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11 Surprising Health Benefits Of Laughter

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Surprising Health Benefits Of Laughter Laughing is healthy: it has been scientifically proven that the cerebral cortex releases electrical impulses within a second after starting to laugh, expelling negative energy from our body. We all love to laugh, but its benefits go far beyond just making us feel good. Laughter improves our health.

HAPPY HORMONES- Brain Chemicals To Boost Your Mood And Happiness Naturally

Boost Mood with Happy Hormones
Boost Mood with Happy Hormones
Do you feel low, unmotivated or un-energized or maybe you are just feeling stressed, lonely and disconnected from your relationships and even yourself. All of your emotions and feelings are a consequence of chemical reactions taking place in your body. There are many hormones in the body, which are responsible for different reactions. We always feel that others are responsible for our happiness or sorrow but it is not so. The hormones found in our body are responsible for our happiness. Our happiness is also affected by their increase or decrease. In order to be happy, there are four types of hormones called Happy Hormones, which make us feel happy. The four hormones that act on our brain and help to keep a person happy by overcoming sorrow are serotonin, dopamine, endorphin, and oxytocin.

Our body is home to many chemicals. Some chemicals give happiness, excitement, and inspiration, some sadness, and inferiority. Writer Loretta Breuning in her book 'Meet Your Happy Chemicals' emphasizes some of the joyous chemicals and activities through which the brain secretes feel-good chemicals. Some hormones are responsible for making us feel good; others make us feel bad, while others are responsible for our love for others. Laugh in today's mundane life is something we have forgotten. You must know about these four such hormones in our body that help to keep you naturally happy. All these hormones are released by chemical reactions occurring in our body. Almost every emotion experienced is the result of the release of some hormones that occur in our body. Let us know which are these happy hormones and ways to increase them through our everyday activities.

HAPPY HORMONES- Brain Chemicals To Boost Your Mood And Happiness Naturally

SEROTONIN:

Boost Mood with Happy Hormones
Be Happy
Serotonin is one of the important neurotransmitters present in the human body, and like other neurotransmitters, serotonin relays and regulates the nerve signal between nerve cells or neurons. Serotonin is an important brain chemical that improves your mood, relieves sadness, and kicks you out of depression. It is also believed to regulate our social behavior, digestion, and appetite, memory, sleeping pattern, lower pain sensitivity, and sexual desire and function. Thus, serotonin regulates both our physiological and psychological functions. Serotonin is the best hormone responsible for happiness because it acts as an antidepressant. This hormone not only boosts our mood but also makes us more agreeable and sociable. Lack of serotonin causes depression and irritability. Serotonin increases the feeling of inner satisfaction and known as the feel-good hormone.  A low level of serotonin can make you depressed. Serotonin is chemically a tryptophan (an amino acid) derivative. Serotonin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier; therefore, the emotional and behavioral effect of serotonin is affected by the serotonin produced inside our brain.   

How to Boost Serotonin:

Light: - Exposing the body to strong sunlight helps in increasing serotonin. Sunlight produces vitamin D in our skin, which in turn helps produce serotonin. This explains why people feel happier about being outdoors. To increase this hormone, bask in the sun every day.
Massage:-Many researchers suggest that massage therapy is helpful in reducing the stress hormone called cortisol and boosting serotonin levels.
Exercise:-Exercise has an antidepressant effect. Researchers have recommended that low-intensity aerobic exercise like a brisk walk can work wonder for your mood by increasing brain serotonin function. 
Happy Thoughts:-Happy Thoughts encourage the production of these hormones. Alteration in thought either self-induced or through psychotherapy could boost the serotonin level. Remembering happy events in the past, or focus on what we are grateful for in the present, our brains produce more serotonin.
Diet: - Consumption of food like milk and corn that has a high level of tryptophan helps to release this hormone and thus improve your mood and cognition. Eating carbohydrate-rich food as carbohydrate aids the process of conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Eat avocado as it contains vitamin B3 that is beneficial for the production of serotonin.  

