Annlerie van Rooyen
Four hormones determine a human’s happiness – endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. It is important to understand these hormones, as we need all four of them to stay happy.
Let’s look at endorphins. When we exercise, the body releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. We enjoy exercising because these endorphins will carry us through the pain of exercising and leave us feeling happy. Laughter is another good way of generating endorphins. We need to spend 30 minutes exercising every day, read or watch funny stuff to get our daily dose of endorphins.
The second hormone is dopamine which is released when you strive towards a goal and accomplish it. When we get appreciated for our work at the office or at home, we feel accomplished and good because it releases dopamine.
The third hormone, serotonin, is released when we act in a way that benefits others. When we transcend ourselves and give back to others, to nature or to the society, it releases serotonin. Even providing useful information on the internet like writing information blogs or answering questions on Facebook groups will generate serotonin because we will use our precious time to help other people via our answers or articles.
The final hormone, oxytocin, is released when we become close to other human beings. When we hug our friends or family oxytocin is released. Similarly, when we shake hands or put our arms around someone’s shoulders, various amounts of oxytocin is released.
So, it is simple: we have to exercise every day to get endorphins, we have to accomplish goals to get dopamine, we need to be nice to others to get serotonin and finally hug our kids, friends and families to get oxytocin. When we are happy, we can deal with our challenges and problems better. This also helps us understand why we need to hug a child who is in a bad mood. To make your children more and more happy day by day:
1. Motivate them to play (endorphins)
2. Appreciate your children for their small and big achievements (dopamine)
3. Lead by example and encourage your children to share something with others (serotonin)
4. Hug your children regularly (oxytocin)