When it comes down to it, all our emotions are due to certain hormones in the body. Happiness is no exception. The hormones in your body can make you happy, sad, angry, and so on. In this article, we shall look at the various hormones that can make you happy, and explain why they do that.
Ever have a rush of endorphins? You may have felt like all your pains went away. The full name of these hormones is "endogenous morphine." We all know what morphine is, so now things start to make sense.
Endorphins are naturally obtained through exercising. When you work out, you'll feel a rush of endorphins and feel good about yourself. When we were cavemen, endorphins helped us fight and stay strong. In the modern world, they can give you a rush. If you're into exercise, this is why you feel so good. It's also why many people say that exercise is a natural way to fight depression.
That's also why your pain may feel like it's going away when you work out. If you work out too hard, you may not feel the pain until after the workout, when your endorphin levels go down, and you start to feel the effects on your body. Don't push yourself too hard just because you're in the heat of your workout.
Endorphins can also be triggered if you eat spicy food as well. Endorphins will be released due to your brain reacting to spicy food in the same way it does to pain. If you want to feel the endorphin rush, you don't need to go to the gym. Sometimes, you can eat a hot chili pepper.
Unlike some happiness hormones, endorphins are not addictive.
Serotonin is another hormone that can make you feel better and can improve social interaction. Those who have depression and are irritable tend to have low serotonin levels. Ways you can improve your serotonin levels include:
Dopamine is the hormone of pleasure. It gives you the motivation to do something so that you can feel the dopamine rush. It's one of the reasons addictions happen. Your first drug experience may feel the best, and then you get addicted as you try to relive the dopamine rush. However, dopamine can be good as well. Set some goals in your life, and make them easy to accomplish. Once you accomplish them, you'll get that dopamine rush that you deserve.
This is the hormone of love. When you hug someone you love, have sex with someone, or give birth to a child, there is a production of oxytocin. It's what makes us love someone, or be friends with people. You don't need to be a great lover to produce oxytocin; sometimes, just a hug is all you need.
Happiness is chemistry in the brain. If the amount of hormones is too much or too little, it can be the cause of mental disorders. Here are some ways that the lack of, or excess of, endorphins, can lead to mental disorders.
Endorphins may be linked to a few mental disorders, including:
Serotonin deficiency can be the reason for a few mental problems and disorders, including:
Dopamine is linked to mental disorders as well, including:
Oxytocin treatments have seen promise for treating various mental disorders. The science is still out on it, but there is hope that one day it will be an effective treatment for various disorders, including:
However, it is difficult to treat humans with oxytocin due to its side effects. Oxytocin treatment may cause cardiovascular problems and other serious side effects. The goal is to find an effective oxytocin treatment that is safe for humans. Perhaps one day, this will be the best treatment for various mental illnesses.
Oxytocin being a healing hormone makes sense the more you think about it. As mentioned before, it's the chemical of love. There are plenty of studies that have revealed that people who have long, happy marriages tend to live longer. This may be due to the production of oxytocin in their bodies being able to fight off certain mental illnesses or diseases. Perhaps one day, we can introduce this hormone to everyone regardless if they're married or happily single.
It's interesting how emotions work. As humans, we'd like to believe that there is something unworldly about our emotions. We assign our emotions to concepts that are unobservable by science, such as the soul, or the "heart." However, if you look at it scientifically, your emotions are just chemicals that affect the brain. If you don't have enough chemicals, you feel sad. If you have enough, you feel happy. This doesn't devalue human emotion, but instead gives it a reason for existing. In a way, this is quite comforting. Happiness doesn't seem so far away now.
There are many reasons why you may not be getting all the happiness hormones you need. Sometimes, it's situational. Your life isn't going as well as you planned, and this can affect the production of your happiness hormones by dealing with your problems. Alternatively, there may be a mental health condition that could be causing an imbalance of happy hormones.
No matter what the case, there is no shame in seeking counseling for all your problems. A counselor or therapist can help you make goals to make you feel happier, and teach you coping techniques that will bring some hormones into your brain. If you have a mental disorder, counseling, along with medication therapy, can be a solution to bring back the happiness you deserve.