I am sharing with you today, a beautiful talk by Dr Lissa Rankin MD, which gives you the idea how powerful is our mind, which has the ability and the enormous capacity to heal the body from any disease and illness.
I think God has given us the most efficient machine, our body, within which lies the solutions of every stress and issues. so, it is entirely up to us whether we run this machine efficiently and enjoy its benefits or be gloomy under stress and end up in a diseased state.
The happy hormones include Dopamine, Seratonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin run within the bloodstreams produced from various glands, acting as pleasure and happiness messengers which lifts our mood. They are neurotransmitters produced by the central nervous system which regulates our mood, sleep, memory, motor movements, digestion, appetite and learning ability.
Each of them have its own relevance within our body’s mechanism.
Dopamineor reward hormone: It is linked to the brain’s reward system. Whenever we complete a task or a goal, we feel accomplished, rewarded, pleasure, all because of this hormone. This hormone mainly releases during mind activity like meditation, playing an instrument, performing a task, exercise or doing something creative.
Serotonin: This hormone is derived from amino acid tryptophan which regulates the mood and emotions. Whenever we help others or share with others, we get a feeling of contentment and pleasure, it is due to this hormone.
Endorphins or Natural painkiller: It is produced in response to pain or discomfort/ stress to ease the situation. It is produced after heavy workouts, eating spicy food, having sex or laughing.
Oxytocin or love hormone: It produces the calming effect and is released during social bonding. It is linked to reproduction. Hugging, cuddling, kissing between parents and newborn, partner, family members, friends,pets are all due to this hormone.
4 simple ways to elevate your happy hormones every day:
1.Plan the day: Always get up from the bed with a sense of gratitude and a positive note for being around with your loved ones. Plan your day with short term practical goals and task to proceed through the day. So, that when you complete each of the tasks, you pat yourself, feel rewarded and contented. Do take out time to laugh out with your partner or a friend.
2.Mind activity: Certain activities stimulate the mind like meditating, listening to the music of your choice, cooking a meal, playing an instrument, exercising, going for outdoor activities and being creative with a hobby. So, never forget to devote some time to yourself in spite of the daily grind to get your daily dose of happy hormones release.
3.Eating: Certain food directly stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin. Like dopamine is made from tyrosine which is present in bananas, avocados, apples, oats, beans and leafy vegetables. Similarly, serotonin is released while eating bananas, walnuts, dairy products and also carbohydrate. Exposure to sunlight also helps in releasing serotonin.
4.Social Bonding: Bondings with loved ones, spending time with friends, relatives also releases these hormones. Helping and sharing with others gives the much-needed boost to happy hormones. Do enjoy hugging your partner, loved ones, friends, cuddling a child. In the case of children too, as parents, always let them share and help their siblings, friends very often, Make them play with their friends outside so that they get to learn social bonding.
All these small steps during the day and every day would ensure the release of the steady flow of happy hormones in the body. So, whether there are stress, problems or trouble in our daily life, we can overcome them with ease.
Scientifically, crying is a flow of tears from the lacrimal gland which lies between the eyelids and eyeball for a strong emotional response. Then, you might like to know how emotion stimulate crying?
The external situation, event, response, experience, or a stimulating event send 2 messages in the brain simultaneously, one to the cortex, other to the hypothalamus. In the cortex, the emotional response is created, like hurt, pain, sadness, sorrow, stress, depression, anxiety, or fear. The hypothalamus is connected to the autonomic nervous system carries the stimulus of emotion via acetylcholine which stimulates the lacrimal glands, and tears start flowing.
Some 7 wonderful physical, mental benefits of crying:
1.Emotional equilibrium: Researches say that crying is an important way to restore emotional balance. Crying doesn’t always happen when someone is sad, hurt, pained, scared, stressed but also when extremely happy. So, this is a way for the body to respond and recover from strong emotion.
2.Detoxification: Negative emotions like stress, anxiety, sorrow build-up of many toxic chemicals inside our body. So, letting out emotional tears releases stress hormones and toxins from the body. Besides, emotional tears, reflex tears help out to release smoke and dust from the eyes and continuous tears help to lacrimate the eyes and give protection against infections. Therefore, tears are detoxifying.
3.Soothing: After shedding tears for sometime, the parasympathetic (PNS) nervous system is stimulated. The PNS helps you to relaxed and is comforting. The body also releases the oxytocin and endorphins (feel-good chemicals) which slowly help you to feel calm and soothing. It also helps you to numb the pain. So, next time, you have a broken leg, don’t stop your tears.
4.Mood lifting: When you allow yourself to cry, you are numbing your negative emotions of sadness, pain, stress. So, the other emotions of joy and happiness will start to prop up slowly. While crying, you take quick short breaths, this also helps the brain to cool down and you will feel relaxed. Your mood slowly lightens up.
5.Cleansing: It is the tears that clean up the eyes and keeps them moist preventing you from eyesight problems. While crying, you also clear up your nasal passage from dirt and foreign bodies.
6.Interpersonal: It helps you develop bonding with your closed ones. You always cry in front of someone you trust which is typical human behaviour. So, you ought to cry in front of family members or close friends. Therefore, your bonding with them is strengthened.
