Happier Hormones

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Your Body’s Happy Hormones and How to Encourage Them

We have some great news for you: Most bodies already know how to create physiological conditions that foster happy feelings. After all, under normal conditions the body naturally produces serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, which are the three most important hormones and neurotransmitters for happiness. It’s your mind that may need a little help in stimulating and recognizing those hormones. Understanding how your “happy hormones” help you feel younger, less stressed, and more joyful can help you adopt better habits that contribute to your sense of well-being. Here’s a rundown on how your body can create an internal environment that fosters happiness, along with our favorite tips for happier hormones.

Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Dopamine

These three hormones are responsible for happy feelings and are activated in different ways. Serotonin, your body’s good mood hormone, is released when you experience a rush of joy or pleasure. Oxytocin is the “love” hormone and is stimulated by things like feeling a strong relationship bond, physical touch, music, and exercise. Dopamine is typically activated in conjunction with something that makes you feel stimulated and satisfied, like a funny movie or finishing a great spin class with friends. When each of these hormones is released, it creates a cocktail that boosts your mood and reduces feelings of stress; the foundation for feeling happier every day.

Once you understand how hormones relate to your mood, you can choose activities and habits that “hack” your mind so it corresponds to the happiness your body already knows how to feel. Try these to stimulate your happy hormones and feel better, starting today.

Get Outside

Exposure to sunlight is one of the fastest ways to bring your serotonin levels up. It doesn’t hurt that getting outside usually requires some type of physical activity, too. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, pulling a few weeds from your garden, a scenic hike, or simply sitting out on the porch for your morning coffee, getting outside releases a burst of feel-good hormones associated with feeling calmer and more satisfied.

Check Your Diet

Certain foods can actually support your body’s release of its happy hormones. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are some of the best to support the release of serotonin, so make sure you’re eating foods like nuts, eggs, and fish regularly. If stress feels like it’s standing in the way of happy hormone stimulation, look for foods that contain tryptophan. It’s often associated with feeling sleepy, but it’s an amino acid that can help you feel calmer. You’ll find it in milk, butter, lean meat like turkey, bananas, and nuts – all the good stuff.

Meditate More

You don’t have to chant mantras or do yoga to reap the benefits of a quiet, focused moment on your mind and body. Although research has yet to uncover the exact mechanism for how this works, meditation can be a great way to stimulate happy hormones. Simply try setting a timer for 5 minutes to stop and breathe during a hectic day. You’ll stimulate the release of dopamine and calm your mind, and you’ll likely notice you become better with daily practice.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you struggle with anxiety or low mood in general, talk to your healthcare provider. You deserve to feel better, and sometimes you need the help of a medical professional to get you there. Remember that you don’t have to go it alone.

Support with Supplements

While everyone’s body is capable of releasing feel-good hormones for happiness, it’s easier for some than others. If you’re dealing with stress or mild anxiety, supplements can help. We love ClearBalance for reducing the effects of stress and boosting mood with l-theanine and a specialized melon extract. It also supports hormonal balance with myo-inositol.*

Hand holding a bottle of ClearBalance