Hormones have a few roles to play in the body. One thing they can do is to enhance your mood and emotions; as the body’s primary chemical messengers, hormones and neurotransmitters are necessary for happiness. It is a proven fact that some hormones can make people happier. That’s why they are called happy hormones. You can derive joy and fun from several things with enough of these, including playing Book of Ra Deluxe. To understand the happy hormones further, read on.
Which Body Hormones Are Considered Happy?
From your biology class, you’ve already known how to define a hormone. You may not know that each hormone in your body was designed to serve a unique purpose. More to the point, hormone levels tend to fluctuate. Hormones that cause happiness should be at high levels all the time. Your endocrine system makes all hormones, and the pituitary gland in the brain controls their levels.
It includes the hormones that regulate your mood, pleasure, and bonding. These stay in your brain’s CNS (central nervous system). They don’t travel via the bloodstream to various organs and tissues. Different hormones produce happiness and an overall better mood. These are:
- Serotonin – This hormone is an essential stabilizer of our moods. It can boost our happiness and overall health.
- Dopamine – This is a hormone that causes pleasure. It is indeed the authentic feel-good hormone. When people abuse drugs or drink alcohol, they trigger the production of more dopamine. It creates that euphoric feeling that these people cannot get enough of.
- Oxytocin – This hormone is associated with feelings of love and trust. It can trigger bonding too.
Serotonin controls moods and other things. However, researchers have found that increasing its levels does not help a depressed person feel better. On the other hand, dopamine keeps you alive, alert, and happy. Just like serotonin, it has several other tasks it does in the brain. If something is wrong with the system that produces dopamine, some health problems can emerge.
For instance, your brain’s motivation and reward system can be ruined. Memory, attention, decision making, impulse control, motor control, cognitive function, and related things can all be lost. Dopamine is very responsible for happy moods and sensations. Naturally, the system produces dopamine when something good to be enjoyed, such as food, beverage, or intercourse.
As with serotonin, at least half your dopamine hormone levels are made in the stomach. Hence, it would help if you took proper care of your gut’s microbiome to boost your mental health and increase your brain’s dopamine levels. Unlike serotonin levels that can be increased by eating particular foods, dopamine levels don’t depend on diet.
Oxytocin is a hormone that causes cuddling and bonding. It stimulates contractions in the uterus during childbirth. Oxytocin can also help regulate how you respond to stress by calming down your nerves. It is thought to enhance relationships between men and women. High levels of oxytocin in the blood have been associated with a heightened sense of gratitude and responsiveness between lovers. It is produced as a reaction to touch or direct eye contact. Oxytocin is also produced when you are profoundly depressed, and your body is producing high levels of a bad hormone called cortisol. It counters the side effects of cortisol.
When the levels of these hormones are low, you will have a clumsy mood and day. Experts think that happy hormone levels are affected by your environment, exercise routine, diet, relationships, wellbeing, and other personal things. When these are not all right, these hormones’ levels will go down, and you will have bad moods. You should influence and change your moods to have higher levels of happy hormones.
Melinda French Gates Now A Billionaire After Stock Transfer From Bill Gates
Bill’s investment vehicle, Cascade Investment, transferred $1.8 billion in securities to Melinda on Monday, May 3, the same day the pair announced their surprise divorce, according to SEC filings. That makes Melinda worth at least $1.8 billion, while the stock transfer puts a slight dent in Bill’s net worth, which fell to an estimated $128.6 billion, from $130.4 billion. Even after the ten-figure transfer, the Microsoft cofounder remains the fourth-richest person in the world.
Melinda received 2.94 million shares of AutoNation and 14.1 million shares of Canadian National Railway Co., which are worth $309 million and $1.5 billion, respectively. (Bloomberg News first reported the transfer.) Bill uses Cascade Investment, a holding company based in Kirkland, Washington, to manage his money, including the proceeds from selling Microsoft shares. Bill at one point owned a significant slice of Microsoft, but has given away (to the Gates Foundation) or sold most of his stake over the years and now holds less than 1%.
