4 easy to get ‘Happy Chemicals’!
During this pandemic, one thing that really becomes tough is finding happiness. The lockdowns are trying and stress inducing. We are all dealing with battles with the ourselves. During these isolated periods, where socialising is almost non-existent, how can we try and maintain our sanity?
So, are there ways that we can make ourselves happy?
Well, here’s the good news! There are some happiness chemicals that can help! Here are 4 Happy Chemicals that are super easy to get:
1. DOPAMINE – The Reward Chemical
We all have heard of dopamine, which is a type of neurotransmitter. Did you know that our body actually makes it? Our nervous system uses dopamine to send messages between nerve cells. That’s why it’s also known as a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a huge role in us being happy. It forms a considerably huge part of our ability to reason and strategize. Simple, everyday tasks like eating, sleeping and bathing helps us in getting dopamine. Even the achievement of simple goals that we set for ourselves can help us get dopamine. It is also known as the reward chemical. This is what we call the simple pleasures of life! So, what are you waiting for? Go take a nice long bath…or just take a nap!
2. ENDORPHIN – The “feel-good” chemical
Did you know that endorphins are those chemicals that are produced by our body to relieve stress and pain? This is why they are known as the feel-good chemical. They are structurally like the drug morphine. Endorphins are also thought to play the role of natural painkillers as they can activate opioid receptors in the brain, which in turn help in minimising discomfort. They also help us in feeling elated and also gives us a sense of general well-being. The best part about this feel-good chemical is that simple activities like laughing, exercising, listening to music, eating dark chocolate, drinking a glass of wine or even having sex can help you get it! Happiness is this close!
3. OXYTOCIN – The “cuddle/love hormone”
Oxytocin is a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It is a hormone that is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It’s known as the cuddle hormone or the love hormone, because it is released when people cuddle or are in groups. We cannot really hang out in groups considering the pandemic; however, we can cuddle up with those at home! And if you have a pet, then that’s even better! If nothing else works, grab your favourite soft toy or even a pillow and give it a good cuddle! If you do manage to get an opportunity to help those in need, that can also help you secrete it as helping is also a social activity. Oxytocin is associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building. Did you how simple it was to make ourselves happy?
4. SEROTONIN – The Mood Chemical
Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter, and some even consider it a hormone. Serotonin helps us regulate our mood naturally and that’s why it is called a mood chemical. It also plays a role in emotions, appetite, and digestion and even helps regulate sleep-wake cycles as well as the body clock. When your serotonin levels are at a normal level, we tend to feel more focused, emotionally stable, happier, and calmer. Low levels of serotonin are often associated with many disorders but the best part is that it is so easy to get this chemical! Meditation, the sun, exercise, eating right and simple walks are all you need!
We all want to be happy and though the times are tough, there are certainly ways to make ourselves happy! If we cannot have more, why not try and find happiness in the simple everyday tasks that we usually take for granted?