Estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins.
These are words you probably recognize.
But what do they mean?
You might have heard phrases like, “I just had the best workout and I’m full of endorphins.” Or, “I’m so stressed out, my cortisol levels must be high today.”
While we can often throw hormone names into everyday conversations, do we really know what our hormones are doing?
Hormones are secreted directly into your bloodstream by the endocrine glands. These include the ovaries, thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands, among others.
The endocrine glands are part of the larger endocrine system, which is controlled by the brain’s hormonal messenger center, the hypothalamus.
While hormone levels are most often associated with mood, almost everything in the body is controlled by hormones.
I’m hungry? Hormones.
Be cold? Hormones.
Feeling tired? Hormones.
These are just a few of the many bodily responses that our hormones help regulate. They perform a constant dance with each other to help us feel better.
Fortunately, there are steps we can take to help our hormones positively affect our mood and health.
How? ‘Or’ What? By introducing some gentle lifestyle changes.
What do we mean by game? This change is really simple. Feeling and acting in a playful way increases oxytocin levels. Oxytocin has been called the love hormone, the hug hormone, and the happiness hormone.
Throwing a frisbee, cuddling your dog, building a sandcastle, laughing with your child, these things can really make a difference. You have probably felt an increase in happiness from these activities. It’s your oxytocin at work.
So bend over. Play more.
This past year has brought many changes in the way we interact with each other. The human connection has become more important than ever for mental health.
Interacting safely with your family or finding a date online with like-minded friends can also boost your happiness hormones. Your happiness hormones are oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Together they give you that euphoric feeling you might get after a really fun dinner with friends.
Get into nature
Scientists have long suspected that getting into nature is not only good for the soul, but also for the body. And there is more and more evidence to prove it.
A new study found you can reap positive physiological responses by going outdoors, including better immune function and lower blood pressure. It can also decrease the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Even a brief outdoor picnic away from the city can help reduce stress hormones and improve mood.
Are you looking for ideas? Take a stroll during your lunch break or opt for an al fresco meal on a terrace. You will feel better physically and mentally.
Reduce your sugar intake
This gentle change will help you maintain your hormonal balance, which is important for women of all ages.
A diet high in sugar, which includes not only sweets but also refined carbohydrates, can increase insulin resistance and lead to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally enjoy delicious ice cream on a hot summer day with your family.
For midday snacks, favor foods rich in antioxidants such as berries and foods high in fiber, such as chia seeds and nuts. It will help regulate your hormones and insulin and improve your metabolism, and you will feel better all day long.
Hey, Mr. DJ
Tune in to your favorite playlist: the calming music you play in the background while you work, or that song you always play on. (You know, the one that gets you dancing in your kitchen or in the car. The one that gives those happy hormones a boost.)
Music increases dopamine levels, which can control our ability to experience pleasure. It’s also related to thinking clearly.
Need to make a plan? Dopamine helps you do this.
Are these tips and tricks the only ways to help you regulate your physical and emotional feelings? Certainly not.
These are just a few suggestions that can help you better understand your body’s messaging system and, ideally, feel better about your day-to-day life.
Some other things you can do: Get regular sleep, cut back on caffeine, and exercise like yoga.