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Happiness is a feeling which makes our lives worth living. It could be experienced in a simple gesture, a smile or it could be felt in a complex emotion like love. Overall happiness is a lot more than just a feeling. I’ll share the science behind happiness.
How complex could Happiness be!!!! Right??
You’ll be surprised.
Why do we get Happy?
Happiness is balanced in our brain by “Neurotransmitters” they trigger the right area of the brain and get released in just the right amount to cause happiness. The neurotransmitters that are responsible for happiness are:
Dopamine: Reward Hormone
It’s mainly responsible for pleasure-seeking or reward-driven behavior in us. An increase in dopamine is responsible for a positive mood. We could generate more dopamine by setting a goal and achieving it. Since it’s a reward-driven hormone it spikes with goal completion and gives us a feeling of pleasure.
Endorphins: Pain Relief Hormone
We all know that endorphins are released with strenuous activity and it causes inhibition of pain which in turn causes a positive mood. We should incorporate the activities in our daily life to induce endorphin production like:
- Love-making & Orgasm
These would provide the necessary “Endorphin high” to the body.
Serotonin: Calming Hormone
It is responsible for Happiness, optimism & satisfaction. It is responsible for
- Increase in self-esteem
- Feeling worthy
- Reduce sensitivity to rejection
- Builds confidence
- Creates a sense of belonging
It’s a very important hormone in being happy. It is an integral component of antidepressant medication (SSRI) to combat Depression. We could achieve high serotonin levels in the body by challenging ourselves with a worthy task, pursuing something meaningful, and accomplishing something important in life.
Nor-Epinephrine: Excitability Hormone
It provides our body with the drive to do something. It constantly keeps us active and excited but with time hyper-excitable states cause tiredness, inability to sleep, lack of rest, and unhappiness. So it’s balanced by serotonin which negates its effects and brings calmness to the body.
The right balance between both hormones brings happiness to a person.
Oxytocin: Love Hormone
It’s responsible for trust and loyalty which are the main ingredients of a relationship. A good romantic attachment could bring immense happiness to our lives.
Oxytocin could increase in our body with:
A few other hormones which also play a role in happiness are GABA/ Adrenaline etc.
Things to do to be Happy
We could include a few things in our routine that increases the neurotransmitter release like:
- Physical activity: Gym/ Jogging etc.
- Listen to music
- Get a pet
- Laughter therapy
- Get sunlight
- Keeping a healthy & meaningful relationship
- Join a community/ group
- Be with friends
- Be healthy
Food responsible for Happiness:
There are few known food & beverages which have an active role in the production or release of hormones so they should be included in our diet to be happy.
Dopamine rich food:
- Cocoa beans
- Brown rice
- Sesame/ sunflower seeds
At times the only thing that could bring us happiness is comfort food. It’s usually food that is associated with a happy memory or place and it brings us joy.
Read: What is comfort food?
Let’s bring joy and happiness in everyone life.
Be Happy and Be Healthy