The stock transfer is almost certainly part of Bill and Melinda’s divorce settlement. While it’s unclear if they signed a prenup, according to their divorce filing Bill and Melinda asked a judge in Washington State to divide their assets based on the terms of a separation contract—a document that is typically signed when spouses are living apart but have not yet divorced. The terms of the contract weren’t disclosed. Bill may have also transferred other assets to Melinda in nonpublic transactions.
Mindfulness Activities to Find Calm at Any Age
The practice of mindfulness is gaining popularity as a way to ease stress, soothe anxiety, and be more present and engaged in life.
Good news: Incorporating mindfulness activities into your routine can be incredibly simple, no matter what your age.
With a little forethought, almost everything you do can become an opportunity for mindfulness
The everyday mindfulness activities below offer plenty of opportunities to slow down, get present, and be more aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Mindfulness activities for adults
One of the most common and well-known mindfulness activities for adults is meditation. While it may seem esoteric or inaccessible, meditation can actually be very simple.
These exercises are meant to transform everyday experiences into mindful moments.
Walking meditation is exactly what it sounds like: a form of meditation you practice while walking, often in a straight line or circle.
You can do it almost anywhere, whether you’re walking to work, taking a stroll around the neighborhood, or hanging out with your kids at the park.
If you’re driving your car, you can engage with the process by focusing on the weight of the vehicle underneath you, the texture of the road you’re driving on, the sound of the tires against the gravel, even the shape and feel of the seat against your rear.
Then, you can send your focus out to scan your environment and become aware not only of other vehicles, lights, and pedestrians, but also of the terrain, foliage, and skyline. With practice, you may even become a better driver.
Keep your phone on silent, turn off the music, and save the makeup application for the parking lot.
You likely (correctly!) guessed that single-tasking is the opposite of multitasking. All it requires is showing up fully to whatever task you’re working on.
If you’re working on the computer, focus on one task at a time. As much as you may not want to, close all the browser tabs that aren’t relevant to the project you’re working on. This can help free up mental space and might even create laser-focus.
To deepen the practice, focus on:
- how you’re breathing
- how your body feels in your seat, or how your feet feel against the floor if you’re standing
- the sensation of the air or your clothes against your skin
- the structure and posture of your body
Mindful eating is a way to turn something you do every day into a mindfulness practice.
You can make mealtimes more mindful with a few basic mindful eating practices, like listening to the sizzle of your pan and chewing slowly to savor every bite.
Other mindful eating tips you might want to try:
- Try eating with your non-dominant hand.
- Eat the first few minutes of your meal in silence and focus on the flavors, aromas, and texture of your food.
- Turn off your TV and put your phone away while you eat.
Gardening is a great way to practice mindfulness and connect with nature at the same time. Set yourself up with a simple task, like planting some seeds or watering some flowers.
As you do so, place your hand in the soil and feel its texture. Is it rough or fine? Is it damp or dry? Is it warm or cool? Allow yourself to enjoy the process as if you were a child playing.
Notice the weather — not through your mind, but through your sensations. Do you have goosebumps from a chill in the air, or is there sweat on your brow from the hot sun?
Notice any other forms of life around you, like a chattering squirrel or chirping bird. You’re likely to meet a worm or roly-poly in the soil, too.
6 Ways to Bounce Back If Your New Year’s Goals Fail
New Year’s goals don’t always go as planned, but setbacks lead to learning.
“Begin anywhere,” says philosopher John Cage. At any point, Cage tells us, we can choose to start over.
Yet for many of us, it’s the new year that heralds change and gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. You may have started the year with exciting new goals and the determination and enthusiasm to make them happen.
Often, in just a few weeks, the excitement fades and your carefully laid schemes don’t exactly go as planned.
I can admit it’s a pretty deflating feeling when your goals fail. Whether you planned to take better care of your health or you vowed to start saving more money, not being able to achieve your goals can deal a pretty devastating blow to your self-esteem. It can even prevent you from trying again in the future.