7.Healthy: When you are at stress, your body is vulnerable to sickness. So, when you cry, you release cortisol, releasing the stress level. Therefore, you are doing a favour to your immune system of lowering the stress level and helping yourself to stay fit. You also tend to sleep better. Therefore, you stay healthy.
Self-care is a priority and not selfish. The simple reason is if I don’t care about me, how can I care for my loved ones? If I don’t cater to my emotional and physical needs, then how will I cater to other’s needs?
But, then, in reality, you are driven by your responsibilities, to push yourself more and more. There are personal, professional, family, societal pressures and commitments which makes you push yourself to the extreme limits to fulfil all the demands and responsibilities. In the process, you forget yourself and do not even realise that you have your share of emotional and physical needs to be taken care of for your overall wellbeing.
Realisations come very late when we are knocked down by chronic stress, complete burnout or end up in a diseased state. Therefore, self-care daily is very important for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Scientifically speaking, there are several areas and dimensions of self-care.
Here, I have tried giving 4 small different steps towards self-care.
1.Spend some ‘me’ time alone: Everyday, give yourself a few couples of minutes to cut off from the routine grind and the hustle-bustle. This is your ‘me’ time entirely. Do whatever you enjoy doing, go for a short walk in nature, practise a hobby or listen to a piece of music. Meditate and observe your emotional feelings and acknowledge them. Understanding and acknowledging your both positive and negative thoughts are important so that you can let go of unwanted thoughts. Remember, thoughts are always associated with your feelings and experiences. Always, love and praise yourself for what you are and how far you have come in this journey. In self-care, self-love is important.
2. Control your stress level: Understand that when stress persists, your cortisol level shoots up. This adrenal gland hormone not only increases your blood sugar level but also elevates inflammation in the body which is responsible for various diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancers. So, when you feel you are at stress in the day, take a break. Practise relaxation like breathing exercises, stretches so that cortisol comes back to balance. Another simple way of letting stress go is to practice mindful moments, being present at the present moment. Sit quietly and notice your breath for some time. Feel the wind, air, smell around. Engage yourself in imagery exercise like walking down a beautiful forest, walking down a sandy beach, hearing the sounds of waves.
3.Practice gratitude: In the daytime, practice gratitude several times, being thankful for your existence, for your loved ones around, and for a beautiful life you have. These moments are important because whenever you feel gratitude and joy, there is a release of endorphins and serotonin which are happy hormones and which are necessary for your physical and mental health wellbeing.
4.Physical health: Lastly, as we all know, self-care remain incomplete if we do not care for our body. Eating healthy, routine exercise, sleeping well are essential steps towards physical wellbeing. For the normal wear tear of the body, giving enough rest helps in the healing and repairing process.
Who doesn’t like to see a smiling face as soon as you wake up in the morning? Seeing someone smiling at you at home, office, travel everywhere you go simply lift up your mood. In fact, it is the easiest way to boost your mood, health, longevity, coping up with success, setbacks, and challenges in the life journey.
10 magical facts of smiling :
1.Endorphins: Not just a genuine smile, even if it is not so genuine, a smile can help the release of endorphins which can relieve the body from stress and pain. The natural release of endorphins helps in reducing everyday stress and anxiety. Therefore, keep smiling throughout the day, it will keep you away from stress. It will help you to keep your mood elevated.
2.Social health: We are always attracted to smiling, happy people. It is a part of social health. With genuine smiling, we can build up trust while dealing with people. Building a relationship with trust is long lasting. Smiling helps you get motivated, work harder while performing tasks and increase productivity at work.
3.Open mind: Smiling keeps our mind open, relaxed. Often stress, limits our attention to people, perceptions, thinking. But with smiling, we are open up to a wider perspective, a wider view which helps in multitasking and help in facing the challenges easily.
4.Anti-ageing: Smile lift up your face and makes you look younger. A genuine smile uses all the facial muscles of your face. In fact its a good facial muscle exercise. A good smile helps you release stress, helps your heart to keep you live longer.
5.Heart-friendly: Smiling slow the workload of heart, relaxes your body. Therefore, it helps you to reduce blood pressure (though temporarily) and also keep you away from heart diseases.
6.Boost Immune system: When the body is out of stress, in a happy mood while smiling, the immune system works better, reacts quickly against invaders.
7.Pain killer: Studies have shown that endorphins or happy hormones released while smiling can ease the pain. So that is why endorphins are called natural pain killers. Smiling can help release endorphins from hypothalamus and pituitary quickly.
8.Successful: Studies have shown that people who smile often, appear more confident, approachable, motivated hence are likely to get promoted, successful at work.
9.Infectious: Yes smiling is infectious, not only it lifts our mood but also change other people’s mood around us make it easier and happier in whatever task performed or at home. The facial expression is an unconscious automatic response so when someone sees a smiling face, they smile you in return.
10.Improves relationship: Time and again, it has shown that people always get attracted to a smiling, humorous person. People who smile tend to be more attractive and trustworthy than people with other neural expressions.