Hormones… they certainly don’t get much respect at times. What do they have to do with happiness? Actually, hormones play a big role in our mental well-being, and we are wise to learn about what factors they play in this area and what we can do to capitalize on them.
How Hormones Work.
Hormones are special chemical messengers that control many of the body’s processes. The endocrine glands create these special messengers and our body relies on them to function properly.
How we treat our bodies and the substances we are exposed to make a difference in how these hormones are able to help us. By learning what they do and how we can assist them in doing their job, we will be closer to our goal of happiness.
What Hormones Are Related to Happiness?
There are several hormones that can boost one’s happiness. The main ones include serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine.
Serotonin has become quite well known in recent times. It is a neurotransmitter, which takes messages from one part of the brain to another. Serotonin is crucial in preventing depression and other mental illness, and problems occur when you have either a shortage of this hormone or when it is unable to do its job.
Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone” and has a variety of jobs. While it is most known for its reproductive functions, it also has social functions–impacting bonding behavior and allowing the body to adapt to highly emotional situations. Research shows that it may benefit people with autistic spectrum disorder, anxiety and IBS.
Dopamine is another neurotransmitter, and is referred to as the “feel-good hormone.” Your brain releases dopamine when you feel pleasure–while eating your favorite foods, for example, or during sex. However, dopamine release is also responsible for people becoming addicted–they are always seeking pleasure to receive higher and higher dopamine levels.
Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones
Hormones need to maintain a fine balance in order to allow you to function at optimal levels. Too much or too little of any hormone will cause short- and long-term problems in your health. Because our happiness is dependent on this, it is crucial to find a healthy balance for all the hormones in our body, in order to create an environment that supports happiness.
Some important ways to keep your hormones in good balance and working order are to get sufficient sleep each night, exercise regularly and eliminate toxins from your daily life. Minimize stress in your life, and avoid birth control pills if possible.
Foods to Balance Your Hormones
Food plays an important role in the balance of hormones. There are many foods that you should make a point of eating on a daily basis, and many you should strive to avoid.
Foods and nutrients that help your body balance hormones and keep you happy include healthy fats such as those found in coconut oil, avocados, nuts and wild salmon. Vitamin D is an important supplement, as is magnesium. You should eat a sufficient amount of clean proteins, as well as plenty of vegetables.
Your hormones play an essential role in your feelings of happiness. Keeping them balanced and working for you properly is important in order to ensure feelings of mental wellness. By following the guidelines above, you will be able to balance your hormones and live a life of happiness and satisfaction.
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