What are hormones?
Hormones (from the Greek hormao, ‘set in motion’) are chemicals that act as messengers; they transmit signals through the bloodstream to cells and organs. Hormones regulate all kinds of bodily functions, from growth and development, puberty and reproduction, metabolism, and water balance to behavior, feelings, and emotions. Your body produces the hormones themselves in glands and tissues located in different parts of your body. The main hormone glands are located in the brain (hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands), neck (thyroid gland), abdomen (adrenal glands, pancreas), and reproductive organs (ovaries in women and testes in men). From the glands and tissues, the hormones enter the bloodstream.
They are transported through the bloodstream to the organs or cells where they are needed. Hormones are broken down in the liver. Neurotransmitters are substances that have the same signaling function but in the brain. They transmit impulses from one nerve cell to another. Examples of neurotransmitters are adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. They mainly affect your mood. Some neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, also act as hormones. These substances work through the nervous system as well as through the bloodstream.
Production of happy hormones
Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and phenylethylamine are called happy hormones. They mainly make you feel happy and happy. The good news is that you can stimulate the production of these happy hormones yourself. Daylight is decisive in all cases. Daylight produces vitamin D and releases all kinds of happy substances. When you’ve had enough daylight, your body converts serotonin into melatonin, the chemical you need to sleep well.
Sun and daylight also affect your memory, alertness, and concentration. How often do we go outside? People and animals naturally live outdoors. Houses were once made to shelter from the cold, rain, or storm or to sleep in, but nowadays we spend a large part of the day indoors. So make sure you get out enough during the day, it will do you good.
Another important factor in the production of happiness hormones is exercise. So it is really important to do some sport regularly! Almost all happiness hormones are positively stimulated by exercise. And if you do it outside, you’re doing great! Several people have told me that they have gradually come out of their slump or even their depression by taking a brisk walk every morning or exercising every day. Exercise and sports influenced their mood and even their whole life. If you exercise regularly, everything goes more smoothly, you feel more stable, you feel better in your body, and you feel fitter.
Dopamine for your inner drive
When your dopamine levels are balanced, it’s easier to keep pursuing your goals.
Dopamine affects your mood. When dopamine is released, it causes a stimulating effect. It makes us feel happy, motivated, focused, and even euphoric. You create this substance when your system thinks you have earned it. So you get a feeling of happiness as a reward for your actions. Sometimes it feels like a wave of pleasure. Dopamine, in conjunction with other hormones, is responsible for your inner drive. When your dopamine levels are balanced, it’s easier to keep pursuing your goals. Because you keep getting a little bit of that blissful feeling, keep going for a little more. For example, you keep training and continue with your projects.
Dopamine is not released continuously. If you often suffer from stress, your body produces less dopamine. Your body is then so tense that you no longer get a reward. If this situation continues for longer, you will start to feel lethargic. You then have more trouble controlling your feelings, you no longer feel like fun things, and you have trouble thinking and planning. You can end up in a slump or even a depression. Then you often look for stimulating substances, such as coffee or chocolate. Some drugs increase the effect of dopamine, so that negative feelings can even disappear completely. But beware: that effect is temporary! Eventually your dopamine level drops back to the lower level and you feel even worse.
Increase your dopamine level
• Exercise for at least half an hour at a time every day. You can exercise, but it can also be walking or cycling to work.
• Sit, lie or walk in the sun.
• Listen to nice music and dance to it if necessary.
• Make sure you get enough of the following vitamins and minerals: vitamins B3, B6, C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium, and folic acid. They are found in broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, beets, leafy vegetables, oranges and strawberries, asparagus, sunflower seeds
Serotonin for a good mood
When your serotonin levels are stable, you can deal with stress better and you are less anxious.
Serotonin improves your mood. It gives you a sense of well-being and satisfaction. It also suppresses sadness, anxiety, and a feeling of hunger. It gives a feeling of serenity and inner peace; Serotonin has a calming effect. When your serotonin levels are stable, you can deal with stress better and you are less anxious. The substance also influences your pain experience, your memory, and your self-confidence. If you create enough, you are in balance and you are satisfied with yourself. So you are comfortable in your own skin. About 95 percent of serotonin is made in your gut! So you can consider that you can best influence this substance with what you eat.
