym or kitchen instead!!