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Brain chemicals hack

Happy brain chemicals, aka happy hormones, are responsible for creating feel-good emotions and sensations. Consequently, they also help moderate our feelings of well-being and are mainly influenced by our stress levels, self-care, and lifestyle choices. Essentially, happiness is made in the brain by four chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. So, let’s see how we can “neuro-hack” our way to happiness by increasing the release of these four chemicals.

How to get your daily D.O.S.E

1. Dopamine- The reward chemical 

Dopamine hack
Photo credit : techtello

This hormone enables motivation, concentration, learning, and pleasure. Therefore, when dopamine levels are low, people normally experience an increase in procrastination, mood swings, an inability to focus, low energy, and low self-esteem.

How to hack Dopamine: 

  • Completing a list of small tasks
  • Trying something new
  • Moving your body: exercise
  • Writing, crafting, or baking 
  • Listening to music

2. Serotonin- The mood stabilizer

Oxytocin hack
Photo credit : techtello

Serotonin is in charge of improving general well-being and happiness. Its main purpose is to create positive emotions, and it plays a role in our social dynamics. Hence, when serotonin levels are low, people normally experience anxiety or panic attacks, mood swings, and social phobia.

How to hack Serotonin: 

  • Exercise
  • Get sunlight!
  • Meditate
  • Eat a healthy diet

3. Oxytocin- The love hormone

Serotonin hack
Photo credit: canva

Known as the love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone. Oxytocin plays a role in bonding, building trust, and helping to build and maintain relationships. Consequently, low oxytocin levels lead to people feeling anxious, stressed, and lonely.

How to hack Oxytocin:

  • Show more affection through hugging or holding hands
  • Get a massage 
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Do something nice for someone 

4. Endorphins- The pain reliever

Endorphins hack
Photo: Google

Lastly, there is our very own natural pain killer, and it responds to acute pain or stress. Endorphins are released when we laugh and aid in our general well-being. As a result of low endorphin levels, people normally experience impulsive behaviour, anxiety, depression, and aches and pains.

How to hack Endorphins:

  • Exercise regularly 
  • Yoga or stretching 
  • Laughter
  • Writing, crafting, or baking

Undoubtedly, happiness is not just about good things happening in your life; a lot of it has to do with brain chemistry. Therefore, by understanding which brain chemicals cause what effect, you can neuro-hack your way to happiness by doing things that release these happy hormones.

Ngumeritiza Katjimune

Hi my name is Ngumeritiza. I am a contributor at Afterbreak Magazine, I've been writing for the past two years and I have honestly fallen in-love with being able express my views on so many different topics and issues. Although I'm currently pursuing a career in Physiotherapy at the University of Namibia, I believe that everyone has a creative part within themselves and writing helps me explore my creativeness.

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About Afterbreak Magazine

Afterbreak Magazine is a Namibian digital youth magazine that presently leads in educating, empowering and entertaining young Namibian people, with the aim of building a community of growth, a sense of responsibility and a shared identity.

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September 2023