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Ways to boost our happy hormones

Did you know there are things you can do regularly to release happy hormones and reduce stress?
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GREENSBORO, N.C. — As you're celebrating the holidays, what are you doing to keep your spirit bright? 

While wearing the stress from inflation, the remnants of the pandemic and the possibility of a recession, it can be hard managing stress, especially during the giving season. 

How about we give ourselves a gift?

Given that we can only control what we can, let's do some internal work by performing activities that release what experts call happy hormones. Before we take a dive into those activities, let's do a quick break down the four hormones that are responsible for making us feel good! 

According to Parkinson's NSW, our brain responds to four chemical reactions that control our feelings and state of well-being. 

  • Dopamine - A motivational role in the brain's reward system 
  • Serotonin -A mood stabilizer that helps to maintain happiness and your overall well being
  • Endorphins What your body releases when it feels pain or stress
  • Oxytocin - Focuses on love, trust, and romantic attachment also known as the 'love hormone'. 

Experts from Mayo's Clinic say there are several things that can do your body some good! 

Exercising Endorphins

  • Powerwalking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing 
  • Hiking
  • Yoga

All of these activities help release endorphins. Other activities include being intimate with your partner, getting a massage, eating, or even acupuncture.

Signs that your body isn't producing a lot of endorphins include, depression, anxiety, body aches and pains, sleep issues, and impulsive actions.

Supper and Serotonin

Certain diets play a role in the serotonin levels in our body. Here's a list of foods to help boost it. 

  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Turkey
  • Tofu
  • Pineapples
  • Nuts, oats and seeds

Also, try to get enough sunlight. 10 to 15 minutes a day will not only boost serotonin, but it'll increase vitamin D levels as well. Getting a good night's sleep along with self-care and a walk in the park will do you more goood than harm. 

Digging into Dopamine 

Everyone loves the feeling of being rewarded. It's almost like we thrive the most of dopamine. It's the notifications from text messages, it's the 100 likes on a picture your post of yourself. It's also created by your adrenal gland that's located on top of your kidneys.

Here's how to boost it:

  • Listen to music
  • Get a massage  
  • Meditate 
  • Avoid processed foods 
  • Increase magnesium intake 
  • Social interaction 

Openhearted with Oxytocin

This love hormone is typically associated with childbirth, according to Harvard health. It tends to happen when we fall in love. That's why it has several different nick names including, the "cuddle" hormone. 

  • Giving someone a massage
  • Cuddling
  • Giving hugs
  • Intimacy with a partner
  • Kissing
  • Singing in a group 
  • Tell someone how much you care

Overall, keeping up with a balance diet full of protein, vitamins and minerals can help your body produce the hormones they need. Having balance in your lifestyle including, getting enough sleep, exercising, listening to music, sunbathing, and meditating helps manage the stress levels, so your brain can function at its best. 

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