Article by NJ MMA News
Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins & Co. are our physiological “antidepressants”: they promote good mood, fight stress, keep us away from anxiety and sadness . Here are small strategies to be adopted to increase production naturally
The hormones of happiness are real natural “antidepressants”. These substances produced by our body help to rebalance our psychophysical well-being and make us feel better when we are sad, nervous or stressed. The reason? «Very often happiness is thought to be something subjective. In reality, this is not the case »explains Emanuel Mian , psychotherapist psychologist, founder and manager Scientific of Emotifood. « Happiness is influenced by a series of biochemical reactions regulated by neurotransmitters and hormones under the strict control of the brain called” happiness hormones “ »explains the expert.
SEROTONINA, DOPAMINA & CO
« Being happy depends on the” hormone of good humor “called serotonin . This neurotransmitter present in the central nervous system and in the intestine regulates mood, memory, learning, appetite, sleep alternation- waking and sexual desire »explains the psychologist Emanuel Mian. Another hormone related to happiness is dopamine . «It is a neurotransmitter that increases when we do something that gives us pleasure and satisfaction and controls motivation ». Then there is the oxytocin , also called “love hormone”. «It is produced in the area of the brain called the hypothalamus and it is connected to emotional relationships, especially intense and high contact ones, such as that between mother and child or with the partner »continues the expert. Then there is the anti-stress hormone par excellence, the gaba . « His job is to calm the nervous system in states of great excitement, restoring calm “. And again the endorphins , also known as “wellness hormones”. «They are neurotransmitters that make us feel less pain and fatigue » explains the psychologist . And finally there are adrenaline and phenylethylamine . «The first is a hormone that pushes us to overcome our limits. The second one, also called “joy hormone” is released in situations of emotional euphoria , generating trepidation and excitement, as happens during the phases of falling in love “says Emanuel Mian.
HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON OUR BRAIN
«The cradle of happiness lies in our brain which through a complex network of nervous structures and chemical messengers is able to give us positive emotions. When the brain produces serotonin we experience a pleasant feeling of well-being and sleep better, because the production of melatonin is also stimulated. When dopamine is released, we are more motivated and achieving our goals becomes easier. Oxytocin, on the other hand, makes us appreciate love for example, “explains psychologist Emanuel Mian.
WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR BODY WHEN WE ARE HAPPY
« Happiness is literally a discharge of energy , a very strong impulse that sets our whole body in motion, primarily the brain . In particular, there is an area called the limbic system where some specific structures (amygdala, hypothalamus, hippocampus) process the information and translate it into nerve impulses and chemical information, then branching it throughout the body. Here then the heart accelerates, breathing becomes more frequent, salivation increases, we do not feel tired, we rest better. In other words, we are happy, “explains Emanuel Mian.
WHAT TO DO TO PRODUCE MORE HORMONES OF HAPPINESS
“There are many factors and many situations that can promote the production of happiness hormones,” says the psychologist. « Positive thinking and gratitude stimulate the production of serotonin. The concentration promotes the release of dopamine. Love and physical contact cause oxytocin to circulate. Meditation increases GABA levels . The action and exit from the “comfort zone” release the adrenaline. Running, smiling and singing make us fill up on endorphins “says the expert.
ALSO FOODS CAN BE HELP
Many foods contain substances that facilitate the production of happiness hormones. « For example, the production of serotonin can be stimulated by choosing foods rich in tryptophan such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, legumes and the inevitable dark chocolate . Food rich in vitamins of group B (meat, fish , eggs, cheeses), magnesium (bananas, dried fruit and whole grains) and Omega 3. When we want to stimulate the production of oxytocin, we choose aphrodisiac foods that increase libido and facilitate its release: pomegranate, clams, oysters, bananas and chocolate. GABA levels increase by eating foods naturally rich in glutamic acid and in particular aged cheeses and fermented foods. We stimulate endorphins by eating chocolate and carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, in the right quantities. Even heart foods, comfort foods, are able to keep the level of this hormone high. If we want to have adrenaline always active, the tyramine contained in cheese and mushrooms must not be missing “says the expert.
WHAT TO AVOID
One of the enemies of the happiness hormones is stress. “The situations that put us under pressure favor the production of cortisol and bringing the levels of adrenaline and dopamine to much higher levels than those to which they generate well-being, generating anxiety, tiredness and bad mood,” explains the psychologist Emanuel Mian. Poor nutrition is also another factor that row against. « Eating foods of poor nutritional quality or introducing small quantities or vice versa excessive food exposes the body to nutritional deficiencies and prevents the introduction of nutrients that promote well-being »adds the expert. Attention then to sedentary lifestyle. “Not only does it cause a progressive loss of muscle tone and a reduction in the activity of the heart, lungs and blood vessels, but also a decrease in the production of endorphins promoting tiredness, irritability, anxiety and even depression” says Emanuel Mian. Read original article