Happiness depends on many things. It is an emotional reaction to the changes we occur in career, marriage, and personal life. Scientifically, the levels of chemicals and hormones that our brains create influence our general mood. Altogether, they contribute to the science of happiness.
The science of happiness and its chemicals
Our nervous system releases many neurotransmitters that influence how we feel. The most important of them are:
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter our brain and intestines create. It is an essential piece of the puzzle to our day-to-day happiness. Once produced, it circulates in the blood throughout the central nervous system where it increases the feeling of well-being and belonging. Because people with high serotonin levels have an optimistic perspective upon life, it is also known as the “happiness chemical.” The lack of serotonin causes issues with nausea, bowel movements, and sleep patterns. Nevertheless, too much serotonin also affects our health. It can have a negative impact on osteoporosis and even reduce libido. We produce it while cuddling, exercising, exposing to the sun, relaxing, or visualizing something we really like.
Another neurotransmitter that plays an important role in our mood is Dopamine. It is firstly developed in the brain. Then, it’s distributed to other body parts through blood vessels. Your brain releases dopamine when you achieve goals, after sex, or after an enjoyable meal. Therefore, this chemical is also named the “reward molecule.” The dopamine levels grow naturally while getting proper sleep at night, exercising regularly, avoiding processed foods, sugar intake, and caffeine.
You probably encountered the feeling that you need a hug. That’s your brain looking for oxytocin. This neurotransmitter’s level grows during physical contact and creates attachment to other persons. Oxytocin is considered the parent-child chemical, but it continues to impact our happiness into adulthood too. While serotonin and dopamine act as a consequence of an action and result in temporary happiness, oxytocin promotes a long-term feeling of calm, safety, and trust. It helps us build social relationships and friendships. Whenever your brain needs it, you will be longing for attention, affection, and company. Also, it plays an important role in our health. Researches show that high levels of oxytocin boost our immune system and help us cope with stress.
If you had a good mood without knowing why endorphins have the answer. The pituitary gland and central nervous system are responsible for their production. Their main purpose is to relieve pain and sadness. At the same time, they enhance pleasure and joy. As the dopamine, endorphins represent the rewards of our brain for fulfillment. Deficiencies in endorphins cause us insomnia, anxiety, and depression. The best modality to promote the creation of endorphins is to exercise and to have an active sexual life.
Natural strategies to boost your happiness levels
- Move your body.
The more you sit, the fewer “happy chemicals” you get. In consequence, get up and move your body for at least an hour to release endorphins.
- Be grateful.
The art of gratitude contributes to balanced mental health. In this sense, meditate about the good things in your life, and show appreciation to those close to you.
- Feed your mind and soul
Your mind is hungry for new information all the time. You have to keep it active through activities like reading books, watching movies or talking to new people.
- Surround yourself with positivity
This is the most efficient natural happiness booster of all. A good company will offer you the necessary support and affection your brain needs in order to stimulate the feeling of happiness.
In conclusion, make sure your brain is full of happy thoughts and these neurotransmitters. With the help of these chemicals, you will better understand the science of happiness and how it functions.