Feel-Good chemicals are four naturally occurring brain chemicals called D.O.S.E that boost our feeling of well-being and happiness. What are they?  How can we stimulate and use them to enhance our sense of well-being?

Introduction For Feel-Good Chemicals

  • a man standing with arms outstretched represnting feel-good chemicalsThe feel-good chemicals we are referring to are our own naturally occurring chemicals that regulate our emotions.  We commonly referred to them a D.O.S.E or:
  • Dopamine – The chemical responsible for both good and bad habits. When used with care it creates a powerful sense of well-being
  • Oxytocin -(not to be confused with the opioid oxycodone) It is known as the  “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps us build relationships and trust.
  • Serotonin – regulates our feeling of pride, loyalty, and status.
  • Endorphins – are the natural high you feel from a hard work-out.

But First

These feel-good chemicals don’t create a sense of happiness or well-being in and of themselves.

As a reminder, remember that happiness is an inside job. Even though our natural instincts are to reach for a solution outside of ourselves. For example. we find our current job unfulfilling. Therefore, we think the solution is a better or different job. 

However, switching job is only a temporary solution if we take with us the internal mental attitude that causes us to feel unfulfilled in the first place. 

I have first-hand experience with this. As Wayne Dyer says, “If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

Well-being

Remember also, that well-being is made up of more than just happiness. To feel well-being in the deepest sense means to have the five boxes of PERMA ticked.

Very colorful photo of an optimistic person with happy face ballomsHaving all those items as fully engaged as possible brings us happiness and well-being.

Once we have these ideas in place then we can stimulate these feel-good chemicals as a way to boost the work we have done through doing the work. 

“So, what do I do?” you ask. 

You make use of the chemicals, hormones, and neurotransmitters in your brain.

These natural substances work together to help out with certain bodily processes. Their other function? They regulate our moods.

When you have a better understanding of how these chemicals work, you learn how to regulate and adjust them naturally.

In this post, we’ll share with you four ways to increase these happy chemicals in your brain.

Let’s get started.

Now before I go on you might be interested in my Be Inspired page where you will find my Sunday Affirmations each week. Click on the button below and give us a thumbs up to join other Be-Inspired Enthusiasts.

What Are Feel Good Chemicals?

Heart mind balanceOur brain stimulates certain glands to release dozens of different chemicals. They’re sent out into the bloodstream and get to where they need to go.

These chemicals, aka hormones, are involved in various bodily processes. There’s a hormone for managing digestion, heart rate, and reproduction. Basically, anything your body does is regulated by one hormone or another.

They also have the ability to make us feel joy, sadness, hunger, or pumped up with energy. They’re usually referred to as ‘feel-good’ or ‘happy’ hormones.

These chemicals fluctuate throughout the day. This is why you feel lethargic mid-afternoon or excited about an upcoming party you’re attending.

Below, as we already mentioned, you’ll find the four main happy chemicals in our bodies. Then, in the following section, we’ll tell you how each one affects our moods.

  • Dopamine
  • Endorphins
  • Oxytocin
  • Serotonin

4 Ways To Increase Feel-Good Chemicals

Three Faces of Overwhelm from a negative worldThe great thing about these happy chemicals is we have power over them. We can either increase or decrease how much of them are released through the choices we make each day.

Let’s explore how you can take full advantage of these natural happy chemicals of yours.

Find Time To Exercise

Exercising has so many health benefits. The most important benefit is that it affects our emotional and mental well-being.

Studies show that when you exercise for at least 20 minutes, your body releases endorphins. The science behind it is that they induce a sense of euphoria.

Have you ever heard of the ‘runner’s high?’ Guess who’s behind that?

Endorphins

Endorphins are also popular among athletes because they can block pain signals. They do this by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. As a result, your feeling of pain is considerably reduced.

To take full advantage of your natural mood stabilizers, exercise outdoors. You’ll get some serotonin coursing through your veins in addition to endorphins. Plus, working out with a group provides even more benefits than going at it alone. (The relationship part of PERMA. See how it all works together?)

