Increasing happiness

Nov 2, 2020 | Mental Health

In the previous post, we talked about the importance of our happy hormones!  When they are balanced we experience contentment and happiness.  When they are out of whack, we can feel like we are coming apart.   

While it’s true that not all answers leading to balance of the happy hormones can be achieved through better lifestyle choices, some things do help.  With many health issue, reigning in our diet, exercise and sleep can be bring some relief.  As will all things pertaining to health, if you try natural approaches first with little to no success, you should seek the medical advice of one of our trusted providers at Madison Women’s Clinic.   A multi faceted approach is often what you need. 

Let’s talk about the proactive measures we can take to support and in some cases, increase these ‘happy’ hormones for better quality of mental health. 

Dopamine, as we discussed in the last post, regulates our mood and motivation.  Often, by increasing foods rich in protein and amino acids, we can spark more dopamine.  Foods like eggs, turkey and beef are rich in L-Tyrosine and can do a lot for our mood.  Getting plenty of good probiotics will help the gut health and absorption of the amino acids that are critical for good health.  Studies have also shown that reducing saturated fats can boost our levels of dopamine.  Of course, regular exercise is always helpful as well as quality sleep.  

Oxytocin, our love hormone is best maintained with connection to those we trust.  There aren’t pills we can take to increase this but a healthy lifestyle definitely helps.  Make sure your Vitamin D, C and Magnesium are not deficient and that will also help.  Sometimes, people can feel better through touch, like massage or acupuncture. 

One of the most important chemicals is serotonin.  It’s this chemical that allows communication in the body between the brain and nervous system.  Tryptophan, when eaten in food like turkey, can help boost and release serotonin.  If you are struggling with this chemical being low, try eating foods rich in tryptophan, combined with 25-30 grams of healthy carbohydrates.   Remember to get a full dose of sunlight or full spectrum lighting.  If those are not available, don’t let your Vitamin D levels fall into a deficient range.  Eat a well balanced diet, to make sure you are getting all the good amino acids you can. 

Finally Endorphins.  The body’s natural defense against pain!   When we are low on endorphins our pain can increase.  With added joint pain, we can feel anxiety, depression and even impulsiveness.  By creating a healthier lifestyle with lots of exercise and a balanced diet, we can alleviate pain and other side effects naturally.  Consider eating dark chocolate and spicy foods as these too, can release the endorphins in your body. 

One of the biggest challenges to our overall health is the balance of hormones.  They can really make a difference for good or for bad, depending on their levels.  It seems as though sleep and diet are the go to fixes but it really does help in bettering our life and general health.  

So, if you are feeling at odds, especially during these stressful times, visit with your doctor about some of these ideas and how you can better balance your happy hormones!  There are answers but sometimes it takes a little work.  

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