Have you ever felt so stressed, sad or irritated and cannot pinpoint what's causing it? Many of the people you know might be experiencing the same thing. Why is it important to be aware of the status of your mental health? And how can you boost your happy hormones? This blog article aims to address these questions.
The Importance of Your Mental Health
Mental health awareness is crucial as it affects every facet of an individual's life. It also affects daily functioning. When you have a good mental health status, you feel happy, accomplished and content in all areas of life. If your mind and emotional state are jeopardized, a fit body won’t even matter.
Our brain is definitely a key player in mental health. It is responsible for supporting everyday decision-making, body functions and productivity. With a number of different options, we can help improve our mental health and trigger hormones to support greater cognitive clarity, focus and memory.
Don't worry, it's not as complex as you may think. By making a few simple modifications to your daily habits and routines; you'll be able to boost these hormones and feel good every day.
What are the “Happy Hormones”?
Generally, we have four ‘happy hormones’ in our body namely "endorphins", "serotonin", "dopamine", and "oxytocin". Many think that adrenaline (also called epinephrine) is one of the happy hormones but it's not. It stimulates a fight-or-flight response but per se, it doesn't make us happy rather, just highly excitable.
Endorphins - also referred to as "body's natural painkiller". In ancient times, this helped our ancestors to keep running even under pain from their predators and also increase endurance when hunting. Today, we produce endorphins when we exercise. When rigorous exercise deplete our muscles, endorphins allow us to push through.
Serotonin - this hormone makes us more sociable by improving our mood. When someone lacks serotonin in his or her body, the person starts experiencing irritability which can lead to depression in more serious circumstances.
Dopamine - also referred to as "pleasure hormone". It triggers when we strive towards a goal. It is generally experienced from the pleasure of rewards which we have achieved.
Oxytocin - also referred to as "love hormone". It triggers during physical contact. During intercourse and childbirth, the body produces large amounts of oxytocin. However, a good hug works as well. This hormone is responsible for making us feel loved and trusted. It is one of the reasons why relationships boost our happiness.
How Do You Boost Your Happy Hormones?
1. Make Time with Friends and People You Love
Oxytocin becomes high when you trust someone or you feel being trusted. Being surrounded by people you naturally feel good about socializing frequently with them boost this hormone. Hand to body contact will also help release hormones. It is when you feel that you are being cared about and having people who make you feel that your existence is significant in their lives that you become fully happy.
2. Lovingly Hug Someone
When was the last time you tightly hugged someone? For some, it's probably been a while. Oxytocin is at its peak when you hug someone, especially those who are near and dear to you. You will feel your neurons firing up. It is essential to remind yourself that when you hug, it’s best to hug lovingly. Throw yourself into it, hold tight and show the love.
3. Start and Finish Up a Project
Reach for the goal! Dopamine increases dramatically when you feel being competitive. By finishing a project you've started or accepting a new challenge, you will feel the pleasure of reward, a sense of fulfillment and a contentment. These feelings will also make you genuinely happy.
4. Try Aromatherapy
Did you know that Endorphins set off the brief euphoria that masks physical pain? For a quick fix, you can try lighting a candle, specifically the scent of either lavender or vanilla. Research has shown that these scents were found to help boost your endorphins. Aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds are helpful for improving psychological or physical well-being.
5. Laugh Harder
As the saying goes, "laughter is the best medicine". Laughter will do the trick for endorphins and serotonin too. Watching comedy shows, reading a funny book, calling a jolly friend during the weekends or anything that will make you laugh can be a good way to boost hormones. When was the last time you laughed so hard?
6. Eat Spicy Food
Spicy food stimulates the production of endorphins. Independent researchers found out that the stimulation occurs when the “spicy” part of the food, like a substance called capsaicin, comes into contact with taste buds on your tongue. Receptors of the tongue send a signal to the brain and this signal is similar to a pain signal. This triggers the release of endorphins. Have you been addictive to spicy foods? This hormone might be the reason why.
7. Stay Relaxed and Calm
Of all the stresses and anxieties that you are experiencing every day, it is best to always stay relaxed and calm. This gives you enough room to think of solutions and resolve your problems. At times when anxiety may be taking over, play some games and puzzles or listen to soothing music, any relaxing activity will be beneficial.
8. Balanced and Healthy Diet is the Key
Always remember that unhealthy eating habits can have a detrimental impact on the brain, and this can lead the decrease in production of happy hormones. Here are some tips for following a ‘happiness’ diet:
- Decrease the amounts of processed foods eaten.
- Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- With meats, choose those that come from grass-fed animals
A great mix of food like mussels, spinach, asparagus, eggs, salmon, dark chocolate, legumes and nuts, avocado etc. can be a good choice. You can also take a high potency probiotic designed to help boost the immune system and improve digestion.
9. Feel the heat of the sun
Serotonin can also be produced under a bright light. Everyone needs Vitamin D as it plays a crucial role in strengthening bones, fighting depression and most importantly, in boosting immunity. If you get a chance to bask in the sun on a regular basis, go for it! If you are located in specific areas where you don't have much opportunity to experience the sun's heat, Vitamin D supplementation has also been linked to boosting serotonin providing similar results.
10. Nothing Beats Exercise
Exercise is a favorable time for happy hormones to get released into the body’s system. It releases serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine. Regular exercise is important to make sure that happy hormones are present. Many other hormones are triggered when one starts off his or her routine exercises. People who are engaged in regular exercise activities mostly have good self-esteem. They are motivated and most of all, happy. Exercise, therefore, will not only keep our bodies strong and healthy, but it can also improve our mood and energy levels.
Sports can induce happy hormone production. You can start with low-impact activities then switch to more rigorous activities over time.
To make exercise more interesting, why not try joining an exercise club? Group activities can always heighten the state of focus.
The following are additional benefits you can get from exercising which may have a significant impact on boosting your happy hormones:
- Helps in the reduction of body fat
- Improves your muscle strength and tone
- Increases your energy levels
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Makes you fit and healthy
- Strengthens your heart muscles
- Strengthens and builds your bones
11. Give Yourself a Break
The hassles of everyday life can raise stress levels which affect someone's mood and energy. Give yourself an invaluable experience and learn how to meditate and re-energize. When your body is relaxed, it tends to release different happy hormones making your outlook in life more optimistic. You can also go for a massage, organize a weekend vacation or do fun things which you haven't done before.
12. Regular supplementation
There are also natural ways of boosting your happy hormones. Taking supplements like Nature's Branch Brain Booster+ is a good alternative and can complement with the above mentioned tips. It serves as a powerful boost to your focus, memory, and clarity and also maximizes your performance levels making you feel concentrated and focused in reaching your goals. Our Brain Booster+ contains a premium, exclusive blend of herbal ingredients such as St. John’s Wort and Ginkgo Biloba which research has shown helps improve hormonal balance and enhances cognitive brain function. Click below to find out the many other benefits:
By tweaking a few things in your daily routine, you can achieve a happy life. Learning how to effectively boost your happy hormones is an advantage and it’s never as difficult as you think. Remember that your brain is your best buddy and taking care of it is utmost essential in acquiring a good mental health.
Together, let's enjoy a life full of happiness!