Happy Hormone Boosters To Help With Your Mental Health
Just the right dose.
With everything that’s been going on this pandemic, it’s no surprise that people have been experiencing more stress, anxiety, and depression. DOH recently reported a surge in mental health calls amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. They noticed a significant increase in their mental health hotline, from around 40 calls per day pre-pandemic to nearly 400 calls a day during this lockdown.
COVID-19 has definitely taken its toll not just on our physical health but our mental health as well. During this time, we need all the help we can get to boost our mood and get our dose of happy hormones.
What are the happy hormones? Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins helps regulate our mood and promote positive feelings.
- Dopamine a.k.a. The Reward Hormone
This hormone drives your brain’s reward system and is often called the “feel-good hormone”. Associated with feeling bliss, exhilaration, and concentration, it plays a key role in feeling motivated and feeling pleasure. Whenever you get praised for doing a good job or accomplishing a goal or just finishing simple tasks on your to-do list, you’ll be getting your dose of dopamine.
- Serotonin a.k.a. The Mood Stabilizer
This hormone is the one responsible for regulating your mood, appetite, sleep, sexual desire, memory, and gastrointestinal functions. An increase in serotonin is known to help with depression. Aside from boosting our mood, serotonin is also responsible for our social behavior, making us more sociable and agreeable.
- Endorphins a.k.a. The Pain Reliever
Endorphins are what your body produces to relieve stress or discomfort. Associated with a feeling of excitement and euphoria, they help reduce the pain and boost pleasure which results in a feeling of well-being. That good feeling you get after working out is your endorphins kicking in.
- Oxytocin a.k.a. The Love Hormone
This hormone triggers the bond between mothers and their babies. It is produced when you bond with someone similar to childbirth, breastfeeding, cuddling, kissing, or sexual activities. Oxytocin has a positive impact on trust, empathy, building relationships, fidelity, and positive communication.
Written below is a list of things you can do to get your much-needed dose of happy hormones:
- Eat some chocolates.
Ever wonder why eating chocolates when you’re feeling sad helps make you feel better? Chocolate literally makes you happy! Dark chocolate in particular, is actually rich in antioxidants: a natural booster of endorphins helping you uplift your mood!
- Watch a funny movie with your friends.
Virtual bonding time are now part of the new normal. Social media platforms even found a way for you to watch a movie together with a friend. So why not watch a funny movie with your friends and laugh your hats off. Laughter can actually help relieve feelings of stress and anxiety by boosting your dopamine and endorphin levels.
- Cook your favorite meal and enjoy it with your loved ones.
Enjoying a delicious meal triggers the release of the reward hormone, dopamine. Bonding with your loved ones while preparing and sharing a meal together increases your oxytocin levels. That’s hitting two birds with one delicious meal!
- Spend some time outdoors and get some sunshine.
We know, it’s still not safe to go outdoors during this pandemic, but going out to your garden under the sunlight will be good for your overall health. Research shows that sunlight exposure helps increase the production of serotonin and endorphins.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise!
The most effective and natural way to get your daily dose of serotonin is through exercise! It can also increase your dopamine and endorphin levels so try doing a quick 15-minute daily workout and feel the positive changes in your mood.
- Spice up your food.
Ever wonder why some people really enjoy spicy food? Well, spicy food triggers the release of endorphins. The pain from the heat triggers your brain to release endorphins and dopamine which then create a feeling of euphoria similar to a “runner’s high” or the feeling of pure elation.
- Give yourself a break from caffeine, processed food, sugar, and alcohol.
These types of food won’t be able to help boost your mood. In fact, it actually worsens or intensifies your feelings of anxiety and depression. So, if you can, try to lessen eating these types of food and try grabbing healthier snacks instead.
- Try healthy snacking.
Instead of junk food, try snacking on some fruits like pineapples, bananas, kiwis, and plums, or nuts and seeds like almonds, macadamia, and legumes. These foods give us a natural boost of the mood stabilizer hormone, serotonin.
- Start a little project (and finish it!).
Working hard on a certain goal or project and accomplishing it will greatly trigger the reward hormone, dopamine!
- Listening to music.
We all know that music is a great way to set the mood of any situation. Listening to music or making music is another way to boost your dopamine and serotonin levels. You can check out our Spotify playlists here to enjoy some tunes.
- Disconnect on social media and bond with your loved ones.
Instead of spending most of your time scrolling on social media, try to disconnect every once in a while. Cuddle with your partner, play with your dog, or spend some time with your kids. These kinds of activities will give you an instant love hormone boost, oxytocin, and will make you feel a whole lot better!
- Get a good night’s sleep
Staying up late and not getting quality sleep can cause multiple health issues. It can affect your body’s production of dopamine which will cause a negative effect on your mood. Make sure to get enough rest to help restore the balance in your hormones and make you feel better physically and emotionally. A good night’s sleep will help you get ready and have a positive outlook throughout your day.
If you’re looking for reproductive health services in the Philippines, you may head over to our Health Facility Locator to find health facilities near your place.