How to Get Your Daily DOSE of Happiness
The Happy Brain Chemicals that Makes You Feel Good
Did you know, 37% of people around the world are unhappy. That means at least 1 in 3 people you know aren’t happy with their life. Are you one of those people?
If so, there are simple ways to improve your happiness. Have you heard of happiness chemicals? Your brain releases these happy chemicals that make you feel good.
It is common to think happiness is a destination that you have to find either through material items, relationships, or career status. But happiness is the journey and something you can create on your own.
Improving your happiness can be as simple as getting a good night's sleep. It is known that people who are sleep deprived have a harder time remembering positive ideas and an easier time remembering negative ideas.
What is the Happiness Chemical
When you feel good, your brain is releasing one of the happiness chemicals or happy hormones. There are four main happiness brain chemicals, known as D.O.S.E.
It would be great if they all surged all the time. However, it does not work this way. Once the chemical has done its job, it will turn off, leaving you with a desire for more. By understanding how these chemicals work, we can better improve our overall happiness by tapping into each of the four happiness chemicals.
Dopamine enables motivation, learning, and pleasure. It gives you the determination to accomplish goals, desires, and needs. It’s similar to the, “I got it” feeling when you accomplish something. Once you achieve those goals, desires, or needs, dopamine gives a surge of reinforcing pleasure.
However, the overstimulation of dopamine can become a real problem because of its addictive nature. It is closely tied to developing bad habits or addictions.
The effects of dopamine are fleeting due to its instant gratification feeling, which leaves you desiring more.
Oxytocin gives a feeling of trust, it motivates you to build intimate relationships and sustain them. It is also known as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone” because it plays a role in bonding.
This hormone gives you the desire to stick together with those you “trust”, which creates a feeling of safety or comfort. It helps your body adapt to several different emotional and social situations.
Oxytocin can boost your immune system which makes you more resistant to the addictive qualities of dopamine. Unlike dopamine, oxytocin gives you a lasting feeling of calm and safety.
It can help fight stress, improve relationships, and promote long-lasting positive emotions.
Serotonin rewards you with a good feeling when you feel significant or important. It is the pleasure you get when you experience social power, loyalty, or status.
It results from finding opportunities to assert or prevail. This is not aggressive, rather it is a calm form of confidence and accepting yourself within the people around you.
Serotonin is what motivates a leader to excel and grow. It not only motivates you but your peers to do the same. The feeling of not letting down their leader, parent, or teacher is what causes this motivation.
Endorphins release a brief euphoria that masks physical pain. It is a response to pain and stress which also helps alleviate anxiety and depression. Any kind of physical distress can trigger endorphins.
However, you can also get a release of endorphins when you experience “runners high”. Runners high only occurs when you exceed your limits.
The release of endorphins acts as a natural pain killer and diminishes your perceptions of pain.
The Effects of Happiness Chemicals
At least 1 in 3 people in the world who were surveyed in 2020 were unhappy. That’s a huge portion of the population.
Happiness or lack thereof affects everyone and can contribute to poor overall health. There have been numerous studies linking depression to the reduction of happiness chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
One study found people with clinical depression have increased levels of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A). This is an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters.
We will discuss how neurotransmitters play a role in the happiness chemicals later in this article, but simply this means you will get less dopamine or serotonin, thus, less happiness. This deficiency can lead to various effects that could contribute to mental illnesses like depression.
How Deficiency Affects You
Low levels of happiness chemicals can lead to various symptoms such as fatigue, lack of motivation, and feeling anxious just to name a few.
Here are some of the common symptoms due to the deficiency of the happiness chemicals.
Here is to Your Understanding of How You Feel Happiness in your body!
Source: A Happy Second Life mailing list Brain Chemicals that Makes You Feel Good!