How to increase the hormones of happiness
Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, estrogen, and progesterone levels depend in part on our genes and in part on our actions. The good news is that there are very easy and effective ways to stimulate these hormones, like listening to music.
According to a study published in 2008 by the journal Psychological Science, then another published in Nature in 2016, our genes are responsible for approximately 50% of our happiness. Although our natural tendency is towards low spirits, we can make active decisions to live a brighter and more joyous daily life.
To do this, it helps to better understand the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect our mood, and the best ways to stimulate them. If neither of these techniques works well, the help of a healthcare professional may be necessary.
This hormone of happiness is a neurotransmitter that directs your brain's reward system. If praised for doing a good job, this circuit kicks in and you experience a sense of well-being. Dopamine also stimulates pleasure-seeking behaviors.
This mood-enhancing neurotransmitter is particularly sensitive to exercise. This is why a brisk walk does wonders for your spirits. Exercising for 10 minutes a day is sufficient for a stimulating effect.
Both a neurotransmitter and a hormone of happiness, oxytocin is often referred to as "the love hormone." Its impact is particularly known in women, for whom oxytocin is directly related to the level of life satisfaction.
This happy hormone helps form serotonin and protects you from irritability and anxiety, keeping your mood stable. Estrogen decreases with menopause, as well as with lifestyle habits like smoking and extreme exercise. Estrogen / progesterone imbalance in perimenopause can also negatively affect mood.
This hormone helps you sleep well and prevents anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Its levels drop in women after age 35 or 40, and this drop can be accelerated by excessive stress and poor eating habits. Hormone replacement therapy is sometimes recommended to better cope with the transition to menopause.
There are some very simple natural techniques to stimulate the production of the hormones of happiness. Here are the main ones:
1. Listening to music to get more dopamine.
2. Eat carbohydrates (whole grains, quinoa, etc.) to increase serotonin levels.
3. Spend time with loved ones to increase oxytocin.
4. Participate in relaxation activities like yoga and meditation to increase estrogen.