Although the key to individual happiness differs from person to person, everyone is capable of acquiring the feeling one way or another. As humans, our bodies naturally produce happiness chemicals to make us content in life and to help reduce pain in injuries. These chemicals don’t guarantee constant happiness on their own, but there are natural ways to boost them and bring more enjoyment to your everyday life!
Dopamine is a type of chemical that your body naturally makes to help you feel pleasure. It is known as “the feel-good hormone” because it is released when you do something satisfying, making it an important part of your brain’s reward system. Dopamine can be boosted through very simple fulfilling activities such as having a good meal, completing a task you have been working on, or doing any type of activity for your own self-care.
Serotonin, sometimes referred to as “the mood stabilizer”, is the key hormone our body creates because it impacts its entirety. Serotonin affects our sleeping, eating, digesting, regulates anxiety, reduces depression, heals wounds, and more. You can increase your serotonin levels naturally by practicing meditation, mindfulness, sun exposure, and being with nature. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are also important to maintaining elevated serotonin levels.
Oxytocin, also known as “the love hormone” is a chemical associated with empathy, trust, and relationship-building. Despite its nickname, the hormone is not solely associated with a love interest. Oxytocin can be released while socializing, petting animals, by physical touch, or simply by helping others. Oxytocin is also released in women during childbirth and while breastfeeding.