Boosting your mood the natural way!

Plus: Nutrition is quickly becoming a national security risk.


How To Boost Your Mood (The Natural Way) 

Happy Season 3 GIF by The Office

Mood and mental health significantly contribute to our overall well-being. So, what goes into improving these particular facets of our health? Well, a lot of it hinges on a single vital organ: our brain.

This complex organ in our heads releases certain chemicals, known as hormones, which can significantly affect how our mood. Among these happiness hormones are dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, and oxytocin. Each of these hormones serves a unique purpose in the brain, triggering different feelings of joy, satisfaction, or pleasure. 

When these hormones are out of whack, we start feeling out of whack. But when we do the right things to boost these hormones naturally, we can unlock a powerful way to feel our best. 

Dopamine, often dubbed the "feel-good" hormone, is linked to the brain's reward system. It is released when we achieve something we find meaningful or when we engage in activities that feel rewarding. This could be anything from finishing a challenging task to enjoying our favorite hobbies. 

The rush of dopamine not only makes us feel good but also motivates us to continue pursuing those rewarding activities. However, it's important to balance our dopamine levels by setting achievable goals and finding healthy sources of motivation rather than relying on quick fixes like sugar, caffeine, or, in more extreme cases, gambling, excessive social media use, or pornography. 

Serotonin plays a key role in regulating our mood, as well as other functions like sleep and appetite. It's often associated with a feeling of well-being and contentment. Boosting serotonin levels can be achieved through exercise, spending time in nature, or engaging in activities that make us feel confident and valued. Building self-esteem and focusing on our successes, rather than dwelling on failures, can help maintain healthy serotonin levels, contributing to a more positive outlook on life. 

Oxytocin, known as the "love hormone," is involved in forming social bonds and deepening relationships. It's released during moments of closeness and intimacy, such as hugging or spending quality time with loved ones. 

Oxytocin enhances our connections with others and plays a vital role in childbirth and parenting, reinforcing the bonds between mothers and their newborns. To increase oxytocin levels, engaging in acts of kindness, expressing gratitude, and nurturing our relationships can be incredibly effective. So stop saying, “I should really text _____.” and instead, how about you actually text _____. Bonus points if you pick up the phone and give them a call. gasp

Endorphins are our body's natural painkillers, produced in response to stress or discomfort. They help alleviate pain and promote pleasure, allowing us to push through challenging situations. The famous "runner's high" is a perfect example of endorphins at work, providing a sense of euphoria after intense exercise. 

However, it's not just exercise that can trigger endorphin release; laughter, enjoying music, and even indulging in a piece of dark chocolate can boost endorphin levels, helping us find joy in everyday moments. And just to clarify, we mean an occasional small piece of dark chocolate here. We are not suggesting you polish off a bar of chocolate every night because of “endorphins.” 

The key takeaway? Understanding how these four happiness hormones work offers valuable insight into managing our mood and overall well-being. By engaging in activities that naturally increase these hormones, we can enhance our happiness and lead more fulfilling lives. Whether it's setting personal goals, strengthening our relationships, or finding reasons to laugh every day, small steps can make a big difference in how happy we feel, which can, in turn, protect our mental health and improve our overall well-being. 


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