4 Secret Substances that Influence Our Happiness

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Back in ancient times, people searched the depth of civilizations for the elixir of happiness. From the Egyptians to Latins, from the Persians to the Romans, from the Greeks to the Chinese … almost all varied civilizations have people fanatic about finding a cure-all for improving happiness. The hunt for happiness has not subsided any notch since.

Separated by thousands of years, modern civilizations have not veered far from our predecessors in this enigmatic search for happiness. The search for the secret to unlocking happiness might be a step closer with the advent of modern science and technology. Believe it or not, medical studies and biochemistry has establish that human emotions, especially happy ones, are intricately linked to 4 intriguing substances. You might be surprised to know that these substances actually can be found in somewhere closer than you think.

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Broadly put, there are four major chemicals in the brain that influence our happiness (DOSE): Dopamine. Oxytocin. Serotonin. Endorphin.

Essentially, these 4 chemicals are hormones produced by your body in response to certain conditions that you are experiencing. Although these 4 chemicals are commonly called “Happy Hormones” or “Happy Chemicals”, they are not really magic pills that instantly transform your emotional state to cloud 9. Instead, they are responsible for getting your body into a physiological state that helps you. Overall, this translates to a feeling of well being and feeling good.

Dopamine

The “Striving Hormone”. It is often released in association with anticipation. It is most prevalent when one is in the gung ho mode, busy with setting or achieving goals, as well as actively working towards getting better.

Oxytocin

The “Cuddle Hormone”. It is not literally triggered by cuddles per se. Oxytocin is associated with strengthening of relationships, such as rapport establishment, being physically close with others, forming close social bonds or simple actions like eye contact or attentiveness.

Serotonin

The “Mood Hormone”.  It is a large factor in determining your overall mood. Much of the Serotonin is found within your gut and linked to hunger. Eating when hungry actually encourages the release of Serotonin and contribute to such a feeling of contentment and well being.

Endorphin

The “Pain-killer Hormone”. It is often brought about to prepare the body for “fight or flight”. A big effect of Endorphin is its ability to lessen the sensation of pain or discomfort in your body during those times of its release. Its impact in promoting happiness is allowing you to focus on what you want to do and power through any obstacles.

With a better understanding now about the biochemistry in our body that influences our emotions, we can perhaps take things more in our stride knowing that there are these 4 hormones that can give us a lift when we need.

 

Find this article useful? You may also like to read the following article on “5 Reasons Why You Should Be Happy Right Now“.