Happiness, who doesn't thrive on that feeling. It's all down to a chemical reaction which allows us to express happiness within the body.
Specific hormones, neurotransmitters and chemical messengers contribute to that happy feeling. The neurotransmitter serotonin is the key hormone that stabilises our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness.
Endorphins also play a part, you may be familiar with the elevated feeling of energy and euphoria after vigorous exercise.
Progesterone, important for its role in fertility, also has powerful effects on anxiety and depression.
Dopamine, another feel good hormone is associated with the pleasure centre in the brain. Diets high in sugar and saturated fats can suppress dopamine, and a lack of protein in a person’s diet could mean they do not have enough l-tyrosine, which is an amino acid that helps to build dopamine in the body. The contributing factors of these hormones is like many other reactions that take place within the body. It's easy to see that changes in lifestyle can influence their reaction. There are things you can do when you are feeling out of sorts to naturally boost these happy hormones.
Adopt A Diet That Supports Happiness & Energises The Body
A diet rich in foods that will support the production and reception of happy hormones in your body and in the brain. Serotonin requires the amino acid tryptophan to regulate our mood, behaviour, and memory. Natural sources of tryptophan are found in healthy animal proteins, tofu, tempeh, chia seeds, buckwheat, and oats. Starchy carbohydrates can also help to support tryptophan transport throughout the body, contributing to a positive mood.
Chocolate is linked to the neurotransmitter serotonin. The relationship is through a key compound that can be isolated from the chocolate bar itself: Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in small quantities in chocolate and is also the precursor for serotonin. As I mentioned above serotonin is the key hormone that stabilises our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. This hormone impacts the entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. With more data emerging from research into the gut biome there is a better understanding of the gut brain axis. Although the gut also produces serotonin its role in the gut is quite different to serotonin in the brain.
You should also consume a diet rich in foods that support detoxification of the liver, as the liver helps to regulate the body’s hormone levels and eliminate any excess as waste products. Eating a diet rich in alkalizing foods, increasing your daily intake of greens. Consider a guided cleanse under the supervision of an experienced practitioner. A guided cleanse has a more intense detoxification process, therefore advisable to seek professional guidance.
Exercise Regularly - One That You Enjoy
Endorphins are a chemical byproduct released through exercise, they interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce perceived feelings of pain. The opiate receptors in our brain reacts to the endorphins to boost pleasure and trigger a euphoric feeling. Exercise also supports dopamine and serotonin production for well-rounded happiness. We all react to exercise in different ways, it's important to find an exercise you enjoy. For some it could be gentle yoga, others a high intensity workout. The goal doesn't need to be about how hard you push yourself, it's the practice of moving your body in general that supports the happy hormone. Now you have some choices to add to your self-care routine, go slowly adding things gradually as trying everything in one hit can often be overwhelming and then abandoned. Small steps will bring greater rewards.
Do Something Each Day That Makes You feel Good
There is evidence to support this simple practice. When we do something that we love, happiness increases, it's important to make time available for doing something that brings you joy. It might be as easy as a quick phone call to a family member or a long walk in nature with your pet or a close friend. Perhaps you have a passion for cooking, or an artistic project such as photography. Allowing yourself 'me time" each day can make you happier. Follow your passion, it's never too late. Who knows where it can take you.
Happiness is key to living a healthy and fulfilling life. The world we live in at the moment brings questions, fear and anxiety for many. Our experiences of the world can have a direct impact in our physical and mental health. Taking time for yourself isn't selfish, it's essential. Having a self care routine will enhance your well-being. Besides you can't run on empty.