Hormones play a significant role in bodily functions, including growth, development, and metabolism. A certain group of hormones nicknamed "feel-good hormones" or "happy hormones" can even shape your mood and make you feel happy.

They are also considered neurotransmitters, as they carry chemical messages across the body. There are four happy hormones:

Dopamine- It is a hormone that functions as part of the brain's reward system. When you are doing something pleasurable, it triggers the brain to release a significant amount of dopamine, inducing feelings of pleasure and making you seek more of that experience. When the body has the right amount of dopamine, it helps you to stay alert, happy, energetic, and motivated. Low levels of dopamine are associated with memory loss, mood swings, low sex drive, and sleep problems.

Serotonin- It is a hormone that functions as a natural mood stabilizer. Serotonin is also associated with other functions such as sleep regulation, hunger, digestion, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and sexual desire.

Oxytocin- It is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus that gets stored in the posterior pituitary gland before getting released into the bloodstream. Oxytocin has a major role in the reproductive system, including labor, delivery, and lactation. It also helps in human behavior affecting feelings of trust, love, and parent-infant bonding.

Endorphins- They are chemicals released by your body to help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve mood. They are also known to help ease symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Simple activities such as exercise, acupuncture, meditation, and music can help improve endorphins in the body.

Ways To Naturally Boost Happy Hormones:

1. Exercise- Engaging in physical activity may help boost the production of endorphins. Regular exercise is associated with improved self-confidence, mood, and sleep and lower symptoms of stress, mild depression, and anxiety. A recent large-scale study recommends taking moderate aerobic exercise for the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression.

2. Sunlight- Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight helps to increase blood levels of serotonin and improve mental health. In 2016, a study observed an association between heightened mental health distress during seasons with limited sun exposure and improved mental well-being on days with abundant sunshine.

3. Music and Meditation- Listening to music and meditation is associated with improved mood, reduced stress, and better mental well-being. A study conducted in 2019 found that listening to instrumental music can improve dopamine production in the brain.

4. Food- Specific food items like dark chocolate, nuts, fruits, cherry tomatoes, and salmon, along with probiotic-rich options such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, can contribute to the release of happy hormones. While consuming spicy foods may help release endorphins, the intake of yogurt, beans, eggs, lean meats, and almonds is associated with better levels of dopamine. Food items such as cheese, chicken, egg whites, fish, milk, and peanuts are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that makes melatonin and serotonin.