By Michelle Wilson, wellness program manager
Tapping into natural sources of well-being
As the world around us continues to bring change and challenges, it is important to focus on our emotional health every day. According to a July 2021 article by Harvard Medical School, Feel-good hormones: How they affect your mood, mind, and body, four naturally-occurring hormones in our bodies can support us in many ways. These hormones — oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins — can help us keep our moods balanced, help with pain management, and support us in feeling more contentment and peace.
The good news is that we can help activate these hormones in our bodies with simple activities and even by eating certain foods. We can tap into these feel-good chemicals every day, which will support our physical and emotional health.
Dopamine: the pleasure chemical, bringing feelings of happiness
• Finish an important task
• Listen to music
• Eat dairy, avocados, and bananas
Oxytocin: the love hormone, bringing feelings of connection
• Hug people you care about
• Play with your pet
• Listen to music and sing
Serotonin: the mood booster, bringing feelings of contentment
• Bask in the sun
• Eat complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and whole grain bread
Endorphins: the brain’s natural pain reliever
• Dance to music
• Meditate or practice mindfulness
• Laugh often
Tip: Every morning and evening, do at least one thing to activate these feel-good hormones in your body. If you can, do this every few hours when life feels especially challenging.