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Here are five of the main happy hormones and neurotransmitters, plus ways to boost them. However, if you feel consistently unhappy, see your doctor.

1. Dopamine
     This happy hormone is a neurotransmitter that drives your brain's reward system. If you are praised at work for doing a good job, you'll get a delicious dopamine hit, resulting in feelings of well-being. It also drives pleasure-seeking behavior. Boost it by setting realistic goals (e.g., tidying your desk or sticking to your workout schedule) and achieving them. And seek out pleasurable healthy activities that ahve a positive impact on your life.

2. Serotonin
     This mood-boosting neurotransmitter was made famous by SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) antidepressants, which increase the brain's serotonin levels. The most effective and natural way to boost serotonin is by exercising daily; that's one reason a brisk walk does wonders for your mood. Just take 10 minutes out of your day. 

3. Oxytocin
     Both a neurotransmitter and a happy hormone, oxytocin is often called "the love hormone." Researchers from Claremont University in California have done extensive research on its impact on women, linking oxytocin release to life satisfaction levels. It may play a greater role in women's physiology and happiness compared to men's. Spending time with loved ones adn being kind to others stimulates oxytocin.

4. Estrogen
     This happy hormone helps form serotonin and protects you from irritability and anxiety, keeping your mood steady. Estrogen decreases with menopause, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and extreme exercise can also lower it. The estrogen/progesterone imbalance in perimenopause can also negatively affect mood. Stress management can balance them, since stress hormones, such as cortisol, interfere with the secretion, action and function of the two happy hormones.

5. Progesterone
     This helps you to sleep well and prevents anxiety, irritability and mood swings. Levels of this happy hormone drop as women enter perimenopause adter age 35 or 40, adn this can be accelerated by excess stress and unhealthy foods. Experts such as Dr. Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Cure, say taking care of yourself and eating right is your first defense for balancing hormones before trying hormone replacement therapy, including bioidentical progesterone and estrogen. 


1. Music
     Listening to music is a fabulous way to get a hit of dopamine: In a 2011 study published in Nature Neuroscience, McGill University researchers reported that listening to music you love creates a boost in feeli-good dopamine.

2. Eat Carbs
     Carbohydrates increase serotonin levels, which partly explains why we crave sweet, starchy foods when we are feeling down. For the best mood boost with the least negative impact, choose healthy, high-fibre sources of carbs such as dense whole-grain bread or quinoa.

3. Spend time with loves ones
     Get a boost of oxytocin by doing pleasurable things such as spending time cuddling with your partner, your kids or your pet(s), rather than spending time on social media.

4. Stress Relievers
     Increase estrogen with stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, takin a hot bath - or whatever works for you. Plus, keep progesterone at optimum levels by eating well and avoiding saturated fat anf sugar, getting regular physicals and avoiding stress.

Source: besthealthmag.ca

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