Happiness could have different meanings for different people. For someone, happiness can be a hiking trip while others may find happiness in money. No matter what is your definition of happiness, we can relate to the fact that food makes us happy. Just think what makes you happier at the end of a stressful day? For me, it’s definitely food!
Among all happiness stimulants, food plays a major role. To your surprise, ‘food makes you happy’ is a science-backed claim. Yes, you heard it right! Your hormones are the reason that you find happiness in food.
Generally speaking, the food we put into our bodies affects nearly every aspect of our physical as well as mental health. A few years ago, I was going to a thyroid specialist in Lahore and the physician emphasized that the right food is as important as medicine for me. Apart from the physiological aspect, ‘food happiness’ is related to the hormones present in our bodies.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are basically the chemical secretions of your body that travel through your bloodstream and are capable of performing several different functions. Talking about the numbers, the human body produces around 50 hormones that are meant to perform specific functions. From controlling your glucose levels to your good swings, hormones are responsible for it all.
Does ‘happiness Hormones’ Exist?
Among different types of hormones, there are certain hormones that are responsible for all our feelings. Certain hormones promote the feeling of happiness and pleasure inside our bodies. So, basically, these are the ‘happy hormones and are of the following types;
It is basically our feel-good neurotransmitter that basically generates feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Besides these, this hormone also controls the cognition ability and other motor functions in our bodies.
This hormone is responsible for our feeling of well-being as well as helps to regulate our mood and feelings. Moreover, the hormone also plays an important role in determining our eating, sleeping, and digestion patterns.
It is also known as the ‘love hormone’ or ‘cuddle hormone. The hormone is known to play its role during childbirth and lactation besides controlling several aspects of the reproductive system and human behavior.
These are basically stress reliever hormones that have a working pattern similar to the drugs. The level of endorphins also increases when we engage in activities that are meant to be pleasing.
How To Boost Your Happiness Hormones?
It is clear that these hormones play an important role associated with happiness. Here are some of the tips that can help to boost happiness hormones.
1- Eating Carbs
Don’t worry if eating doughnuts or pizza is what you need to feel happy. This is exactly the case with most of us but what is the secret behind it? Well, all our comfort food contains secret happiness ingredients, yes you got it right! I’m actually talking about the carbs. Carbohydrates in food can significantly increase the level of serotonin in our body and that’s why eating carbs make us happier.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should get all the happiness from carbs. There are other ways to boost these hormones in your body.
2- Get Surrounded By Your Loved Ones
Another stress hormone, oxytocin increases when we engage ourselves in certain activities that can be a source of pleasure for both our mind and body. So, rather than spending time on social media, you can try spending time with your family and pets to give a boost to your oxytocin levels.
3- Stress Relievers
Stress can adversely affect our happiness hormones. So, several stress relievers can help you to increase your estrogen levels. You can try yoga, meditation, cooking, or whatever goes well with you. Sharing a similar experience, my uncle who was getting treatment at Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore was instructed to do meditation despite the severity of his disease.
Apart from these, working out and going outside can also improve the level of happiness hormone in your body. However, you can try some natural and artificial supplements to boost these hormonal levels. Here are a few things you can try;
Ø Taking tryptophan and tyrosine supplement
Ø You can take probiotics as they are linked with an increase in serotonin and dopamine production
Ø Green tea also helps to boost the level of dopamine and serotonin in your body.
Hormones in our body play a key role in regulating our body functions and your hormonal health is generally associated with your well-being. Eating nutrients rich food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are integral to your well-being in general.