The 4 brain chemicals that will help you feel happy.
To have a “feel good experience” we need to trigger our “feel good” brain chemicals. Being able to recognise them when triggered within our body helps us develop and strengthen them, encouraging the good feelings we would like to experience in our lives.
The four main happy brain chemicals are Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins. These are all working in connection with each other but one or two will be taking the lead depending on what we are experiencing at the time.
Dopamine helps us move forward in life and “climb to the top of the tree”. It is the brain chemical that helps push us forward to reach the best fruit at the top of the tree. Otherwise, we could be left sitting at the bottom of the tree looking for leftovers.
The actual climb to the top is what triggers dopamine helping push us onward and upwards toward our goals. When you experience a feeling of pride and satisfaction whether it is winning an Olympic medal or finishing constructing a piece of flat-pack furniture you will be enjoying the pleasant and satisfying hit of dopamine you have just built up.
However, it is very important we actually “earn” our dopamine. Addictions and bad habits such as gambling and drugs can also trigger dopamine, dopamine that we haven’t actually “earned”. This in time leads to stress and disappointment triggering our unhappy chemicals such as Cortisol.
Oytocin is called the “love” or “cuddle chemical”. This helps trigger the safe and relaxed pathways in your body and mind and is connected with the vagus nerve. As you generate more oxytocin in your physical body this will help you feel calmer and more comfortable with yourself, others, and your life.