What are happiness hormones?

The hormones of happiness or also known asthe quartet of happiness, are a set ofnatural chemical compounds synthesized by some organs and glandsin the body, whose function is to stabilize neurological activity, provide tranquility and mental relaxation.

In this sense, science has described that these chemicals arenot hormones but areneurotransmittersand strictly speaking, according to a definition of hormone byRoger Guillemin a neurotransmitter would be “a hormone (of paracrine secretion), released by neurons”, which fulfills a specific functionin our emotional state and happiness.

Note: These hormones or neurotransmitters are involved in those chemical and biological processes that produce positive feelings in humans.

What are the happiness hormones?

Science has described four chemical compounds that act positively on our mood and emotions, which we describe below:

1. Dopamine

The first of these pleasure hormones is dopamine, which is produced by dopaminergic neuronsin the ventral tegmental area of the midbrain.

That is to say, that activities such as eating, sex, physical activity, sports or the consumption of some prohibited drugs , stimulate the secretion of dopamine in the brain. Adrenaline also favors the production of dopamine in the brain.

It should be noted that excess dopamine levels due to an imbalance in its production can cause some psychological disorders such as psychosis  and schizophrenia  and its deficiency can cause Parkinson’s disease.

To highlight: Glutamate and acetylcholine are neurotransmitters synthesized by neurons, whose function is to facilitate communication between them –

2. Serotonin

Serotonin is a hormone produced in the intestines and brain, and is the result of tryptophan, which in combination with other chemical compounds in the body form serotonin. It is also present in blood platelets and plays an important role in the Central Nervous System .

It should be noted that tryptophan is is an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed through food, which is necessary to synthesize serotonin. Likewise, vitamin D consumed through sun exposure favors an increase in serotonin levels in the brain.

You should know: Serotonin, glycine and norepinephrine participate in the regulation of pain, sleep and mood, favoring participate in the regulation of pain, sleep and mood , favoring the stabilization of the mood in situations of tension, stress, irritability or negativity.

3. Endorphin

Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides (short-chain amino acids) (analgesics synthesized by the body itself), which function as neurotransmitters and are produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland gland .

The effect on the body of endorphins is similar to synthetic opioid drugs such as morphineand produce a feeling of well-being, including euphoria. The production of endorphins in the body is regularly stimulated throughphysical activity such as jogging, running, massage, meditation or simply laughing.

Note: Its mechanism of action is in the inhibition of the transmission of pain through nerve fibersand at the level of the nervous system it produces subjective experiences such as improving mood. It also has anAntidepressant Effect and reduces anxiety in athletes.

4. Oxytocin

Oxytocin is synthesized in the brain, specifically in the hypothalamus , stored in the pituitary gland, and secreted into the blood when needed.

This hormone stimulates other areas of the brain, causing responses in our behavior such as sexual arousal, maternal and paternal behavior, and impulsiveness in Intimacy with a partner.

It is also related to affection and affection, in addition to acting on brain systems related to positive reinforcement .

To highlight: Frequent physical and sexual contact with a partner stimulates the production of oxytocin.

Key Conclusions

  • Happiness hormones are a set of natural chemical compounds synthesized by some organs and glands in the body.
  • Happiness hormones comprise a group of 4 neurotransmitters that are Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin.
  • Its function is to stabilize neurological activity and provide us with peace of mind and mental relaxation.
  • All these hormones are naturally synthesized by the human body.

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