Hormones are tricky. Too many, and you feel crazy; too few, and a slump ensues. But what’s wonderful about holistic wellbeing is that you can learn how to give your body what it needs naturally – without running to the pharmacy.
For a stable mood and healthy mindset, you’ll need a steady dose of serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine. Often referred to as ‘feel-good hormones,’ they play a unique role in keeping the body functioning and the positive vibes streaming.
Get to know why these 4 feel-good hormones are important, and learn a few tricks for boosting them naturally.
Serotonin is neurotransmitter, which means it carries chemical messages between the brain and the rest of the body. You can think of serotonin as Postmaster General, constantly delivering ultra-important messages that tell different systems what to do and when. Mood is dependent on serotonin, as this hormone helps you stay focused, happy, and calm. It’s also linked with digestion, sleep, and bone density.
How to Boost Serotonin Naturally:
- Eat foods that contain tryptophan. Serotonin is made from an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which is something the body has to get from food. Consider boosting your intake of salmon, eggs, turkey, and cheese.
- Aerobic exercise can increase serotonin levels.
- Soak up the sunshine. Getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure per day is a great start!
Produced in the pituitary gland, the whole purpose of endorphins is to relieve pain and lower stress. But you don’t need to endure an injury to enjoy this natural mood-booster!
How to Boost Endorphins Naturally:
- Exercise. Even light exercise, like power walking or dancing, can trigger the release of endorphins.
- Sex. Activity and intimacy combine to elevate endorphins.
- Acupuncture. An age-old practice, acupuncture is a popular therapeutic approach.
- Laughter. Not joking! Read the comics or share a laugh with a friend – these happy moments are known to trigger an endorphin rush.
Nicknamed the ‘love hormone’ and the ‘cuddle chemical,’ oxytocin plays an essential role in reproduction, helping the body manage childbirth and breastfeeding. But even if you aren’t planning on having a baby, oxytocin has other benefits, contributing to feelings of trust, intimacy, romantic attachment, sexual arousal and overall wellbeing and comfort within personal relationships.
How to Boost Oxytocin Naturally:
- Give/receive a good hug. Physical touch is fundamental to the natural production of oxytocin.
- Snuggle with your favorite pet. Simply petting a dog or cat sends a signal to the brain to pump up the oxytocin, leading to an instant mood boost!
Another key neurotransmitter, dopamine is recognized as a feel-good hormone because it – yes, you guessed it – makes you feel good! Besides an overall feeling of pleasure, dopamine helps regulate memory, motivation, physical movement, mood, and attention.
How to Boost Dopamine Naturally:
- Eat foods that contain magnesium and tyrosine. The body needs these to produce dopamine. Chicken, apples, avocados, almonds, bananas, peas, oatmeal, and green leafy veggies are good sources of magnesium and tyrosine.
- Explore your passion. Engaging in healthy activities that make you feel relaxed and happy can actually help your body make dopamine.
The body is amazing, isn’t it? Lean into the power of these 4 feel-good hormones to boost your happiness naturally!