According to a study conducted by Strava, most people give up on their New Year’s goals before the end of January. If you’re feeling deflated, it may be good to know you’re not alone.
Failure isn’t always a sign you should give up, and it’s certainly not a reason to beat yourself up. In fact, failure can be an excellent opportunity to learn your limits and your strengths. This can set you up for future success.
You can learn to treat yourself with kindness in the face of failure, making it more likely you’ll try again.
Why New Year’s goals often fail
The first step in treating yourself with kindness is acknowledging why your New Year’s goals might have failed in the first place. Spoiler alert: it’s not because you suck.
“Setting goals for a new year can be problematic,” says Fiona Hall, a psychotherapist. “The month of December can be a very busy and stressful time for people. It can be hard to find the time to sit down, come up with relevant goals, and become fully committed to making changes.”
People often bite off more than they can chew.
“For some people, their goals are aspirational. They are thinking of implementing goals to change into someone who is ultimately not their authentic self,” Hall says. “In these instances, it can be hard for individuals to maintain a commitment to goals that will ultimately bring them further from their true selves.”
Hall also notes that most achievements actually consist of many smaller goals. “The main goal is broken down into smaller tasks, which makes the goal more manageable,” she says.
Otherwise, a new commitment may become overwhelming. This can lead people to give up.
“A common defense mechanism for coping with goals that have not worked out is ‘black and white’ thinking,” Hall says.
This involves focusing on the negative and labeling their efforts as failure rather than devising an alternative strategy for success.
How to get back up
It can be hard to take so-called failure on the chin. If you find you’re still beating yourself up about not achieving your goals, focus on building compassion and confidence.
By changing your perspective, you can begin to see failure as an asset. It’s an opportunity to learn, improve, and potentially try again.
You can reflect on where you went wrong and gather important info about your limits and strengths.
“Everything is grist for the mill,” Hall says. “Not everything worthwhile will be achieved on the first attempt.”
Even when things don’t turn out your way, you can ask what you’ve learned about the situation and about yourself.
On top of that, Hall notes that picking yourself up and trying again is a sign of resilience. “Not achieving and trying again is what builds resilience in the first place,” she says.
Focus on the process
“I believe goals are the destination, and the process towards those goals is the journey. The journey is where we learn more about ourselves,” Hall says.
When you make it about the process and not the end result, you zoom in on all the positive benefits of your efforts. It’s likely you’re learning, growing, and changing for the better, even if you fall a little short of your goal.
It doesn’t have to be about the achievement itself. There’s so much in the act of getting there.
Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses
In this process of self-learning, you may discover strengths about yourself you didn’t know you had. Hall suggests creating a new plan that plays to your strengths while humbly acknowledging your limits.
“Explore different ways to get your goals back on track in a compassionate manner. If a goal is worth achieving, it’s worth trying again to get there,” she says. “Acknowledge the time and effort you put into the process and how these skills can be utilized in other areas of your life.”
Look at how far you’ve come
Next, remember the progress you’ve made. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you’ve likely made some steps forward.
“I’m a firm believer that baby steps bring about lasting change in life. Even though [someone] may not have achieved their intended goal, they will have made some progress and learned more about themselves during the process,” Hall says. “This new information can be built upon … to work towards happiness and fulfillment in their lives.”
Give yourself some credit
Finally, congratulate yourself.
You may think there’s nothing worth celebrating, but knowing you’re deserving of a pat on the back is a crucial step.
Set yourself up for success
During this process, you may realize your goals aren’t truly aligned with what you want. In this case, it’s okay to let them go.
If you do decide to try again, there are steps you can take to ensure greater success next time around.
“Evaluate the process and see if it can be changed or improved when implementing future goals,” Hall says.
Hall suggests planning your route and expecting there to be a few bumps in the road. These realistic expectations can help you make it all the way.
“If a goal is important to us, it’s worth investing time and effort in planning out a realistic journey to get there. Take your time and be aware there may be setbacks,” she says.
After all, setbacks are where the real learning happens.
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