“Happy hormones” are neurotransmitters in the brain that contribute to positive emotions, well-being, and our overall sense of happiness. The four main happy hormones are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. (It helps to remember the acronym DOSE!) While happiness is complex, these happy hormones work together to influence our emotions, mood, and overall sense of well-being.
aka “The Reward Hormone”
Dopamine is commonly known as the "reward hormone" or "pleasure neurotransmitter." It plays a crucial role in the brain's reward and motivation system. Dopamine is involved in experiencing pleasure, reinforcing behaviors, and facilitating feelings of reward and satisfaction.
5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Dopamine:
- Accomplish a goal
- Check something off your to do list
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Organize your space
- Send a thank you note
aka “The Love Hormone”
Oxytocin is often called the "love hormone.” It is released during social bonding activities, such as cuddling, hugging, and laughing. Oxytocin promotes feelings of trust, attachment, empathy, and social connection.
5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Oxytocin:
- Commit a random act of kindness
- Cuddle your pet
- Give someone a hug
- Smile at people
- Spend time with friends
aka “The Happy Hormone”
Serotonin is often referred to as the "happiness hormone." It plays a vital role in regulating mood, promoting a sense of well-being, and supporting mental health. Serotonin helps regulate sleep, appetite, and digestion, and is involved in various cognitive functions.
5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Serotonin:
- Eat healthy carbs
- Read a good book
- Soak up the sun
- Spend time in nature
- Take magnesium
aka “The Calm Hormone”
Endorphins are natural pain-relieving compounds produced by the body that help reduce pain and relieve stress. They sometimes induce feelings of euphoria, as in the case of “runner’s high.” Endorphins are released in response to physical activity, laughter, or other pleasurable experiences.
5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Endorphins:
- Eat some dark chocolate
- Go for a bike ride
- Go for a run
- Take a hot bath
- Take magnesium