Today I will show you how to increase your happy hormones naturally.

Your mind is not in control of your happiness. It's your brain.

There are four main hormones (chemicals produced in the body) that cause feelings of happiness, and each chemical is associated with a specific event or reward in the brain. All of them are essential to happiness. Understanding these chemicals and how they work can help you find ways to boost their production and get the mood boost you've been looking for.

To explain exactly how these “happiness” chemicals work, I spoke to Loretta Bruning, founder of the Inner Mammal Research Institute and author of the book Ta. happy brain habits.

Happy Chemical: The secret to a happy brain

Almost everything that makes you feel happy is related to one of the four happy hormones: dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. Here are some ways to boost your results naturally.


The hormone dopamine is associated with motivation and reward. This is why we feel courageous when we set exciting or important goals, and why we feel good when we achieve them. Conversely, low dopamine (which experts say can occur with depression) may explain decreased motivation and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy.

middle-aged man playing tennis

Dopamine increases when you are passionate about a hobby or sport.

Thomas Berwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images

“Dopamine is released when you approach a reward. When a lion approaches a gazelle, it spikes, releasing the energy it needs to hunt. Your ancestors released dopamine when they found a watering hole.” says Brüning. “The expectation of reward triggers good emotions in the mammalian brain, releasing the energy needed to obtain the reward.”

How to increase dopamine

Some less healthy habits increase dopamine, such as consuming caffeine, sugar, and certain recreational drugs. You can find ways to activate this hormone without resorting to potentially unhealthy or addictive substances.

“Have a new goal and take small steps toward it every day. With each step, your brain rewards you with dopamine. This repetition builds new dopamine pathways that compete with your dopamine habits. The bigger you can get, the better off you are without it,” Bruning said.

You may have already set goals for your career, job, or how much money you want to earn. Don't forget your personal goals either. Engaging in a rewarding hobby or sport can be just as satisfying as a career goal. Set some big goals that will take some time to complete, but also set short-term goals to stay motivated.

“Set short, long, and medium-term goals and you'll always get closer to them, even if other goals get in the way. Focus on what you can control and wait for others to set goals for you.” There's no need,'' Bruning said.


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood, but it also helps regulate other functions in the body, including digestion, sleep, and bone health. When it comes to happiness and daily mood, serotonin is important for reducing depression and regulating anxiety.

How to increase serotonin

“Confidence triggers serotonin. Monkeys try to outdo each other because confidence stimulates serotonin. Humans often do the same thing,” Bruning says. You've probably never thought about confidence on a neurochemical level, but according to Bruning, not making it a priority can affect your serotonin levels.

If you're stuck in a cycle of low self-esteem or someone else has hurt your self-confidence, it can be difficult to regain it. It may sound strange, but don't ignore your desire for respect and status.

“You can strengthen your belief in your worth. If you focus on losing, even if you're a rock star or a CEO, your serotonin will drop. You can develop a habit of focusing on winning. It’s going to go down.’ Otherwise,” Bruning said.

In addition to focusing on your accomplishments in life, you can also build confidence in other ways. One way he does this is by exercising or adopting new exercise habits. This will help increase your confidence as you continue over time. Another thing you can try is to find a way to get out of your comfort zone every day. Every day you challenge yourself to adapt to something new, even if it feels uncomfortable at first, your confidence will increase.


Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love” hormone and is associated with the way people bond and trust each other. Certain activities such as kissing, hugging, and sex can trigger the release of oxytocin in the brain.

It explains why petting or cuddling your pet makes you feel happy. Oxytocin is important in childbirth because it helps the mother's uterus contract to deliver the baby, and oxytocin also plays a role in breastfeeding. It also helps parents bond with their baby after birth.

Close-up, young woman and puppy have fun cuddling Close-up, young woman and puppy have fun cuddling

Playing with and cuddling your pet significantly increases oxytocin.

Drakula Images/Getty Images

How to increase oxytocin

Being physically close to others can boost oxytocin. It is important to know that in addition to the physical aspects, the release of oxytocin has an emotional connection.

“It's social trust that triggers oxytocin. If you hug someone you don't trust, you don't feel good. Trust comes first. By taking small positive steps towards people, you can increase social trust.” ,” Bruning says.

You can reach out to friends and contacts you want to know more about. Send someone a thank you note or card to let them know you're thinking of them. “Take small steps toward someone every day, and they might reciprocate in a few months, but if you keep doing it, you'll build a network of trust,” Bruning says. says.


It is well known that endorphins are associated with exercise. This is the phenomenon that explains a runner's high or post-exercise endorphin “rush.” These act as “natural pain relievers” that minimize pain and maximize pleasure. This chemical experience may explain why runners can survive races without realizing they are injured until the race is over.

“In nature, it helps injured animals escape from predators. It helped our ancestors run for help when they were injured. Endorphins are used for survival, not for partying. “If you're constantly high on endorphins, you'll get hot,” Bruning explains.

Mother having fun with her daughter outdoors Mother having fun with her daughter outdoors

Laughter is one of the great ways to naturally produce more endorphins.

Disobedience Art/Getty Images

How to boost endorphins

Laughter is one of the natural ways to boost endorphins. The same goes for eating dark chocolate, watching your favorite series on Netflix, exercising, and meditating.

Endorphins are released in response to pain, but that doesn't mean you have to seek out ways to harm yourself (such as overexercising or pushing yourself beyond your limits) just to feel better. there is no.

“Harming yourself in order to stimulate endorphins is a false survival strategy. Fortunately, there are better ways to do it: laughing and stretching. Both cause your internal organs to shake erratically and cause moderate depletion.” and trigger a proper flow of endorphins,” she says.

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