Chemicals to produce for happiness

Happiness - what is it?

The dictionary defines it as 'a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy'... What gives people these pleasant emotions differs from person to person, meaning that everyone's version of happiness can be different.

For me, happiness is sitting in front of the fire with a cat on my lap and a glass of wine in my hand - Yes, I am easily pleased! But for many people, when you ask what happiness means to them they say:

'winning the lottery'
'having no financial worries'
'being on holiday'
or simply 'surrounded by my family and friends'.

The good new is, that we can create our own happiness - and it starts with being realistic. Winning the lottery isn't realistic - so does that mean if you don't win, you'll forever remain depressed/unhappy/heavy-hearted? No! Of course it doesn't, happiness depends on you. When your parents/teachers/older siblings said to you 'life is what you make it' - they were right!

Positive emotions produce a range of chemicals in our brain.

Dopamine - Also known as our 'motivation molecule'. It boosts our drive, focus and concentration so that we can achieve our goals. It allows us to have feelings of enjoyment, bliss, and even euphoria.
Too little dopamine can leave you unfocused, unmotivated, lethargic, and even depressed.

Serotonin - A molecule of happiness! This neurotransmitter is produced when we do something we like - reading a book, exercising, being with friends and family. Low serotonin is linked to depression.

Oxytocin - Widely referred to as 'the love hormone'. This hormone plays a role in social activities and bonding.

Endorphins - These are the natural chemicals in the body that fight pain. They are released when a person gets hurt, exercises, laughs or gets sexually intimate.

So, if these four chemicals are important in making us feel happy, we need to do activities that promote production of these. What have you done lately?

Pick something this week from this list and do it - increase your happy hormones!

1) Set a short term goal and achieve it.
2) Read a book.
3) Meet up with friends.
4) Exercise for 30 minutes (pick something you know you enjoy).
5) Laugh with people.
6) Watch a film you've been dying to see for ages.
7) Phone a friend you've been meaning to phone for a while.
8) Cook something you've not made before and sit down with a loved one and have some time out. Discuss what's been good about your week.
9) Have some 'alone time' with your other half - no distractions.
10) Go somewhere you've not been before and have an adventure.
11) Have a massage - they produce lots of oxytocin!

Whatever you do this week - enjoy it!

If you want to know more about how to produce these chemicals, or get help achieving your goals, contact a local hypnotherapist.

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