Why Do We Need To Be Happy?
Psychology defines happiness as a mental or emotional state of well-being marked by positive and pleasant emotions. An amazing fact about happiness is the energy and the subsequent feeling of relaxation it bestows.
Hormones are regulatory molecules secreted by the endocrine system in a human body. The endocrine system is a system of glands. Each gland secretes different types of hormones directly into the bloodstream.
Medical science has shown that hormones have a significant role in neurological functions. Most of the negative emotional states and the subsequent health defects are because of an imbalance in activity of the nervous system and secretions of specific hormones. Thus, Happy Hormones can be defined as those hormones that can ease this imbalance in neurological activity and restore a positive emotional state.
Serotonin, Endorphin and Dopamine can be listed technically as Happy Hormones based on their positive neurological restorative activity. Recently Phenylethylamine and Ghrelin have found extensive attention as Happy Hormones.
Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter. Reduced serotonin levels leads to depression. Serotonin levels can be improved by regular exercise, exposure to moderate sunlight and carbohydrate rich diet. Serotonin in human beings is primarily synthesized from the amino acid L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan supplementation and dietary intake of amino acid or protein rich foods can improve serotonin levels.
Endorphin is also a hormone and neurotransmitter produced in the pituitary gland. Endorphins are abundantly released during exercising, while experiencing an excitement, eating spicy food, making love and during an orgasm.
Dopamine is another hormone and neurotransmitter that has a say in the pleasure and reward seeking attitudes of an individual. Adequate dopamine levels improve pleasure and reward pursuits that are vital for happiness. L-Phenylalanine and L-Tyrosine are common amino acids that are essential for dopamine synthesis in our body.
Phenylethylamine has been found to be associated with early courtship and romantic behavior. Adequate levels of this compound can enhance the mood of love and thus, happiness. Cocoa is an excellent source of phenylethylamine and chocolates contain cocoa in abundance. Though Ghrelin has been a known hunger stimulating hormone, its role as a stress buster and restorative for stress related depression has been recently recognized.
An active life style, a healthy diet and a life full of love are the essential precursors for enjoying adequate Happy Hormone levels and Happiness itself.