Find Happiness through chemical release: The BIG 4 - Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, & Oxytocin
What does exercise mean to you. Yes, it can help burn calories and with proper nutrition, create the body shape you desire but more importantly it releases chemicals which can not only make you feel better but also increase your training performance.
Here’s how best to release those chemicals and take advantage of increased overall well-being.
Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins are the readily available chemicals responsible for happiness and reduced stress. There are many ways to benefit from the release but instead of waiting for these to happen as and when, there are ways we can get them to flow more regularly.
By helping this release and subsequently being in a positive state can help increase motivation, productivity and wellbeing. Below a are simple tips towards positivity and all the goodness which is related.
Dopamine gives you motivation to act towards your goals and enriches you with pleasure when achieving them. Low levels of this chemical have been linked with over-thinking and self-doubt.
- Break down goals into little hurdles in the long race which is life. With each little achievement brings the release of dopamine.
- Complete each goal before you start a new one to ensure a consistent pattern of success and subsequent experience of dopamine.
Serotonin is present when we feel appreciated or important. Lack of this chemical is linked with feelings of loneliness and depression.
- Complete little acts of kindness to help show your significance and value.
- Get outside! Exposing yourself to sunlight daily can help boost serotonin levels.
Oxytocin helps creates healthy relationships, intimacy and strengthens trust. This hormone is released upon physical touch or stimulation with someone else.
- Due to it’s release during touch, this chemical is referred to as the cuddle hormone, so get hugging!
- Being kind can also raise these levels, so giving a gift to someone can keep you feeling useful and full of oxytocin.
Endorphins are released to help alleviate depression and anxiety when the body is placed under acute stress or pain. The overwhelming sense of ecstasy through intense running also known as a runner’s high is the result of endorphins.
- Other than exercise, laughter has a strong link to the release of this hormone, so tell a bad joke every now and again.
- Scented oils and dark chocolate have also been known to boost endorphin release.