- November 16, 2020, 4-min. read -
It's raining outside. People aren’t allowed to meet their loved ones. For long days you’re sitting at home working remotely with minimal contact with the outer world. The media is pressing you with urgent news about the new number of infections and your favorite sports ground is closed until further notice. Do you find yourself feeling lonely and frustrated by not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel? Feeling a little gloomy? It's high time to take your well-being into your own hands!
Hormones, chemicals produced by various glands across our bodies, are transported by the circulatory system to exert their functions. While some are responsible for overall bodily functions such as respiration & sleep, some help us regulate our mood. Certain hormones are even known to promote positive feelings. Understanding how these natural mood-boosters work can help you hack yourself out of the fall blues.
Endorphins are perhaps the best known of the happy hormones. They relieve our pain and contribute to a good mood and feelings of happiness. Long ago they helped us flee from beasts despite injuries. They are also useful for thermoregulation. Today, they help us reduce anxiety and even work against chronic pain.
Dopamine improves our motor skills, regulates appetite and is associated with reward. It is excreted when we win something, succeed, or achieve the desired goal. It’s thanks to dopamine that we get a euphoric feeling and a desire to continue. It can therefore also be responsible for some addictions, such as gambling.
Oxytocin is the so-called love hormone. It is excreted in the event of body contact, hugging, for example. It helps us feel love, trust, and strengthens relationships. It pours out abundantly during childbirth or sex. A lack of it is a telltale sign of a feeling of loneliness.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that transmits stimuli. It’s related to muscle tension, and respectively relaxation, sleep, self-confidence and an optimistic outlook on life. A dearth of serotonin can cause tension, migraines, indigestion, poor healing of wounds, a tendency to worry and fears about the future.
Although happiness means different things for different people, our brains and bodies are continuously undergoing multiple processes that we can influence with our actions. Once we understand how our happy hormones work, we can easily use them to our advantage.