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4 Chemicals That Activate Happiness, and How to Trick Them

Aug 1, 2020 | Feel Good Friday

Did you know you can trick your brain into feeling happier? By knowing the basic functions of the four major brain chemicals – dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins – we can better understand how the decisions we make impacts our pursuit of happiness. Like many of our Feel Good Friday posts, this week’s theme is honing on ways to make you feel good, and it should come as no surprise that scientists have proven exactly how we manipulate four primary chemicals in order to design your own happiness.

Dopamine

The “Reward Chemical,” Dopamine causes that little happy feeling when someone compliments you on your work, or when you complete a small task. Dopamine is produced by:

  • Completing a task
  • Eating food
  • Celebrating victories – big and small
  • Practicing self care

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is often affectionately referred to as the “hugging drug” because it is released by the brain during physical contact with others. It’s also the feeling behind love, friendship, or deep trust. Activities that encourage oxytocin production include:

  • Playing with a dog
  • Hugging your family members
  • Giving compliments
  • Holding a baby

Serotonin

The “Mood Stabilizer,” Serotonin plays a role in many crucial systems in our body beyond just our well-being and happiness. It’s believed to affect digestion, bone growth, and even organ development.

  • Meditation
  • Sun exposure
  • Swimming

Endorphins

The “Pain Killer,” Endorphins are essentially released in response to pain. They help us push our bodies beyond their comfort levels and persist when we might otherwise want to give up. You know that feeling that runners talk about getting on long runs? The “runner’s high?” That feeling comes from endorphins. (A lot of endorphins.)

  • Laughter
  • Drinking wine
  • Exercise
  • Eating chocolate

SEE: Ways to Reduce Stress During Covid-19

The attorneys at Drury Pullen, A Professional Law Corporation are available to assist you with your family law needs during these challenging times.  Feel free to call us 24/7 at (805) 879-7523 and leave a message if you do not reach a live person.  Calls will be returned as they are received.  You are also welcome to contact us via the Contact Us page on our website.  We remain available to our clients and community with remote services such as court filings, negotiations, mediation and emergency services.  Please follow us on Instagram @CaliforniaDivorce and come back to this blog for more information.

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