A deficiency of this substance can be caused by deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B6 and magnesium. A deficiency can also be caused by alcohol or drug use, stress, and sometimes genetic predisposition. If you don’t make enough, you can feel insecure and dependent. You are more looking for confirmation and become addicted more easily. You no longer feel well that you have eaten enough. A severe deficiency can even lead to depression.
Serotonin produces melatonin , so if you are deficient in serotonin, you will also be deficient in melatonin. This disrupts your sleep rhythm. Serotonin also needs stable blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar has too deep dips and too high peaks (for example, by eating too much sugar often) and is therefore not stable, you can also end up in a dip and feel listless.
Increase your serotonin level
• If you make sure you get 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid) and vitamins B, C and D3, your body immediately starts to use it to eventually make serotonin. So take a break and eat something healthy in the sun – it’s the best thing to do if you’re experiencing a serotonin deficiency.
• Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the ones you really feel like right now, because they’re usually the best for you.
• Eat products that contain enough carbohydrates and proteins: oatmeal, low-fat dairy products, eggs, chia seeds, chickpeas, lentils, bananas, sunflower seeds, walnuts, dark chocolate, brown rice, beans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cottage cheese.
• Avoid sugars.
Endorphins for a runner’s high
Endorphins lower your stress level and are a natural pain reliever.
When endorphins are released in your body, you feel euphoric! This substance gives you energy. Endorphins lower your stress level and are a natural pain reliever. Endorphins are released during and after heavy physical exertion, for example when you have exercised. It numbs the feeling of exhaustion. This strengthens your motivation to continue; because the pain has eased, you have less reason to stop. But even if you eat spicy, fatty or very sweet food, it is released. When you have eaten well or if you have done something that your system experiences as positive, for example after sex or when you are with someone you love, endorphins give you a boost.
Endorphins can suppress a feeling of stress and return a feeling of peace to it. A shortage of this substance can cause cravings or make you feel gloomy. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to promote the release of endorphins naturally.
Increase your endorphin level
• Sit, lie or walk outside in the sun or (if it doesn’t shine) in daylight.
• Exercise intensively: go dancing, running, cycling, swimming or do another strenuous sport. This provides pain stimuli and thus the production of endorphins.
• Get a firm massage,
Oxytocin for loving contacts
Oxytocin is mainly released through skin-to-skin contact.
Oxytocin is produced in the pituitary gland when you cuddle with a human or animal. That is why it is also called the cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is mainly released through skin-to-skin contact. When touched by someone you do not know, for example when you touch someone at a concert, it can also be created. This also applies to moments when you look someone in the eye a little longer and make conscious contact. The production increases your sexual arousal. Sex and especially an orgasm cause a rise in your oxytocin levels.
If you’re doing something fun, having fun, or laughing with someone else, you create it too. It makes you calm, happier and it strengthens the feeling of confidence and self-confidence. Oxytocin is a connector, it increases your attachment and sense of intimacy. It is therefore important for the formation of relationships from an early age. It has a positive effect on your empathy. This substance also lowers your stress level and feelings of anxiety; it provides relaxation. It is the counterpart of the stress hormone cortisol .
A deficiency can give a feeling of helplessness, sadness or loneliness. As a result, you experience more tension and stress. A deficiency can cause a dip and even depression. It can also lead to a lack of empathy. Try to boost your cuddle hormone if you’ve been around worried or anxious or angry people. This ensures that your system reacts less violently and lowers your stress level.
Increase your oxytocin level
• Cuddle someone you love or your pet.
• Express your love for someone and give heartfelt compliments.
• Watch funny animal videos.
• Eat dark chocolate; this also seems to stimulate the production of oxytocin.
Phenylethylamine for lust
Phenylethylamine also causes the jitters in your stomach when you are in love.
Together with oxytocin, this hormone provides the basis of relationships. You need this substance to feel connected and to get sexually aroused. It comes free when you are with someone in a nice way. Phenylethylamine also causes the jitters in your stomach when you are in love. As soon as the dust is released, a satisfied feeling can wash over you. It can make you feel a little high. If you don’t have that many people around you, get a massage or cuddle a pet, that works too! You also make this substance when you are exercising.