Feelings of happiness or anxiety arise largely in our head. Everyone will find his happiness in something else. However, if you desire to get into good mood for no apparent reason, you can achieve this thanks to so-called hormones of happiness. Feelings, which we have to face every day, are in fact controlled and influenced by the formation of hormones in our body. How, then, we can produce as much as possible of happiness hormones?
Hormones of happiness and good humour
Everything can be to some extent affected or trained with a few simple steps. Feelings are an integral part of our lives. However, while focusing on the negative sides can promote the development of various diseases, focusing on positive feelings contrary, benefits the whole body.
Endorphin is one of the hormones that is called the hormone of happiness. When is this hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brain our mood is improving, we feel happiness and it helps to relieve pain too. Endorphin is washed outs into our body during stress and muscle strain and it plays an important role in some bodily functions. Endorphins are considered as a kind of internal opiates, which relieves pain in our body that make our lives more pleasant.
The effects of endorphins
- Local secretion of endorphins: local pain reduction
- Central endorphin secretion - causes total relaxation, calmness, escalating feeling of well-being
How to increase the production of endorphins
Exercise causes higher secretion of anti-stress hormones. Repeated rhythmic movements, such as cycling, swimming, and other sports activities bring out our left hemisphere into a state of rest and active the right hemisphere, which is the centre of creative and abstract activities. Therefore, it is not just about feelings, but the overall improvement of our mood.
In addition, our body produces, apart from endorphins, during exercise other substances. Exercise and physical activity evoke feelings of happiness and good cheer. Even here, however, it shows the difference between a trained individual who is used to regular exercises and the recreational sportsman. The level of endorphins increases after only ten minutes of exercise. Even after another half-hour after physical exercise, body still holds roughly ten times higher rate of endorphins then rate which is common during the resting period. Body of trained individuals produce endorphins in a shorter time and in greater quantities. In addition, the subsequent feelings of relaxation and positive experience are deeper after training. For recreational athletes and untrained individuals endorphins mainly act as opiates, which suppress pain, caused by physical stress in untrained body. The level of endorphins increases ten minutes after the workout begins. Among some individuals may even the habit to physical stress and the subsequent production of endorphins cause addiction on training.
The amount of endorphins are known to increase during the joyful, joyous to ecstatic experiences, such as listening to music and dancing, meditation, massage, reflexology, during the breathing exercises, sunbathing, sexual stimulation, and so on.
Effects in terms of increased production of endorphins have also adrenaline sports. During these sports is level of endorphins increasing dramatically. During the adrenalin activities is washed out hormone adrenaline, which prepares the body for the performance and high load. It is meant to support the body, either for escape or for attack. Along with adrenaline is usually also straight flushed out so much-needed endorphin.
Serotonin is very important substance for human organism. This hormone of nerve tissue is involved in neurotransmission and its sufficient level affects how well a person feels, therefore, is another hormone, which is sometimes called the hormone of happiness. Serotonin acts as impulse carrier in nerve tissue. However, it is not its only function. It is also responsible for the contraction of certain blood vessels, it increases permeability of blood capillaries, it influences intestinal contraction, it inhibits secretion of gastric juices and encourages the production and secretion of substances supporting of digestion.
In addition to affecting human emotion, serotonin affects too our mood, memory, pain in general, as well as headaches, venous system, our appetite and so on. Lack of serotonin causes sleep disorders, depression, aggression and promotes formation of migraines. Instinctively, most people try to increase serotonin levels by eating sweets, but this is not the right solution in term of being healthy.
Effects of serotonin
- Serotonin suppresses pain
- Serotonin induces smooth muscle contraction, stimulates peristalsis of the digestive tract
- Serotonin affects the mood - lack of serotonin is associated with the occurrence of depression
How to affect the level of serotonin in the human body?
Low levels of serotonin leads to depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and sleeping problems (disrupted sleep-wake cycle). Lack of serotonin is causing irritability, aggression and impaired secretion or cause the urge to vomit.
Foods that support the production of serotonin in the human body include some kind of meats, such as turkey and salmon, and also some types of matured cheese, eggs, nuts, whole grain breads, leafy vegetables and bananas. Appropriate diet to increase serotonin production is also poultry, sardines, tuna, bananas, spinach, tomatoes, prunes, nuts, and seeds. All B vitamins are important for gaining the energy and the production of serotonin. These supplements are readily used in cases of stress. More Vitamin B can be obtained by eating wholegrain foods, green vegetables, and dairy products. Recommended are also quality food supplements that offset any deficits, caused by an unbalanced diet. It is highly advisable to choose one of the B complex, which contains the optimum number of all components.
