The brain is a fascinating organ and is the reason why humans have accomplished all the great things, but what makes a brain happy? Scientists all agree that there are different chemicals that are released in the brain and these chemicals either make us feel good or do the opposite.
In this blog I am going to look at different happy hormones aka chemicals that make a brain feel good, but I am also going to focus on – how to hack them? And let them work in our favor.
The amazing human brains!
The human brain is an “amazing organ” as stated earlier and is believed by everyone. It processes so much at any given point in time. We can walk and talk, listen and read, think clear thoughts, make great decisions, and take action. All this while we are making conscious effort to do things.
And, it’s that time of the year again! Soon it will be Christmas and New Year’s Eve will be right here. You’ll be sitting there with your family, friends and loved ones, eating delicious food and enjoying the holiday season! But you may also notice that you are feeling a bit anxious.
Why? There could be numerous reasons. I believe that creativity is one of the keys to living a happy, healthy and successful life; but sometimes it can be hard to be creative all the time.
So, here we will look at the most important big topic which gets a lot of buzz “the happy brain chemicals and tips on how you can hack them”.
I have done what needs to be done. This blog will let you understand how to utilize the potential of your brain, now it’s your turn to read and implement what I have shared below!
What are happy brain chemicals?
Happiness is such a subjective state of mind. It might mean different things to different people. There are many theories about what makes us happy.
When you’re feeling happy, it’s not just your mood that’s affected – your brain chemistry changes as well. In fact, there are certain neurochemicals that are released just like a mood-changing drug.
The brain has many chemicals and they all have a job to do. Happiness is all about the chemicals you produce in the brain. By understanding the chemicals, you can hack how to retain happiness and live a more peaceful life.
Well, the human brain is made of two different types of cells – nerve cells and glial cells. The neurotransmitters are secreted by nerve cells (aka neurons). This molecule is basically an organic chemical that transmits neural signals from one nerve cell to the next. Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphin are the main happy brain chemicals.
Let’s discuss them one-by-one!
The four happy brain chemicals –
Serotonin? It is related to many functions in the brain ranging from appetite, sleep, memory, learning and mood. These functions are important for your everyday living and also for the clinical intervention of depression.
Most people know about serotonin for its ability to produce feelings of happiness. The mind and mood of a human being depends upon many factors. The serotonin level can be one of the key factors which determine the mood (good or bad) of a human being.
If a person suffers from serotonin deficiency, then the results can be devastating. According to resources, people who are affected with serotonin deficiency are more aggressive in their behavior.
Dopamine, a chemical that is responsible for mediating pleasurable activities like eating and making love. This chemical is released in the brain in order to provide the person with a pleasurable experience.
In other words, it is a neurotransmitter that is involved in reward-motivated behavior, modulating plasticity and aiding in the information of memories, movement, decision making, and attention etc. it is also closely connected to happiness. Dopamine is involved in the brain circuits that control the ability to experience pleasure and enjoy life.
Increased level of dopamine makes a person feel happier, more alert, more energetic and more focused. However, there are some disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, which can reduce the levels of dopamine.
The role of oxytocin in the human body is much more significant than previously thought. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood flow, reduce anxiety and stress levels and can even boost sex drive.
It is a hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus. It helps regulate many aspects of our life. In simpler words, it helps maintain the internal environment of the body and also helps us connect socially with each other.
Thanks to studies done by the University of Oxford, we know there is a chemical in the brain that is released when people interact with one another and it’s called oxytocin. This chemical is part of the reasons humans have been able to build such large societies.
Endorphin is also a neurotransmitter that has been found to play an important part in the process of addiction. It is released from the brain into the bloodstream and serves as a neurotransmitter. It regulates the feelings of pain and pleasure, and is associated with feelings of love and attachment.
Endorphin is derived from the two words, endo (meaning within) and morphine (good pain reliever, especially codeine). It raises the pulse rate, the blood pressure and respiration resulting from pleasurable events or thoughts.
In other words, it produces the feeling of euphoria, and is also associated with strong emotions (as stated earlier) like love, ecstasy, and trust. These are effects of endorphins in the human body.
A variation of endorphin is “endorphin” which is a slang term for a class of illicit drugs that resembles opiates in their pharmacological activity. Endorphin is also a term used to describe a drug that mimics the effects of the endogenous opioids.
How to hack happy brain chemicals?
“Why do I need to know how to hack happiness brain chemicals?”. Very simple answer: “to avoid the stress and emotional pain”. You probably deal with traffic, long queues, rude customers or people, impossible deadlines etc., never ending possibilities.
When we are on our own, we want to be happy and it is obvious that when we are with people, we want to be happier. We all know how good it feels to be happy, but what happens in the brain when we are happy?
How do these chemicals work? We are all programmed to be happy, but many of us are not – why?
Our brain chemicals are not right, and even if they are, we are not using them right. We all have dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and other happy chemicals in our body that we can use to create good feelings. We do indeed have them, but we never use them. How do we hack them?
Let’s explore what it takes to hack happy brain chemicals?
Hack happiness chemicals!
For serotonin –
- Take a walk
- Spend time in sun
- Spend time in nature
- Improve social behavior
For dopamine –
- Eat healthy
- Show kindness
- Striving towards a goal
- Perform selfcare activities
- Complete a task
- Take bath
- Get enough sleep
For oxytocin –
- Spend time with a baby or your pet
- Exchange compliments
- Hold hands
- Help others
- Show kindness
- Get a massage
- Hug your loved one
For endorphin –
- Joke or laugh around with friends
- Watch comedy movies
- Use essential oils
- Eat dark chocolate
- Listen to music
Doing these little things which won’t cost you much can result in so much happiness. Make a routine and according to your needs, do things which can help release the required chemicals. Do not neglect any of the brain hormones (aka chemicals), all four chemicals play a major role in giving you the experience of good feelings.
How creativity and curiosity can improve your brain’s happiness hormones (chemical) production?
Besides, as the world races toward technological development, the importance of creativity and curiosity can’t be ignored. Creativity and curiosity play a huge role in our lives, from evolving our civilization to the way we interact with our social environment.
It’s like the basic thing that needs to be present in order to make yourself happy, and that basic thing is “Success”. We all know that we can get addicted to success once we experience it for the first time and that is why we need to look into it more and more to make sure that we have enough of it. Success is the word for the energy accumulated by creativity and curiosity.
Success can have different meanings for different people, but the thing which is common in everyone is that our brain is “reward-driven”. Which means it rewards us when we take risks and we get positive results or feedback.
And, creativity and curiosity can be your best bets to increase your brain happiness chemical productions.
Learn to identify unhealthy habits that kill your happy brain chemical production?
We learned about the good feeling brain chemicals, how to hack them, etc., let’s learn about the things that can kill or reduce the production of happiness chemical productions.
- Eating unhealthy foods
- Not drinking enough water
- Not doing self care activities
- Getting fat
- Not getting enough natural light
- Too much consumption of salt
- Listening to music on earphone on max volume
- Not listening to music at all
- Skipping breakfast
- Not getting enough sleep
- Neglecting socializing
- Skipping exercise
- Not taking proper rest
- Not challenging yourself
- Alcohol and drugs
- Over stressing
- Holding on to the past
- Overthinking future
- Not living in the moment
- Trying to please others
- Taking things personally
- Waking up late
- High sugar consumption
- Wearing socks while sleeping
- Head covered while sleeping
- No goals or sense of purpose
- No curiosity and creativity
- Skipping vaccines