Boost your feel-good factor
Our bodies are full of numerous different hormones. These little chemical substances send messages to various parts of our body to carry out specific processes. Some hormones make us feel great, some not so much. We’ve pulled together the best of them and how we can get more of these in our lives!
SEEK OUT SEROTONIN: You want to have as much of the neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of wellbeing and happiness as possible; that transmitter is serotonin. It’s also known to help regulate appetite, improve sleep patterns and promote learning and memory. You can get your fix from aerobic exercise, which is essentially anything that will get your heart rate up such as; swimming, biking or running and jogging. Another way is by soaking up some sun each day (roughly 10 to 15 minutes). While the sun doesn’t come out in full force 365 days of the year, even those overcast Canterbury days can give you the hit you need.
OPT FOR OXYTOCIN: This specific hormone is also known as the ‘love hormone’ as it’s needed to create strong bonds in relationships, whether that’s between a parent and their child or two partners. Oxytocin levels generally increase with physical affection such as kissing and cuddling.
ENTERTAIN THE ENDORPHINS: These are your body’s natural pain reliever, which is not a bad thing to have a lot of. Your body produces endorphins when it’s under a lot of stress or discomfort. Much like the other hormones listed above, there are certain things you can do to increase your level of endorphins. Such things include eating good foods, exercising or any ‘rewarding’ activities.
JUST LIVE: We’re aware that not everyone can be happy all of the time; everyone has a bad day from time to time. At the end of the day we’re all human and feeling a scale of different emotions is what we do. The best thing to do is try and focus on the ‘happy hormones’ that our body can naturally produce and find ways to increase them.
DO CHOOSE DOPAMINE: This is a chemical messenger that is great for your brain’s reward system. When large amounts of dopamine are released, it creates a sense of pleasure. This feeling will register in your brain as a reward, making you more inclined to repeat the behaviour enacted to get that feeling once more. To regulate your natural dopamine levels, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, learn to meditate or even get a massage. Another way to keep dopamine levels high is by avoiding stress, which can be rather hard to do in this day and age.