Hormones run our lives, literally. Hormones are chemicals in our bodies that carry messages to cells within our tissues and organs. They also help us regulate bodily functions and keep our bodies balanced and stable. Some of these hormones even help us gain and maintain happiness! Some of these “happy hormones” include dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins — each of which has its own function, but gets us to a similar end result.

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Dopamine is our mood and sleep regulator, but it also plays a big role when it comes to the body’s focus, pleasure, memory and energy. The best way to increase dopamine is by decreasing your stress. When you think positive thoughts and increase your laughter, your body releases more dopamine. Foods such as dark, leafy greens can also help boost your dopamine levels.

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Another happy hormone is oxytocin, more commonly known as the “love hormone.” The Thirty recently spoke to Bryan Bruno, medical director at Mid City TMS, about this powerful hormone, who shared that “the hormone acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and regulates social interaction and sexual reproduction.”

When it comes to recharging our oxytocin, Natalya Fazylova, a holistic health and wellness specialist, suggests having more sex. Oxytocin can also help you when it comes to relaxation and sleeping better.

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According to Bruno, endorphins are another hormone “that interact with receptors in your brain to reduce to the perception of pain, along with triggering a positive, euphoric feeling in the body.” Aside from sex, aromatherapy is another way to boost your endorphins, along with exercise and of course, lots of laughter.

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While there are a lot of factors that play a part in our happiness, it’s important to remember that we can fuel our happy hormones whenever we’re not feeling our greatest. Diet, outside stressors, and our own thoughts can contribute to our feelings of unhappiness, but understanding how to listen to our bodies can help tremendously.

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