ENDORPHINS:

Endorphins are opioid neuropeptides, produced by the nervous system and they are often called the body's natural painkillers. Endorphins block the area of pain and stress in the brain and make you feel happy. More precisely endorphin does not really make us feel good, but they actually help us to feel less bad.  The word endorphin is a combination of the words endogenous, which means produced in the body, and the word morphine, which is an opioid, or narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain. Endorphins are produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain. Endorphins induce a sensation of euphoria and happiness. They are essentially the body's own euphoric drug that boosts your mood and make you feel happy. This hormone is responsible for promoting motivation. Endorphins lower the heart rate and blood pressure and as a result, make us feel more relaxed. As it helps in fighting the pain in our body you may feel mild headache and sometimes very dizzy.

How to Boost Endorphin:

Exercise Rigorously: - Rigorous exercise is the best way to induce endorphins. Doing intense anaerobic exercise triggers the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to release our natural painkiller endorphin to cope with the pain. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise helps. Make 30-minute exercise every day, a part of the morning routine. Running on a treadmill for 30 minutes for 10 days can reduce depression.
Food: -You can increase this hormone by eating foods like chocolate and spicy stuff. On eating spicy food, receptors on our tongues react to spice by sending signals to the brains similar to pain signals. This triggers the production of endorphins, which will be helpful in keeping you happy throughout the day.
Laugh: - Laughter found to trigger the release of endorphins. Watching a comedy, reading a funny book or doing anything that makes you laugh will also activate endorphins production. 
Dark Chocolate: - The N-acylethanolamine present in dark chocolate helps to improve your mood naturally. Because of this, many chemicals in the brain get stimulated which causes the release of the endorphins hormone. Because of this, you feel happy after consuming dark chocolate.
Love: - Endorphin is released during the intimate moment when you have sex.

DOPAMINE:

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter also known as the "chemical of rewards". The dopamine chemical gives the body the energy we need to accomplish our desired tasks. When you make a goal and reach that goal or have completed that task, you get a pleasant hit of dopamine in your brain that tells you that you have done a good job. This chemical is one of the central controls that drive for all the activities of your brain. Dopamine is also called "Motivation Molecule" and it boosts your drive, focus, and concentration. It enables you to achieve your goals by planning and resist the impulse. In fact, some studies indicate that having more dopamine leads to having increased ambition. One study conducted on rats showed, rats with more dopamine climbed a fence to a larger pile of food, while rats with a lower amount of dopamine opted for smaller piles of food. Sometimes called the molecule of happiness, dopamine tends to be the scientific explanation for why we can be happy or experience a pleasure. You experience the feeling of enjoyment, bliss, and euphoria. A low level of dopamine can make you unmotivated, unfocused, lethargic and even depressed. Without dopamine, mean you would be quite inhuman since it is the key force behind most of your actions and interpersonal relationships. Dopamine is produced naturally in our brain; this hormone makes us feel happy. On the other hand, without enough dopamine, you will feel lethargic, depressed and disinterested in life. A lack of dopamine in the brain results in uncoordinated movements throughout the body. The list does not stop there, dopamine helps to improve your working memory. Since dopamine has an effect on your memory, it also affects your learning processes and the process you retain information. When remember an event or experiment due to the presence of dopamine; and if it is absent, we usually will not remember a thing at all. Because dopamine is tied to your reward center, so if you do not feel interested in specific activities or learning certain subjects, then dopamine levels will decrease and your brain will not feel motivated and you will not be able to remember the facts that were presented to you. During pleasurable situations, this neurotransmitter is released, which causes a person to seek out a desirable activity repeatedly, such as eating ice cream or more practically having sex. Dopamine is released if you are doing some work of choice. Dopamine also has other health benefits.

