Happiness might feel like an emotion, but scientifically it is actually a result of a whole sequence of neurotransmitters firing in succession, and this is driven by your happy hormones. By eating the right foods and implementing good lifestyle choices, you can easily boost your own feel-good hormones for that natural high.

Seratonin: The Happiness Hormone

Seratonin is aptly known as the ‘happiness hormone’, as it helps regulate our mood, behaviour and memory. Complex carbohydrates such as oats, bananas and brown rice naturally trigger a serotonin high, as do foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps our bodies produce the hormone. This includes cashews, lentils, eggs, red meat, cheese and oily fish. And of course, a bootcamp session or some other form of exercise is a sure-fire way to get the happiness hormone roaring.

Oxytocin: The Trust Hormone

Oxytocin is the hormone that helps you bond with people, whether it’s your friends, partner or family. It affects our social behaviour, helping us to form relationships and group memories. Oxytocin is triggered by trust, which in turn is stimulated by taking part in an activity with someone you know is going to motivate and help you. A group activity, like one of our bootcamp classes, is a great way to increase your oxytocin levels and help you feel connected.

Dopamine: The Reward Hormone

Dopamine is known as the pleasure hormone, and because of that it’s had a bad reputation for being related to addiction. Dopamine can be triggered by much healthier activities, however, such as achieving a goal you’ve set for yourself, listening to your favourite music, or even getting a compliment. Set yourself a goal today, however small, and feel that dopamine high when you get one step closer to achieving it.

Now that you know what all the feel-good hormones are, this is how you can help boost them:

  1. Get enough Vitamin D by getting at least 10 minutes in the sun every day. Go for a walk during your lunch break or have your morning coffee outside. Vitamin D stimulates serotonin and dopamine for that feel-good effect.
  2. Book a holiday before you need it. Think of this as a preventative measure for your health. By decreasing your stress hormones, you’re better able to stimulate positive ones.
  3. Have a piece of dark chocolate. Cocoa can help increase your serotonin levels, so have a piece of dark chocolate a day, or add cocoa to your smoothies or breakfast.
  4. Get enough sleep. Sleep helps your body replenish itself and function properly. Give your body enough sleep, and it will be better equipped to make and utilise all those happy hormones.