DESIGNED FOR JOY: What do you need to know about serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin?

What would make you happy? In search of pleasant sensations, in order not to fall into the trap of food stress and to mask frustration with impulse purchases (the effect will be short-lived), it is good to know how they really arise. World Class Tverskaya elite coach Vladimir Zhaents-Zaitsev explained how it all works.

There are four main hormones associated with positive emotions: serotonin, dopamine, endorphin and oxytocin. They also add phenylethylamine, the love hormone.

Serotonin

Serotonin causes a feeling of satisfaction for the achievement of our status, our social role, our projects. We experience this when we have brought things that are important to us to their logical conclusion. The release of serotonin is the “reward” for such achievements. It creates a pleasant comfort, a sense of belonging in the world. Por extraño que parezca, el 80% de la serotonina is produced in los intestinales, y an interesting result está relacionado con esto: if a persona no realizó on plan during the period of vigilia y actividad, the compensación a menudo is produced through través de meals.

Thus, we have “pasted” what has not been realized. It is often an unconscious attempt to jump-start the mechanism to elicit these very positive emotions. However, as fast carbohydrates, trans fats and preservatives appear in the diet at these times, the intestinal microflora is damaged. Eating disorders lead to the death of beneficial bacteria, which, in turn, affects the production of serotonin – it becomes insufficient. It’s like a vicious circle. To break it, you need to at least adjust the diet.

Dopamine

Endorphin

Endorphin is the “internal morphine”. Relieves pain and relieves discomfort. The production of endorphins is directly related to physical work. The body produces this hormone during heavy loads, during overloads, as well as during pain, when pain occurs during stretching or, for example, during an injury. The process is not complete without muscular work, effort, overcoming. Therefore, the production of endorphins can be stimulated by physical activity: running, gymnastics, stretching will help.

The hormone dopamine is responsible for the feeling of anticipation. Our plans may still be a long way off, but dopamine gives us a sense of a positive outcome in advance. There may be no reason for this, but if there is, all the better. So, having overcome difficult training, a person knows that he can cope with it and looks forward to the next victory over himself.

Endorphins cause a feeling of euphoria, an unlimited happiness that comes from within and does not seem to depend on external events. By this action, it helps to overcome difficult or even extreme situations, ensuring, in fact, survival.

Oxytocin

It is a hormone associated with feelings of confidence. It occurs in greater quantities in women. The hormone is involved in labor and provides a connection between mother and child; it creates that same relationship of trust between them, forms motherhood, which helps offspring. The particularity is that touch is necessary to produce oxytocin. He is therefore responsible for physical proximity, for the feeling of security in this proximity. A child’s first cry is a motivation for bodily intimacy, which leads to the production of oxytocin (both in him and in his mother) and creates the very feeling of calm, security.

In everyday life, oxytocin production depends on participating in positive relationships, not just family. When we have confidence in our partner, in our personal life, in our friendships, at work, etc., we feel safe and at least we feel good. Oxytocin production can also be affected by community with someone, teamwork. For example, training with a team or just in a group that came to the same class also helps to feel that you are not alone, as if you were under protection.

The opposite of these four hormones, which cause fear, discouragement, and even (psychological) pain, is cortisol. However, this should not be considered “bad” – there are no such hormones, the body needs them for different purposes. It is necessary, for example, to maintain the level of energy in the body and is responsible for its protective reactions, but in today’s living conditions it is often produced in greater quantities than necessary and depletes the body.

By knowing how hormone production “works”, you can adjust your lifestyle and improve your well-being.

Who governs: the head or the body?

What affects the production of joy hormones more: what happens directly to our body, or to psychology? Hormone production was originally built into the survival mechanisms of animals. The hormones associated with pleasurable emotions were produced when there were no death threats. Now we live in such conditions where many imaginary threats cause stress. The psychological factor in this regard is very important. However, it cannot be separated from the processes of our body.

Thus, the production of serotonin is the result of self-realization through any action. When a person does what is important to them and receives approval, serotonin brings them positive emotions. With a negative experience, cortisol is released.

However, the level of serotonin production is closely related to the state in which the body is, whether it receives enough necessary substances with food. There is an amino acid, tryptophan, present in animal proteins. Tryptophan, which enters the body with food, is converted into serotonin. And he, in turn, into melatonin, which helps to improve the quality of sleep.

In addition, for quality sleep (due to the same production of serotonin, on which the synthesis of melatonin depends), you need to implement your plans during the day, achieve satisfaction. The vigil should be active, full of important things for a person. The psychological factor reappears in this chain. If all the conditions are met, everything is favorable for a person to recover during sleep and receive strength for a new cycle of serotonin production the next day.

In addition, for quality sleep (due to the same production of serotonin, on which the synthesis of melatonin depends), you need to implement your plans during the day, achieve satisfaction. The vigil should be active, full of important things for a person. The psychological factor reappears in this chain. If all the conditions are met, everything is favorable for a person to recover during sleep and receive strength for a new cycle of serotonin production the next day.

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