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How to Feel Better With Your Feel Good Hormones

How to Feel Better With Your Feel Good Hormones I Mirra Skincare

Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

If you ever feel like you are in a lull, fear not, you are not the only one! Chances are, some TLC given to yourself and your feel good hormones will get some pep back in your step. 

Our feel good hormones, also known as our happy hormones, are the hormones that enable us to experience happiness, pleasure, motivation, excitement, and peace. Aside from mood, these feel good hormones play a critical role in bodily functions such as sleep, bone health, digestion, memory, learning, pain relief, and more. Luckily, if you're feeling slumped there are natural ways to give your hormones the TLC they need. 

Contents

1. Serotonin

2. Dopamine

3. Endorphins

4. Oxytocin

5. Final Thoughts

Key Points

  • The four feel good hormones are serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin
  • Feel good hormones facilitate more than mood regulation
  • You can stimulate the production of these feel good hormones naturally 

Serotonin

Serotonin is the first of the four feel good hormones. The chemical neurotransmitter is responsible for carrying messages between the body’s nerve cells and the brain. It also acts as a hormone! 

The main functions of serotonin fall into the categories of...

  • Mood
  • Nauseua 
  • Digestion
  • Sleep
  • Wound healing
  • Bone Health
  • Sexual health

Of course, as we know, all of the body’s workings are connected, so it is no surprise that gut health, mood, and sleep all fall under the same umbrella. About 90% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut, leaving the remaining 10% to be produced by the brain.

Via Giphy

When serotonin levels are normal, people experience happier moods, greater feelings of calmness, and increased focus and stability. When serotonin levels drop, people experience feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability. Not to mention, sleep, digestion, and sex drive may bear the consequences of low serotonin levels too. 

There are a handful of natural ways to boost serotonin levels in order to feel better, including but not limited to...

  • Exercising 
  • Getting 10-15 minutes of sunlight every day
  • Managing stress
  • Eating tryptophan rich foods like eggs, cheese, turkey, tofu, pineapple, and nuts
  • Meditating

Dopamine

Up next, we have dopamine. Like serotonin, dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter. The release of dopamine is what gives you that rush of pleasure. Aside from pleasure, dopamine is related to satisfaction and motivation. 

Dopamine plays a key role in the brain’s reward and reinforcement system, which is why we feel a dopamine rush when we accomplish or indulge in something satisfactory. The dopamine rush trains our brain to repeat the action in order to feel the same rush. Over time, our body and brain crave the dopamine rush, which can lead to addiction if you're not careful. 

Other key functions of dopamine include…

  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Learning
  • Concentration 
  • Body movements

A lack of dopamine production can deplete motivation and excitement. Low dopamine levels are associated with poor mental health. Fortunately, there is an abundance of natural ways to increase dopamine production and release in the body in order to feel better. You can try… 

  • Eating your favorite food
  • Gift giving
  • Increasing the amount of sleep you get each night
  • Volunteering
  • Managing stress
  • Getting a massage
  • Listening to music

Via Giphy

Endorphins

Endorphins are the body’s natural production of opioid like hormones acting as natural painkillers and mimicking the actions of morphine. Endorphins are released when the body encounters pain or stress and work to reduce pain signals sent to the brain as well as produce sensations of euphoria and pleasure. 

The level of endorphins one experiences varies due to physiological makeup. One may produce a lot while another may only produce a little. Low levels of endorphins can lead to addictive behavior and increased emotional and physical pain. 

Increasing endorphin release naturally can help you feel better. Don't worry though, you do not need to encounter a painful or stressful situation to produce endorphins! A few ways to produce endorphins include… 

  • Exercising 
  • Stretching
  • Having sex
  • Talking and laughing
  • Meditating
  • Getting 10-15 minutes of sunlight every day
  • Listening to music
  • Eating dark chocolate

Via Giphy

Oxytocin

Our last feel good hormone is oxytocin, better known as the love hormone. Oxytocin is produced in the brain by the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland until it is released into the bloodstream. 

Oxytocin’s largest role is in the reproductive system in males and females, particularly females. The hormone is responsible for stimulating contractions for labor and delivery as well as contractions in the breast for lactation. 

Aside from reproductive health, oxytocin influences human behavior, especially social interaction. These influences include…

  • Sexual arousal
  • Romantic-attachment
  • Parent-infant bonding
  • Trust
  • Recognition

Additionally, scientists are currently researching the role of oxytocin in addiction, depression, anorexia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

If you want to increase your oxytocin naturally, try… 

  • Socializing
  • Giving compliments to others
  • Giving hugs
  • Participating and facilitating deep conversations
  • Exercising 
  • Playing in sports

Via Giphy

Final Thoughts

The four feel good hormones facilitate vital functions in our body. You can focus on these hormones in order to pull yourself out of a lull, but it is important to recognize how interconnected all these hormones are with lifestyle habits along with natural remedies. 

For example, one action, such as exercise, falls into each feel good hormone category.  Getting sunlight falls into two. Not to mention, the impacts of the hormones go far beyond mood regulation, impacting sleep, gut health, and more. 

With that being said, small changes each day that coincide with your needs and ability at the moment make all the difference. A little progress each day is still progress, and taking the steps to feel better with your feel good hormones naturally can make all the difference. Cheers to a happier you!

Written by Lauren Conklin

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SOURCES:

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22572-serotonin
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/dopamine-the-pathway-to-pleasure
  3. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dopamine
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/endorphins-the-brains-natural-pain-reliever
  5. https://www.sinclairmethod.org/endorphins/
  6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/oxytocin-the-love-hormone
  7. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22618-oxytocin

 

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