How to Boost Dopamine:

Eat Dopamine Boosting Food: - Dopamine is synthesized from l-tyrosine, an amino acid, commonly found in protein food. Eating food rich in l-tyrosine is good to boost the dopamine level in the body. Food like animal proteins, apple, banana, avocado, and beans are rich in l-tyrosine. Foods high in nature probiotics such as yogurt, kefir are also found to boost dopamine naturally. Caffeine present in coffee, tea is found to stimulate the release of dopamine.   
Exercise: - You can increase this hormone in the body by exercising daily. Daily exercise increases calcium in the blood, which triggers dopamine production in the brain. Dr. John Ratey, famous psychiatrist has found that exercise raises the baseline levels of dopamine by promoting the growth of new cell receptors in the brain.
Meditation: - According to a study in Denmark, regular practice of meditation has found to increase dopamine level by as much as 65%.
Hug, touch and social connection: - All kinds of pleasure touch increases dopamine. Massage therapy is found to increase dopamine by 31%, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol by an equivalent amount. Hugging someone has a hugely beneficial effect on your brain chemicals as it induces the release of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Stroking your pet dog can give a boost of dopamine to you and your dog.
Sleep: - Dopamine also helps regulate our senses of feeling awake and alert. A study of well-rested and sleep-deprived individuals showed that the sleep-deprived people have less dopamine binding to the dopamine receptors in their brain.
Music: - Listening to music is a wonderful way to boost dopamine. A study published in the Nature Neuroscience, McGill University (2011) researchers reported that listening to the music of your choice boosts the feel-good dopamine.  Brain scan report proves that the brain's pleasure center gets activated on playing, listening or composing music.
Cold Shower: - A study by researchers of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic found a substantial increase of dopamine, up to 250%   by taking a shower with 14°C/57°F water. Therefore, a cold shower boosts your mood and productivity all day, even more than drinking a cup of coffee.

OXYTOCIN:

Boost Mood with Happy Hormones
Hug for Happiness
Oxytocin is also known as the "love hormone" or the "cuddle hormone" because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. Oxytocin helps to increase feelings of love and trust as well as happiness. Oxytocin is a powerful 'love hormone' as well as a neurotransmitter that improves the bonding in both men and women. Oxytocin promotes a feeling of attachment in the partner. When it is activated in a particular part of the brain, a feeling of love is created in people. It helps to stay connected to each other, as well as to be happy. This hormone also helps to develop trust in a relationship. Anxiety relief is another positive effect of oxytocin. In both men and women, increased levels of oxytocin are linked to feelings of reducing stress and anxiety. Oxytocin is an especially important hormone for women as it is released during pregnancy and lactation. This hormone causes uterine contractions during labor and helps to shrink the uterus after delivery. Researchers of Claremont University in California have elaborate research on the impact of oxytocin level and how it is linked with the level of happiness in women. Oxytocin also promotes mother-child bonding. Studies showed that female rats find pups to be aversive when the females are virgins. The hormone is also present in men, playing a role in sperm movement in the production of testosterone.

How to Boost Oxytocin:

Sexual Activity: - Sexual activity also causes the release of oxytocin. Particularly, arousal and orgasm are associated with the hormone. Oxytocin is known as 'Happy Hormone'. According to one study (2012), researchers found that couples in the first stages of romantic attachment had a significantly higher level of oxytocin than their unattached counterpart.
Breastfeeding: - When an infant is breastfed, the stimulation causes a release of oxytocin in mother, which in turn orders the body to release milk for the baby to drink.
Body Massage: – Getting massage relaxes the muscles and prolongs the body contact, which triggers the production of oxytocin in the body.
Hug: - According to one study, a simple hug can increase the level of oxytocin in the bloodstream. Nurture a habit of hugging friends or family to be happy.
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How to Be Happy - A SCIENTIFIC PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Happiness is the feeling of contentment and satisfaction that craved by many but only achieved by some. Happiness is relative and subjective but for many successful individuals the presence of a great family life in a flourishing career is often not enough. On some occasions, compels individual from feeling a sense of loneliness, often sadness and melancholy.

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