“Understanding is the best thing in the world” so says Ray Charles. Understanding how our bodies function is a step closer to understanding the choices we make.
Each and every function our body performs is infulanced by hormones. From digestion to sleep homnones are involved. Four of them determin what we think and feel, they are happy hormones Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin & Serotonin. Think of them as DEOS – ‘the gods’ (in Latin) of happines.
Here are a few ideas how to obtain a regular dose of the happy hormones throughout each day which costs little and benefits you and me, today and tomorrow.
Just do it! The Nike slogan clearly understands that achieving a goal, no matter how big or small, makes you feel good. Basically, anything you can tick off your list gives you a shot of Dopamine. So be smart, set small goals and you’ll receive a constant input. So write up the shopping list and tick off the milk.
Endorphin’s task is to mask pain, isn’t that amazing? Endorphins are activated if you go for a brisk walk and get even more excited if you go with a few friends. My favorite is laughing, a little is fine or for a big dose, rock till your belly aches. Spicy food also brings on the pain masking neurotransmitter, so add those chillies!
The love hormone. Hugging family, friends, even strangers, all will get you the oxytocin you need. Trees are also happy to oblige. Holding hands, even shaking hands with someone gets you a little. So greet everyone today, either with a hug or a handshake.
The mood-stabilizing hormone is more sensitive to diet than any other neurotransmitter. Eggs, spinach, milk, nuts, seeds and sunlight are all good for increasing Serotonin levels. Meditation, deep breathing combined with good thoughts or good memories will flood you with happy Serotonin. So choose your thoughts carefully, it’s your obligation to be good to yourself.
To get the full package in one experience try the following – Slip on your walking shoes, set outside and take a brisk walk on a sunny day. You’ll be getting Serotonin from the sun, Endorphins from the exercise, Dopamine from achieving your goal and Oxytocin for hugging your walking partner or a tree on route!
So be mindful and remember who is in control.