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Increasing Happiness



Our brains are very powerful. One role of the brain is to conduct our thoughts, feelings, mood, and emotions. These factors often impact our participation in meaningful activities. A lack of happiness in one’s life can lead to poor health. Research shows that a positive mood is a strong predictor of physical health, decreased risk taking, and engagement in healthier choices such as weight loss and exercise. Happiness can help decrease aches and pains related to illnesses and improve one’s immune system. In addition, happiness can enhance relationships and engagement in social interactions.


So how can we increase our happiness?


There are many structures of the brain that are in charge of the complex emotional circuitry, including taking in information, processing it, and then generating emotional behavior. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, communicating between nerve fibers to create a reaction. Once a neurotransmitter gets to its destination, it triggers a reaction and then the body breaks it down and recycles it.


There are 4 main neurotransmitters, or “happy chemicals” that our brain releases

  • Dopamine

  • Oxytocin

  • Serotonin

  • Endorphins


There are many ways to naturally enhance the amount of happy chemicals your body craves throughout your daily life. Try out some of the suggestions on the infographic that relate to you and your happiness!


Example: Dopamin gives you determination to complete tasks. Deficiency in dopamine can lead to procrastination and low energy. Increase the happy chemical dopamine by creating a daily to-do list and check off tasks as you go!








References

Dfarhud, D., Malmir, M., & Khanahmadi, M. (2014). Happiness & health: The biological factors- Systematic review article. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 43(11), 1468–1477.


The happy brain chemicals that makes you feel good. (2020, January 1). Mind My Peelings. https://www.mindmypeelings.com/blog/daily-dose-of-happiness-chemicals?rq=happy%20 chemical


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