Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made by the brain that is responsible for emotions such as motivation and satisfaction. This chemical helps you face challenges and motivates you to meet your goals.
Someone who is apathetic and indifferent about life or an individual who is depressed and prone to procrastination has low levels of dopamine. While prescription medications exist that contain this chemical, you can hack your body’s production of it by using several unique tactics.
First, you would do well to break down goals into small increments. For example, if you want to clean your entire house by the end of the week, you at first may feel overwhelmed or ready to give up before you start.
However, if you break up this challenge into manageable tasks, such as cleaning the bathroom on Monday, you can accomplish this goal on time. More importantly, as you master each small goal you should celebrate and reward yourself. If you get the bathroom cleaned up on Monday, you should reward yourself by going out to dinner or indulging in a movie.
It is important that as you near the finish of each small goal that you set new ones to tackle soon. This tactic will keep you motivated and allow your brain to create the dopamine that you need to feel satisfied and focused on your challenges.
When you feel important and part of a group, you are reacting to the neurotransmitter called seratonin. Your brain creates seratonin to help you feel included and recognized. People who feel lonely and excluded are found to have low levels of seratonin. Those who suffer from chronically low levels of this chemical are at risk of engaging in deviant behavior such as joining a gang or engaging in criminal activity to feel validated.
Interestingly, seratonin is a common ingredient found in antidepressants. However, you can hack your own natural production of this neurotransmitter by tricking your brain into believing that you are experiencing positive moments in your life.
Even if you are lonely or by yourself at the moment, you can induce your brain into making this chemical by recalling past moments when you felt important and validated. Your brain will create seratonin as a response to your recollection of these memories. This hack can help you avoid feelings of depression and sadness without you having to rely on prescription medications or seeing a therapist at that particular moment. You can create your own happiness based on reflections you have stored in your memories.
Called the cuddle hormone, oxytocin induces feelings of love, affection, and bonding between people. It is widely known that women’s brains will begin producing this chemical during pregnancy and increase its production immediately after delivery. It helps women feel bonded to their newborns immediately.
Women’s bodies also create it when they nurse their babies. Breastfeeding induces the brain to produce powerful amounts of oxytocin that helps new moms instantly feel bonded to their babies and helps them protect and nourish their infants.
Interestingly, oxytocin is also produced by both men and women’s bodies during sexual climax. It encourages partners to feel intimately close to each other and fosters monogamy. As such, when you want to feel loved you should engage in physical activities that encourage this chemical’s production. If you have no romantic partner, you can still feel intimately close to someone by giving that person a hug. In fact, it has been suggested that people should hug each other more to avoid feelings of hostility, resentment, and alienation in society.
Another viable method of hacking your brain’s production of oxytocin involves giving gifts. When you give someone a gift, your brain produces this neurotransmitter, allowing you to feel connected to the recipient and also satisfied at your own generosity. Being charitable can help you encourage your own brain to create oxytocin so that you feel happier and more affectionate toward others.
Endorphin is a neurotransmitter that helps your body overcome pain and stress. If you stub your toe, hit your head, or suffer another injury, your brain rushes to produce endorphins so that you find relief your from your pain quickly. It acts a powerful analgesic and mimics the same effect on your body as morphine.
You can coax your own body into creating more endorphins to help you overcome pain and stress by laughing more. Keeping a sense of humor about life, making it a point to laugh at jokes, or trying to find the lighter side of your existence can encourage endorphin production in your brain.
Likewise, actively engaging in fun things in life can also ramp up your brain’s making of this chemical. By going to concerts, attending open mic nights at nightclubs, going to amusement parks, or doing dozens of other fun things, you help keep endorphin production in your body in full swing.
Finally, you can hack this happiness chemical with aromatherapy and food. Scents like lavender and vanilla induce feelings of happiness and also help your brain make endorphins. Likewise, eating spicy food or dark chocolate has the same effect on your brain. You can find quick pain and stress relief without having to take prescription medications by using these hacks.
These four neurotransmitters are vital to feeling happy and optimistic. You can hack your body’s own creation of these chemicals by using simple hacking tricks. These hacks allow you to avoid having to rely on expensive medications and therapy to feel better about life and yourself.