How can we have less stress?
How can we generate the “feel-good” hormones more of the time instead of the stress hormones?
Adrenaline and cortisol are meant to kick in when we are faced with danger.
Someone cuts us off in traffic. Stress hormones flood the mind and body in that instant.
We react. The danger passes.
But we continue to produce those hormones and feel stressed for the rest of the day. Or even weeks, months or years afterward.
We are not designed for this.
Animals shake off their stress when the danger has passed.
We modern humans tend to hang on to them.
That is when these useful hormones become “The Devil’s Cocktail.”
Digestion is affected. Immune function is lowered.
We become irritable, intolerant, critical.
Memory is impaired. We make bad decisions.
The opposite of this is “The Angel’s Cocktail.”
A healthy DOSE production means we lead a healthier, more fun and fulfilling life.
How do we do it?
How do we reduce stress hormones and increase the “feel good” hormones?
Dopamine is a highly addictive substance.
Alcohol, smoking, drugs, cell phone use and gambling all produce dopamine and make us feel good in the moment.
But all those are addictive and dangerous if unbalanced.
A balanced way of producing dopamine is:
Write down your goals.
Create a list of activities to reach those goals.
Tick off when you complete an activity.
That produces dopamine in a balanced and healthy way.
Oxytocin is known as the bonding hormone.
A 6-second handshake produces oxytocin.
So do acts of human generosity. It may well be why many people volunteer their time to worthy causes.
The resulting oxytocin release makes them feel good.
Physical contact and/or generosity is the oxytocin formula
Serotonin is some times called the happy chemical because it produces well being and happiness.
According to medicalnewstoday.com: “It appears to play a key role in maintaining mood balance. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression.”
A healthy social life can keep serotonin levels balanced.
Not social media.
We may get hits of serotonin and become addicted to Facebook. But these hits are fleeting.
It takes actual, real live, real life contact with other humans. Sharing things with them. Spending time with them.
Endorphins are the body’s way of dealing with pain.
Laughter, especially and extended period of laughter, can produce these feel good hormones.
So can focusing on any hobby we enjoy. This can be playing a musical instrument.
Want other ideas? Wikipedia has a partial list to get you started: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies
Reduce the stress hormones with meditation, laughter, smiling, deep breathing and similar techniques.
Increase the feel good hormones with
Having a healthy social life
Shaking hands and being generous
Laughing and challenging yourself with a hobby.
The brain can also be rewired over time by writing down three things you are grateful for. Do so daily.
These are ideas to get started with.
Remember to do your own research. That research can grow into a hobby that makes you feel good and empowers you.
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