How to Stay Hormonally Happy
Dr. Kirti Singh

Dr. Kirti Singh

Jun 01General wellness

How to Stay Hormonally Happy

Hormones are chemicals that are produced by different glands present in the human body. These chemicals/hormones pass through the blood stream and play an important role in many bodily functions. One of the most crucial roles played by hormones is in regulation of the mood. There are certain hormones that are known to promote positive sentiments and feelings including happiness and they are called ‘happy hormones’.

Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins are some neurotransmitters which also function as hormones. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals which transmit signals from a nerve cell to a target cell (a muscle, a gland or another nerve cell) which eventually carries out a function in the body, such as regulation of your mood and health through various mechanisms. Each of these mood elevators or ‘happy hormones’ has its own uniqueness and importance when it comes to elevating one’s mood. Let’s know about them in detail.


The key functions of Serotonin are to regulate the circadian rhythm (day and night), improve appetite, promote good memory and bring in positive feelings.

The deficiency or lack of this hormone can lead to anxiety, irritability, impulsiveness, sleep issues, reduced appetite, digestive issues and cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. It is clear that the symptoms of serotonin deficiency can put you in a state that is opposite to happy.

Natural ways to boost serotonin in the body

  1. External supplements can increase your serotonin levels via the amino acid tryptophan. Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan – so one must increase the dietary consumption of eggs, cheddar cheese, fresh pineapples, tofu, salmon, nuts & seeds and ripe tomatoes.
  2. If you mix high-tryptophan foods with healthy carbs like rice, multigrain bread or oats, you might get a serotonin boost.
  3. Additionally, you can also try some other ways to boost serotonin levels, like consuming natural probiotics like cheese, yogurt, kimchi salads, pickles, bananas, sourdough breads, etc. and a high-fiber diet.
  4. Get enough sun for at least 10-15 minutes every day. The levels of serotonin drop in the winter in people living in colder countries due to paucity of sunlight.
  5. Moderate to heavy physical activity like aerobics, zumba, cardio, cycling, jogging, swimming etc has been shown to increase absorption of tryptophan and thus secretion of serotonin.


Dopamine is considered to be a very important part of your brain’s reward system. Its key functions are pleasurable sensations, learning skills, maintaining memory, motivation, attention and regulating body movements.

Natural ways to boost dopamine in the body 

  1. Regular consumption of proteins like turkey, beef, eggs, dairy, soy and legumes.
  2. Avoid or consume lesser quantities of saturated fat like animal fat, butter, full-fat dairy, palm oil and coconut oil. Animal studies have found that diets high in saturated fat can reduce dopamine signaling in the brain.
  3. Probiotics - Evidently, certain species of bacteria that live in your gut are also capable of producing dopamine, which may impact mood and behavior. Probiotic supplements are known to improve mood in both humans and animals due to their action on dopamine and serotonin levels in the body.
  4. Adequate Exercise - Exercise can improve mood and boost dopamine levels when performed regularly.
  5. Enough Sleep - Dopamine is released in large amounts in the morning when it’s time to wake up and those levels naturally fall in the evening when it’s time to go to sleep. Lack of sleep disrupts these natural rhythms, further affecting the hormone levels.
  6. Meditation – Focused breathing and body calming techniques have been proven effective in increasing the happy hormone.
  7. Music – Music therapy can change and elevate Dopamine levels in the brains and make the mood better.
  8. Supplements - Having adequate levels of iron, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 is important for dopamine production.


Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain. It is a neurotransmitter and has an important role in reproduction. This hormone triggers labor and production of breastmilk in females. In males, this hormone is known to help the sperm movement. Released during childbirth and breastfeeding, this hormone is a key factor in the bond between parent and infant. It is also released during sexual activity and linked to the intensity of orgasms - thus is also called the ‘love hormone’.

When romantic partners are involved in enhanced communications like meaningful conversations or arguments, research has shown an increase in intranasal oxytocin.

Natural ways to boost oxytocin in the body

  1. Getting involved in any kind of physical intimacy such as hugging, kissing, cuddling or sexual intimacy.
  2. Practicing regular yoga and meditation and other relaxation techniques.
  3. Listening or creating soothing music.
  4. Relaxing with a good body massage, spa and sauna therapy.
  5. Sharing your feelings and spending time with loved ones.
  6. Bonding over unique experiences with friends and loved ones such as pursuing an adventure act, getting a tattoo or doing anything unusual may also trigger oxytocin release.
  7. Sharing your cooked food together with family and friends.
  8. Offering to help for charity or donating to do something kind and nice.


The central nervous system and the pituitary gland together produce bio-chemicals called endorphins. The name endorphins is derived from ‘endo’ + ‘morphine’, due to their characteristic of being natural pain relievers just like morphine and they are endogenously produced.

The release of endorphins is not only in response to any kind of pain or stress but can also be promoted via other activities like eating tasty food, drinking something you like, physical training, sexual intercourse and even pregnancy.

Their deficiency alleviates depression and it leads to not being able to cope or manage stress, increased anxiety, difficulty in concentration or focusing, being gloomy, feeling negative, lack of self-confidence and also moodiness. Their low levels also affect us with the following:

  • Enhanced perception of aches and pains
  • Addictions
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Impulsive behavior

Natural ways to boost endorphins in the body

Endorphins are produced naturally and very easily, when you do the following:

  • Eating dark chocolate, something spicy or simply enjoying a favorite meal.
  • Exercise (any form of physical workout will do) mild to heavy
  • Having pleasurable sex or canoodling
  • Creating or listening to your favorite music or watching a TV show
  • Indulging in any form of creativity like art, craft, dancing or painting
  • Laughing or just being happy
  • Taking a sauna, aromatherapy, spa, massage or indulging in any self-grooming activity
  • Meditating or staying peaceful
  • Volunteering or doing charity, being kind or even helping someone

In conclusion

Being happy is actually a state of mind. The mind is empowered with all these ‘happy hormones’ that not only regulate bodily functions but are also directly linked to how a person feels throughout the day. One must try to avoid stress as much as possible, by simply indulging in any or either of the above mentioned ways that will help elevate the happy hormones and overall make them happier and mentally healthier.


Disclaimer - This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

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