If you can find some friends to exercise with, that’s amazing! Yet, if all your friends are busy, join a class and exercise with strangers. Who knows? You may end up striking up a conversation with one of them, which your brain will reward you for with a shot of oxytocin.

Healthy foods stimulate feel-good chemicalsCook A Meal With A Loved One

In theory, preparing a meal and enjoying it with someone you love can activate all four happy chemicals! Let’s take it one feel-good chemical at a time.

First off, there’s the bonding and sharing special time with a loved one. All those feelings tell the brain it’s time to produce some oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone.

The great thing about oxytocin is it doesn’t specify what type of love. Your brain will release it when you’re with your partner on a romantic night out or when you’re shaking someone’s hand.

Now, let’s talk about endorphins and dopamine.

These are released whenever you’re eating something delicious.

Having someone special to share the meal with just boosts their levels even more. Don’t forget to laugh, as well. Studies show that laughter is truly, ‘the best medicine’ because it triggers endorphin release.

Finally, there’s serotonin. One way to get some is by eating certain foods that restore your gut health, especially those that contain tryptophan.

Tryptophans

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It’s vital for your health, but your body can’t make it. So, you have to find foods that contain this amino acid, which your body transforms into serotonin.

Eating prebiotic foods is also a terrific way to support healthy gut bacteria. By taking care of your microbiome, you can regulate your mental and emotional health.

So, eat right, and be happy. It’s that simple. Fascinating, right?

Check out just a few of the foods that help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Some of them contain tryptophan as well, so it’s a win-win!

  • Wheat and oats
  • Onions and garlic
  • Legumes
  • All types of berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples
  • Beetroot
  • Mushrooms

Enjoy The Sunshine

According to research, spending about 10 to 15 minutes outdoors works wonders for our moods. It can help stimulate the production of not one, but two, happy chemicals: endorphins and serotonin.

Even if it’s a bit cloudy out, take a few minutes to enjoy being outdoors. Getting a breath of fresh air as you walk around the block can do wonders for your mood.

If it’s sunny outside, then all the better. Just make sure you take your sunscreen along.

The reason? When you’re outside, your body absorbs Vitamin D from the Sun. This activates the production of an enzyme that converts tryptophan into serotonin. How cool is that!

Not only that, but the natural light from the sun cues certain areas in our retinas to produce serotonin. This phenomenon explains why many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter when the days are shorter.

Get Enough Sleep to Stimulate those Feel-Good Chemicals

Everyone knows they need anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, few people recognize the link between sleep and their hormones.

When you don’t get the sleep your body craves, you create an imbalance of chemicals in your body. Dopamine is especially affected, and accordingly, you wreak havoc on your mood. You start suffering from mood swings, lethargy, and lack of focus.

This flows onto your mental health and you begin spiraling towards feelings of despair. It can even lead to depression. Not surprisingly, your physical health will start to suffer as well.

To prevent all that, all you have to do is get some quality sleep. Just those few hours can really make a world of difference.

First off, they can help regain the balance of happy chemicals you need to feel good. You’ll also be able to manage stress better and improve your concentration skills.

There are tips and tricks you can try to get those invaluable hours of sleep each night.

  • Don’t drink anything with caffeine at least two hours before bedtime
  • Avoid heavy meals several hours before going to bed
  • Turn off all screens an hour before bedtime
  • Reduce the lighting and noise in your bedroom
  • Meditate for at least five minutes before bedtime to relax and reduce stress
  • Set up a schedule where you go to bed and get up at the same time, even on weekends

Feel-Good Chemicals: Next Steps

 We’ve outlined 4 ways to help release more of the feel-good chemicals into your body. 

You now have a choice. You can either give these methods a try or just ignore the information.

Our suggestion is to go back and decided which method you would like to try first and do that for seven days. Then go back and pick another suggestion and incorporate that into your daily routine. 

It’s up to you to take advantage of the natural feel-good chemicals designed by source energy to help us live fully, healthier and happier lives.

© Nicholas Grimshawe 

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My name is Nick Grimshawe. I help people seeking to live extraordinary lives to use the tools of affirmations, gratitude, mindfulness, and Meditation to live the life they envision.

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