What Are Happy Hormones And Why Are They Important?
Happy hormones play a significant role in our mental and physical health. And as you can imagine, they also affect the quality of our relationships, including marriage.
They help us experience joy, motivation, and contentment while reducing stress and anxiety.
It’s been said that happiness is a choice – that we’re about as happy as we decide to be.
I’m not sure I entirely agree because sometimes our happy hormones get out of balance (a topic for another post) for various reasons, affecting our feelings towards our spouse and marriage.
Here are six happy hormones and how they help us lead a happier, healthier life:
Dopamine encourages you to seek pleasurable things like food, love, or new experiences.
It also supports cognitive functions such as motivation, focus, and concentration.
Dopamine also helps regulate the reward and pleasure centers of your brain.
Imagine what happens to the quality of your life and marriage if you have too much or too little dopamine.
Too little dopamine has been linked to mental health issues, including depression, schizophrenia, and psychosis.
Too much dopamine — high concentrations in certain parts of the brain and not enough in other regions — is associated with being more competitive, aggressive, and poor impulse control.
Serotonin helps regulate sleep, appetite, and mood. It’s produced in the brain and intestines from tryptophan, an amino acid in many foods such as fish, eggs, spinach, and nuts.
Low serotonin levels can lead to depression or poor concentration. High levels promote feelings of happiness, self-confidence, and satisfaction.
This hormone is the love hormone.
It’s released when interacting with loved ones or cuddling an animal companion.
Oxytocin is also called the “bonding” hormone because it makes you feel connected to the people you love and helps to create positive relationships.
It’s also known to reduce stress and increase happiness.
Imagine the quality of your marriage if either spouse, or both, have low oxytocin levels.
Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers that provide a euphoric rush in response to physical or emotional stimulation.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “runner’s high” that kicks in after a few miles when the body releases a flood of endorphins into the system.
Endorphins act on the brain’s opioid receptors, helping one feel pleasure and blocking pain sensations.
Everyday activities that trigger endorphin production include exercise, eating, laughing, touching, sex, and volunteering.
They also reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, and boost energy levels.
We’ve all heard of adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone.
It boosts awareness and sharpens focus under stressful situations.
Although adrenaline helps you stay alert, too much harms your mental health. Deep breathing exercises or positive self-talk can help manage an adrenaline rush by lowering its level.
Noradrenaline is related to stress and helps regulate emotions.
It’s released during stressful situations to make you more alert and prepare you for action.
Although noradrenaline is beneficial because it sharpens focus and helps you respond quickly, too much leads to anxiety or fear if the situation becomes overwhelming.
Happy hormones are essential to maintaining a healthy mind, body, and soul and for enjoying happy relationships.
They also play a crucial role in maintaining motivation, energy, and life satisfaction while reducing stress and anxiety.
Exercise, sleep, healthy meals, and time with loved ones are great ways to increase your happy hormones naturally.
If you’ve been struggling with unhappiness in your life or marriage, and no apparent reason springs to mind, maybe it’s time to discuss these hormones with your doctor so you can get back to unlocking your best life and marriage and enjoy each day to the fullest.