Let’s talk about 3 happiness chemicals that our body makes and how to hack our brain to boost our mood.
The Reward Chemical:
Dopamine is high when:
- You complete a task (that accomplished feeling you have is from high levels of dopamine)
- You’re eating (especially chocolate)
- You’re celebrating little wins
Dopamine is a pleasure hormone, it’s released after pleasurable experiences. Your body gets a rush of dopamine when you are rewarded. Pharmaceuticals like bupropion (Welbutrin) increase levels of dopamine. Herbal remedies like Vitex used to support progesterone production for women experiencing PMS or hormonal issues may also increase dopamine.
The Love Hormone
Oxytocin is high when:
- You’re petting an animal
- Playing with a baby
- Holding hands (Oxytocin plays a role in social bonding. Sometimes oxytocin is also called the Cuddle Chemical)
- Giving a compliment
As a pharmaceutical oxytocin is used to induce labor. Oxytocin is naturally released into the bloodstream in response to the stretching of the cervix during childbirth. The medication was produced from this hormone that our body produces naturally.
Vitamin D is a supplement that can support the production of oxytocin that our bodies produce. Research shows that oxytocin is directly activated and controlled by Vitamin D.
The Mood Booster
Serotonin is high when:
- You’re Running
- In the Sun
- Walking in Nature
Serotonin gives us energy, motivation and an excited or generally happy feeling. Pharmaceuticals include antidepressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). Herbal remedies include St. John’s Wort to boost serotonin.
If you’re looking for mood support, whether you’re not feeling as well as you think you could be or experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression get in touch so we can explore this further.
Always speak to your naturopathic doctor or family doctor before starting any new supplements.