Sunlight promotes the production of the hormone serotonin too. During the sunlight insufficiency is therefore recommended to stay in the sun. The lack of sunlight has usually negative effects on our mood. Regular exercise, even in the form of light calisthenics or daily walks, is also very effective.
Treatment based on serotonin
Positive emotions and good mood are supported by serotonin. Depression or other mood disorders dependents on the availability of serotonin. So-called Third generation of antidepressants prolongs the action of serotonin. Side effects of long-term usage, which can occur in some people, are reduced libido or complete loss of libido. So-called Fourth-generation antidepressants work with the action of serotonin and norepinephrine. Another group of drugs that affect the availability of serotonin are the drugs from group IMAO. The objective of these drugs is to suppress the degradation of serotonin and other biogenic ammines in the organism. The disadvantages of antidepressants are unwanted side effects.
The hormone of happiness is sometimes also called hormone of vices. It flushes out at the moment, when we are rewarded, and this reward may take any form, whether it is the joy of victory of our favourite sports team, getting good marks in exams, and so on. If we are expecting the reward before we get it, the dopamine starts to excrete even with advance. If our expectations are not fulfil, the dopamine cells register that mistake and its production stops.
- Dopamine has a decisive influence on the processing of information in the frontal lobe, the cognitive functions of the brain.
- Dopamine plays a crucial role in motoric functions of the brain.
- Dopamine is associated with the system of pleasant perceptions in the brain and in motivating them to action.
In the case of expectation of reward is dopamine excreted in advance, it may happen that the expected payoff will not come, so it halted production of dopamine. This experience is stored in the brain and affects our expectations for the future. People, who partly lost their dopamine receptors have significant problems, however this fault seems so trivial. These individuals had not fully developed the ability to learn from their mistakes and to the commit them repeatedly. These people are prone to be alcohol and drug addicts.
How to replenish dopamine naturally
Dopamine helps us to do everyday activities, which are essential for survival such as feeding, reproducing, and breathing. Lack of dopamine leads to less sexual desire, your skin is extra sensitive to all kinds of contact. Dopamine is the mostly released just during the sex maybe that is why it is nicknamed as hormone of vices.
To replenish the levels of dopamine, then our food should be rich especially in protein. Proteins are one of the cornerstones of dopamine production. If we want to keep our dopamine level high and stable throughout the day, it is necessary to incorporate the protein into the three main meals. Eat enough meat, poultry, dairy products, and wheat germ. Suitable spice is black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili peppers, fennel, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, rosemary, turmeric and basil. Coffee and tea increases endurance of its level and in a positive way it also affect the production of dopamine. To complement of dopamine in the body, prepare tea from two green tea bags into a larger pot and put in it a hint of cayenne pepper. Then sip tea throughout the day.
Although melatonin is not considered as a classic hormone of happiness, it contributes to our overall feelings of happiness to major extent. It is a kind of opposite of serotonin. While serotonin release during the day and especially on the due the light and sunshine, the melatonin is produced at night and in the dark. If the level of melatonin is low, then we experience our day in subjective way. For its production is important alternation of light and darkness and also changing the seasons. Melatonin is formed only after vigilance with adequate lighting.
What affects melatonin?
- Melatonin has Chrono-biological effects
- Melatonin has antioxidant effects
- Melatonin helps to "slow down" aging
- Melatonin influences the amount of subcutaneous fat (if stay up at night and go to bed after midnight, you probably have a tendency to gain weight)
- Melatonin regenerates cells throughout the body, including nerve cells and memory cells
- Melatonin slows down aging and prolongs life, while in advanced years keeps the mind fresh
- Melatonin reduces cholesterol and affects on the blood vessels and regulates blood pressure and protects the heart against heart attack
- Melatonin significantly increases fertility and sex drive and sexual performance
- Melatonin harmonizes the body, reduces stress and effectively stimulates the immune system
How to supplement melatonin
The most natural way to supplement melatonin is regular and quality sleep. Pay attention especially also that you do not sleep in the room, where is television on and no other light "pollution". The room should have during sleep a comfortable temperature, should be dark and aired out. It is important to keep and bear in mind, especially in cities where the light us from the streets can be very strong. In this case, you need to use curtains and for greater comfort have herbal bath before bedtime.
The rich sources of melatonin among conventional foods are mostly tomatoes and bananas, rice, ginger, sweet corn, and according to recent research, the highest content of melatonin is in oatmeal flakes.