Know Your Happy Hormones-Dopamine! Many people do not know that their happiness comes from certain chemicals in their bodies. Others have heard of this fact but they did not internalize it well enough to act upon it. What is acting on this type of information? It is knowing what would help you to produce more of these hormones and more often? Don’t you want to be happy more often? We thought so!

Four hormones are associated with our happiness: Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins. Happiness is a great feeling. When you are happy, you feel a level of satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, and many other positive emotions. Happiness encompasses feelings of positivism and pleasure, pride, …etc. However, have you ever thought about what controls your mood? Do you control your moods, or do your mood swings control you? This is a difficult question but it is worth pondering over.

Being happy, sad, anxious, etc., all are moods, and up to some extent, we are in charge of controlling them. When your brain expects a reward or anticipates pleasure, joy satisfaction from any activity, that may be food, intimacy, or other desired things or activities. It releases a hormone called dopamine- our happy hormone.

What is a happy hormone?

Know  your happy hormone, Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced and released in your body. It is the chemical messenger used by the body. Dopamine is a hormone that plays a significant role in regulating your mood, reward, and pleasure feelings. Besides pleasure and happiness, it also works in learning, focused thinking, and motivation. Dopamine affects also your body’s physical function, such as heart rate, kidney function, lactation, etc. It is called the happy hormone or the feel-good hormone.

Dopamine does not work alone. It works along with other hormones that release specific emotions of happiness such as love, appreciation, and admiration. Dopamine is produced in a two-way step process. First, it changes the amino-acid tyrosine into dopa and subsequently into dopamine.

How to increase the happy hormone in your body?

Here comes the tips to control the production of your happy hormones. They may also work as a therapy to make you feel better and kick off your low hormones. We have divided these tips into three categories: food, brain, and physical activities that will help you increase the production of dopamine in your body naturally.

What are your happy hormones’ food items?

Know  your happy hormone, Dopamine and what foods help with it. Food intake plays a significant role in maintaining your physical and emotional health and helps increase dopamine naturally. Below are the types of foods that are associated with Dopamine production:

Proteins are essential for overall well-being. They play a crucial factor in the functioning of physical health. The critical building block of protein is ‘amino acid.’ Tyrosine, a type of amino acid, is the key player in producing dopamine.

Studies revealed that consuming tyrosine and phenylalanine increases the dopamine level. And Tyrosine can be found in beans, beef, turkey, chicken, Jackfruits, berries, and raisins….

Avoid Saturated Fats

Consuming saturated fats in large quantities can disrupt the dopamine level. The saturated fats include the fat that is obtained from fatty meat animals, butter, and full-fat dairy products.

Consumption of probiotics also helps improve dopamine levels. Probiotics can be found in Bananas, custard apple, watermelon, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

L-dopa contains the dopamine molecules that help increase the levels of dopamine. You may find L-dopa in foods like broad beans, also known as velvet beans, bananas, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, and sauerkraut.

Techniques to improve happy brain chemicals

The feeling of happiness is directly related to your brain state. Improving happy brain chemicals is specifically related to charging and relaxing your brain so that it can work more efficiently.

Get enough sleep: Not sleeping enough can destroy the overall rhythm of your brain and deplete the positive hormones released in the brain. Less sleep makes you less alert, devoid of energy, and tired.
Listen to music: According to a study, light instrumental music help release some dopamine.
Meditation: A study has shown that meditation increases dopamine levels by 64% in the subjects studied.

Physical activities that help improve dopamine: Physical activities are the most crucial part of keeping your body active and energetic. Physical exercise helps remodel the reward and satisfaction system. Thanks to high physical activity, the brain releases a high level of dopamine receptors. Recommended activities may include aerobics, swimming, dancing, and the like of workout that includes fun as well.

Charging it with sunlight: Sunlight is another one of those natural remedies that fight most of the problems naturally. Exposure to sunlight is highly effective for human bodies. Not only does it keep you energetic and provides sufficient amounts of Vitamin D badly needed by the body, but it also helps increase the dopamine levels in the human system. The proof of the sun effect is the SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder), which occurs when people feel gloomy because of not having enough exposure to sunlight.

What is Next?

These were tips to help you manage better your mood through learning about Dopamine, one of your happy hormones, and how to produce more of it and more often. Try these tips, and do let us know how it went. But before that, come back and read about the three other happiness hormones in the three coming parts of this series. Our next blog will be about Serotonin, another happiness and love hormone. See you soon!

Authored by Afsheen Khan.  for Fujn

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