Skip to main content

4 Hormones for Happiness and Ways to Get Them

Margaret Minnicks is health conscienced and has learned a lot about her own health that she wants to share with others.

How to improve your happiness,

How to improve your happiness,

You do not have to depend on people to always make you happy because they are not always around. I believe it is a blessing that God created us in a way that our brain can help us be happy. There are four major happy hormones and several activities that will help those hormones do their best work.

Hormone: Definition

Before we get into the duties of hormones, let's define what hormones are.

Hormones are chemical substances that act like messenger molecules in the body. After being made in one part of the body, they travel to other parts where they help control how cells and organs do their work.

The primary function of hormones is to communicate between two glands or between a gland and an organ.

Even though hormones are involved in lots of important things in the body like heart rate and digestion, most people think of them mainly as the controller of mood, feeling good, and being happy. This article focuses on those chemical messengers that help us feel good, be happy, and experience pleasure.

Smile!

Smile!

All four of the following hormones regulate our moods, promote positive feelings, and make us happy. All of them are happy hormones that travel through the bloodstream to different organs and tissues. Each hormone has a special function and does what it was designed to do.

Some hormones eliminate anxiety and prevent depression. The others trigger pleasure, joy, bonding, and trust. A very important thing about happy hormones is that people have great influence over them based on the choices they make.

1. Serotonin

Most people have heard of serotonin, but they might not understand exactly what that particular hormone does. In a nutshell, serotonin is the hormone that helps regulate mood as well as sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory.

There are certain foods that can boost serotonin and help keep people happy.

  1. Add more probiotic foods to your diet. They support the good bacteria that you need. Some foods that produce serotonin are apples, cranberries, citrus fruits, blackberries, artichoke, mushrooms, barley, potatoes, wheat, oats, chicory, beets, onions, garlic, rye, legumes, and pasta.
  2. Your body needs about 30g of fiber from food each day. To accomplish this, consume meat and fats in moderation. Foods that will help you get your required amount of fiber include sunflower seeds, cod, salmon, beans, potatoes, eggs, oats, milk, chickpeas, wheat, cheese, beef, quinoa, chicken, and turkey.

2. Dopamine

Dopamine is known as the “feel-good” hormone. It is an important part of your brain’s reward system. Dopamine keeps you happy and alert. It is associated with pleasurable sensations. It helps with learning, memory, attention, motor system function, motivation, rewards, and decision-making,

Dopamine is naturally released when you think about food even before you consume it. It is also released when you think about sex even if no sexual activity takes place.

Dopamine is the reward hormone, but it can’t be found in food. It is released naturally in your body through addictive substances such as taking drugs and using alcohol. It is also released through behaviors such as gambling and sex.

3. Oxytocin

When people give to others, the hormone oxytocin is released. It produces warm feelings, a connection to others, and euphoria.

Oxytocin is often called the “love hormone.” That's because it helps promote trust, empathy, and bonding in relationships. It is the hormone usually associated with physical affection like cuddling, hugging, kissing, and sex. Oxytocin also helps reduce stress and calm the nervous system. That hormone is released in caring relationships, especially within a loving community. Also, it helps to have pets.

Scroll to Continue

4. Endorphins

Endorphins are called the runner's hormones because they block pain while producing euphoria. That hormone is the body’s natural pain reliever produced in response to stress or discomfort.

Endorphins make you happy, but only after you experience pain. Endorphins are the body’s natural morphine that induces euphoria. A “runner’s high” is caused by a big rush of endorphins. That's why some people get “hooked” on running.

Chemical HormoneHormone TypeFunction

Serotonin

reduces depression

helps regulate mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory

Dopamine

the feel good and motivational hormone

responsible for pleasure and motivation, in brain's reward system

Oxytocin

the love and cuddle hormone

bonding, empathy, love, trust, oxytocin increases with physical affection like kissing, cuddling, and sex; released when you engage in caring relationships

Endorphins

the body's natural pain reliever; called the runner's high

body produces this in response to stress, discomfort and pain

Ways Happy Hormones Are Released

Here are some activities that release happiness hormones. Feel free to use them as often as you can to get the benefits of all four of the hormones to make you happy and to keep you happy.

Exercise: A body that move produces more happy hormones than one that is sedentary. Three of the four happy hormones are released when you exercise. Serotonin helps reduce depression. Dopamine helps with body shape and weight goals. Endorphins help to reduce physical pain or symptoms of injury in our muscles.

Food: Eating certain foods will make people happy. Eating dark chocolate will produce happy hormones. Just make sure you eat it in moderation.

Intimacy: Any affection from someone will produce happy hormones in the giver and the receiver. You can achieve happy moments by holding hands, cuddling, hugging, kissing, and having sex. These activities lead to the body producing three of the four happy hormones: oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins.

Laughter: A person really can laugh his troubles away. At least that's what the brain thinks. Laughter releases the happiness hormones.

Massage: Getting a massage does a lot for the body and the brain. Hormones are released when a person is getting a much-needed massage.

Meditation: The happy hormones are released during meditation. This is an excellent way to relax and enjoy spiritual benefits. Meditating for at least 30 minutes a day will produce endorphins that result in a person feeling calm, relieved, and safe.

Music: Listening to your favorite music produces hormones that make you happy. If you get up and dance, you will be even happier.

Pets and Positive People: Being around pets and positive people is a good way for hormones to be released. Serotonin and oxytocin are hormones linked to love and relationships.

Stress Reducer: Hormones are released to reduce stress and keep you calm.

Sleep: When you get enough sleep, hormones work at their best.

Smile: Smiling doesn't release as many hormones as laughter. However, smile at the things you like, and some hormones will be released. If you keep a smile on your face when you encounter challenging situations, your body will produce serotonin and endorphins.

Sunlight: More hormones are released when you are outside on a sunny day than if you stay indoors. You might be taking supplements and getting some of the Vitamin D you need from fish and egg yolks, but it will be naturally released when you are exposed to sunlight. Serotonin is naturally produced when you get plenty of sunlight.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Related Articles