Our mood can fluctuate, especially dependent on life circumstances that we might be navigating through. Different hormones and neurotransmitters in our brain also have a profound impact on our mood. But what exactly are these chemicals and how can we give ourselves a quick boost in them when we aren't feeling our greatest?
Dopamine is both a neurotransmitter and hormone that is associated with pleasure and reward. It plays an important role in different body functions such as memory and movement. Sympoms of lower dopamine levels can include but are not limited to depression, low motivation, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, and low sex drive. Quick ways that we can give ourselves a little boost of dopamine can include listening to music, learning a new skill, or nuturing your creativity (drawing, writing, cooking, etc.)
Oxytocin is also both the neurotransmitter and hormone that is associated with love. Signs of an oxytocin deficiency can include increased anxiety, difficulty acheiving orgasm, bigger apetite for sugary foods, and difficulty empathizing with others. Ways that we can boost oxytocin in our bodies can include physical touch with loved ones, engaging in acts of kindness, and socializing with others. Sometimes, we have to be a litte more proactive to get in touch with our warm and fuzzy feelings.
Endorphins are the hormones and neurotransmitters associated with stress and pain. You might be experiencing an endorphin deficiency if you have been experiencing chronic pain, feeling moody, difficulty sleeping, and substance misuse. Ways that you can flood your body with a quick release endorphins is by exercisisng, watching a funny movie, or eating dark chocolate.
Finally, there is serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter and hormone associated with a good mood. Symtoms of a serotonin deficiency can include but are not limited to increased feelings of depression, changes in sleep patterns, increased anxiety, memory challenges, and issues with your apetite. Quick ways to give yourself a boost of serotonin can include practicing gratitude, meditating, and eating nutrient dense food.
In summary, these are all various ways that you can give yourself a quick boost in these nuerotransmitters and hormones. Although these tips can be helpful, nothing can subsitute for mental health treatment if you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or mood related challenges.