Learn how to DOSE Yourself Happy:
Do you know that by changing our lifestyle just a little, we can inject ourselves with a dose of happiness? Happy feelings are created by our natural chemicals – neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry a message between nerve cells and to other tissues) and hormones (chemicals that are secreted by endocrine glands into the bloodstream).
The chemicals we mostly recognise are Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins.
D for Dopamine
Dopamine is a reward chemical – producing a surge of pleasure when we achieve something. Ticking off those daily goals provides us with little doses of dopamine which in turn motivates us to continue to take action in life.
Activities which will help increase your dopamine include achieving a goal, self-care activities and completing a task.
O for Oxytocin
Oxytocin is the ‘cuddle’ hormone – released when mothers give birth and breastfeed, promoting feelings of attachment. It’s also released when we hug our loved ones, stroke a pet or receive a gift. It reduces stress and improves the immune system.
Activities which will help increase your oxytocin include socialising, petting animals, physical touch and helping others.
S for Serotonin
Serotonin is released when we feel important and significant so reflecting on past achievements and expressing gratitude can stimulate the release. Being with other people also stimulates serotonin, along with a reasonably exposure to the sun. Serotonin relieves worry, improves sleep and wards off depression.
Activities which will help increase your serotonin include sun exposure, mindfulness activities, being in nature and meditation.
E for Endorphins
Endorphins are natural pain killers – released in response to pain and stress, they lift the mood. These chemicals are released when we exercise and when we laugh. Even the anticipation of laughter stimulates its release.
Activities which will help increase your endorphins include exercising, listening to music, watching a movie and laughter.
We can all make changes in our lives that encourage our bodies to produce the chemicals in the brain that support good mental health. How will you get your start to DOSE yourself happy today?
Exercise is an excellent way to boost your brain health, find out why in my article here.