Happy Hormones and How to Activate Them!

Let’s talk about Happy Hormones! 

Happiness can feel abstract, transcendent and complicated. It often seems like you have to do something huge to find fulfillment and experience real joy. But here is a feel good fact: There is plenty of low hanging fruit that will improve your mood. I ll create a separate post about several simple activities that unleash one or more of your body’s spirit- boosting hormones, but let’s take a look at these hormones first: 

  1. Adrenaline. A hormone released when you are scared. It’s called a rush for a reason. It makes you feel alive and exhilarated. 
  2. Dopamine. A neurotransmitter dubbed “the reward molecule “. Levels rise when you experience something new or surprising. 
  3. Endorphins. These neurochemicals are your body’s supply of organic painkillers. If you have ever had a runners high, it’s because of them. 
  4. GABA. This molecule actually turns off nerves in your brain, giving you a cozy feeling of calm- kind of like a natural Xanax. 
  5. Oxytocin. The hormone springs into action when you feel a bond – or sense of trust and loyalty with someone else. 
  6. Serotonin. Feeling confident and good about yourself unleashes this neurotransmitter. 

So here is a list of activities you can do to boost these happy hormones:

  1. Adrenaline! Go Skydiving 🪂 or master paddlebording, or ask for a raise – anything scary that leaves your palms sweaty and pulse racing. You’ll feel amazing when you accomplish it- trust me 😁
  2. Dopamine. Exercise 💪 To power through the burn, your brain produces endorphins, then doles out dopamine as a reward for getting your ass of the couch. Bring a friend to a workout and you will score oxytocin and serotonin.
  3. Endorphins. Get off your feet and hop , skip, jump. You might feel funny doing it, but that’s the mood boosting magic. Anything that causes you to belly laugh and jiggle your insides Spurs endorphins, thanks to an unexpected release of muscle tension. 
  4. GABA. Spend time in your head. Taking 10 min to meditate can help override anxiety, replacing it with chemicals of calm. Or try accupuncture.
  5. Oxytocin. Play with a puppy 🐶 Interacting with a furry friend- or even scrolling through cute kitten photos- triggers your bonding instinct. 
  6. Serotonin. Bitch it out. A vent session is a precursor to a positive mindset, even if what you are talking about is neggy. You feel bonded with the pal you are talking to and knowing that someone sees the situation the way you do ups your confidence.