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Knowing our brain chemistry

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Nowadays happiness is talked about very often. How to achieve it? How to maintain it? And it is that, without a doubt, it is one of our greatest desires, to achieve happiness.

But thinking about it and talking about it doesn't help us to change something in our lives to feel it. When you don't feel happy and satisfied with yourself, when you feel sad, or stressed, or even anxious, it is because, among other things, you have low levels of some hormones cerebral.

Did you know your brain has a group of hormones that you can stimulate very easily to be happier?

  • Related article: "Types of Neurotransmitters: Functions and Classification"

The key hormones in our well-being

There are several ways to stimulate the secretion of these hormones, for example, eating spicy food, watching sad movies, consuming foods with tryptophan (legumes, or chocolate high in cocoa), set goals and objectives and go after them, establish healthy and lasting bonds with others.

These hormones are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins, the “happiness quartet”

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, since they stimulate your brain naturally, without the need for drugs or harmful substances.

Loretta G. Breuning, researcher and author of the book Habits of a happy brain, explains that "when your brain emits one of these brain chemicals, you feel good."

Below, you will find the function of each of these hormones, and the activities that you can implement in your daily routine so that your brain produces them in greater quantity, and thus is filled with they.

1. dopamine

The dopamine is related to the experience of pleasure and guides us towards achieving goals linked to our desires. To stimulate its production, follow these guidelines.

  • Sleep 7 to 9 hours and get enough rest.
  • Celebrate your achievements daily.
  • Exercise daily, or with a stable weekly frequency (2-3 times).
  • Drink enough water every day (1.5-2 liters, in summer or when exercising 2-3 liters).
  • Eating correctly with a balanced diet is important (see next section).

2. oxytocin

It helps us reduce stress and increases libido and is related to intimacy, and the affective ties and emotional we establish. Here are some tips to boost your production:

  • Meditate every morning (or at least do breathing and relaxation exercises).
  • Hug your loved ones (for 20 seconds to be therapeutic).
  • Being generous (giving without expecting to receive anything in return, altruistically and in solidarity).
  • Pet your pet, and be around people you trust.
  • Having sex, but even a kiss or a look helps.

3. Serotonin

Regulates mood and is related to esteem, self-confidence, increasing when we feel important. To get your body to make large amounts of it, follow these guidelines:

  • Be thankful every day, there is always something to be thankful for.
  • Enjoying nature, and having plants in your home is essential.
  • Remember important moments, think of happy memories.
  • Look for places with sun and lots of light, even inside the house.

4. endorphins

They are considered the body's morphine, a natural pain relieverIt helps us reduce pain, stress and fear. If you are interested in stimulating its production, do the following:

  • Practice hobbies, write, listen to music, read, cook, paint, etc.
  • Laugh, laugh a lot, with a legitimate smile that involves the muscles of the face.
  • Dance and sing, without shame, and enjoying it.
  • Work as a team, as it enhances social union.
  • Practice these exercises regularly and you will keep the levels of your brain hormones at the optimal level to feel better always.
hormones and neurons
  • You may be interested: "Endorphins (neurotransmitters): functions and characteristics"

Certain foods also help its production

Another way to produce these hormones naturally is by eating certain foods. that will help you release these hormones.

The pleasure we feel when we eat is not only physical, but also chemical, our body intensifies that sensation thanks to the production of these hormones.

Below you will find how to stimulate these hormones of happiness through food. The best foods to achieve this goal are:

1. dopamine

Legumes provide many amino acids that help in brain activity and internal balance.

Bananas contain vitamin B6 and magnesium, which help make dopamine and other neurotransmitters.

Fish produce tyrosine, which is later converted to dopamine.

  • Related article: "The 5 best healthy diet apps"

2. Serotonin

Legumes are especially important with the production of this hormone. Chickpeas, for example, intervene directly in our body by producing serotonin, a natural antidepressant that helps combat the emotional ups and downs that are so unpredictable today.

3. oxytocin

Having a little chocolate is beneficial, as it contains tyrosine, a substance that helps produce oxytocin and dopamine. But be careful, we are talking about dark chocolate, we must make sure that it has a high percentage of cocoa, from 70% is ideal (there are many chocolates that are more milk and sugar than other stuff).

  • You may be interested: "What happens in your brain when you eat chocolate or cocoa?"

4. endorphins

Healthy sweets, for example fruits in general, which are rich in sugars (and remember that dark chocolate too), help to generate this feeling of well-being.

Vitamin C and B, pineapple, cereals or pepper, for example, are optimal foods to include in our diet, because they produce cobalamin and folic acid, two components that are involved in the production of endorphins.

Eating slightly spicy foods will also help the production of endorphins, but again we must be cautious, since strong spicy foods can be very harmful to our body.

Other foods help produce neurotransmitters and/or hormones of happiness

  • Oatmeal is considered a smart carbohydrate because it has a calming effect on the brain. Helps control sugar and cholesterol levels, maintains and balances the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Walnuts contain L-phenylalanine, which helps produce hormones that will generate many of the neurotransmitters discussed.
  • yogurt or kefir, since probiotics improve the intestinal flora, and today it is more than proven that intestinal health is closely related to physical and mental well-being. One of its functions is to properly absorb nutrients in our body (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins).
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