Activating your happy Chemicals

Two people shaking hands

I’ve been talking recently about neurotransmitters, specifically Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins (DOSE). The neurotransmitters that make us feel good, that interact with pain receptors, and that help stabilise our mood.

So, what can create positive amounts of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin or endorphins?

The one thing that all of those have in common is human touch or human contact – it might be physical touch, like massage for example, or hugging, but it could also be eye contact.

I wonder how much of those things we’re actually doing in our daily lives. Obviously this needs to be the appropriate type of human contact and touch!

Do you hug people? Do you hug loved ones often enough? And if not, try it.

Recently I spoke about oxytocin, but did you know that if you hug someone for 20 seconds or more, you get this lovely boost of oxytocin, even if you don’t know that person very well (remember to make sure the other person wants to receive the hug!).

Human contact in all its different forms, whether it’s hugging, a handshake, a little arm on the shoulder, or even good eye contact – really listening with your eyes.

I’m always looking for lots of different ways that we can promote wellbeing and other less explored areas of wellbeing – not just how we sleep and practice mental health, but also areas like some of the more underappreciated aspects of wellbeing – autonomy and variety for example, which I’ve discussed more recently in my blog posts.

How can you manipulate those neurotransmitters that we all have and feel, to the gain of your wellbeing?

Start to really think about dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins and how much human touch you have in your life and what could you do to increase it?

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