What is it like to be happy

Be happy - definition and tips for more happiness

To be happy and content: This is probably a state that everyone should strive for. Everyone experiences the state of happiness subjectively, but the chemical processes that take place in the brain are the same for everyone.

In this article, you will learn what exactly is going on in your brain and how you can improve the chemistry in your brain!

1. Be happy - what happens in the brain?

For many, the state of happiness means that subjective sensation, the through personal action how successes or High performanceevoked becomes. In fact, being happy depends on how you shape your life and how successful it is for you.

What many do not consider, however, is to be happy also a chemical process is in your brain. In fact, there is four importantNeurotransmitters /Neurochemicalsthat produce feelings of happiness in the brain. Biochemical are in particular three neurotransmitters involved, namely Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin.

To these three Brain messenger substances are joined by a cocktail of your own brain opioids: the Endorphins. Generate together they the Status of Happiness and make sure that you are satisfied and that you are just fine.

The length or quality of this happiness depends on what arouses the positive feelings. Sex or material rewards like money, activate your reward system, actually the nucleus accumbens.

An area in your brain that especially on the neurotransmitter Dopamine responds. The happiness that dopamine creates is, however only very entertaining and it has to be renewed again and again.

Other forms of reward, like social interaction in form of a deep friendship or recognition at work, activate one longer term condition of Happiness.

They activate areas in the cerebral cortex that are primarily responsible for processing positive experiences. The the most constant feeling of happiness but you, if you in fully engaged in an activity and your Complete tasks successfully. This one State calls one too Flow, or. Flow state.

A study by the University of Braunschweig looked more closely at the connection between happiness and flow. [1] They revealed that while of Flows a whole cocktail of neurotransmitters and especially endorphins poured out that will bring you into a state of concentration and contentment!

Not only does it feel good, but this cocktail of happiness hormones is also addictive. Once you have experienced the state of flow, your brain guides you to be happy over and over again!

Take home message # 1: Your brain reacts to successes and positive influences on your environment with a different cocktail of happiness hormones. If you want to be happy, you will most consistently achieve this state when you are in the so-called flow.

2. Happiness hormone and tip # 1: Increase your dopamine level!

Probably the most well-known hormone with the power to be happy is dopamine, and it is especially for yours motivation, Driving force and mental performance is crucial is.

Every time you achieve your goals in your job, in sports or in private life, dopamine is released. The amount depends on how successful you are.

All in all, however, you feel happy and full of energy. This great feeling your brain remembers and it arises a Feedback effect. The resulting high feeling is stored by your body and your brain motivates you in the future to do exactly those things again that triggered the feeling of happiness.

Is dopamine in a way yours personal happiness drugthat motivates you, drives you and draws your attention to the things that trigger a feeling of success. Every step towards success is rewarded with dopamine.

A study by the University of Amsterdam recently confirmed this. [2] The test subjects showed a clear lack of dopamine and as a result suffered from motivation and concentration difficulties.

Dopamine has another important function: it is not just a hormone, but also a neurotransmitter. Dopamine acts as a messenger substance in your brain, stimulates the nerve cells and is therefore essential for the transmission of stimuli and information.

Is too little of Dopamine as a messenger available, that not only prevents your happiness, but also leads to Difficulty concentrating.

There are two ways you can do yours Increase dopamine levels can. The first tip sounds trite, but it is effective. What you need are little sense of achievementthat stimulate your body to release dopamine and create happiness.

Because the longer you haven't had a sense of achievement, the more the dopaminergic pathways in your brain atrophy. In a way, your brain forgets what it feels like to be happy and the feedback effect that motivates and drives you stays away. So try to set small intermediate goals and celebrate the small successes too!

Just try to reward yourself with little moments of happiness. The second tip for increasing your dopamine levels is this right nutrition. Especially PhenylalanineOmega-3 fatty acids and L-theanine are needed by your body to make the dopamine and dopaminergic pathways in your brain.

The fatty acids are also essential for building and maintaining synapses and regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. You can find the right foods in this article about Dopamine.

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3. Happiness hormone and tip # 2: Increase your serotonin level!

In addition to dopamine, that plays a role second happiness hormoneSerotonin an important role. The hormones are usually released in combination, but differ in their mode of action. Serotonin is rather for yours general mood and responsible for your wellbeing.

It is, just like dopamine, both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, which makes it an important one Function in numerous regulatory processes takes in your brain.

Serotonin, for example, is responsible for the excitation of nerve cells and thus controls the correct processing of information in your brain. But you need serotonin not only to think, but above all to be happy.

Do you suffer from one Deficiency of serotonin, influenced yours Negative moodwhat a study by Washington University in St. Louis could prove. [3] The study found that one Serotonin deficiency is often linked to depression stands. Thus, well-replenished serotonin stores are a basic requirement for happiness.

The production or regulation of serotonin works a little differently than with dopamine. Your Brain needed for the construction the feel-good hormone certain building blocksthat are delivered through the food.

Above all, these include amino acids, which then function as the starting material for the formation of serotonin. This is also the first tip for more serotonin. Probably most important amino acid is L-tryptophanfound in nuts, wheat, and fish.

This makes taking L-tryptophan one of the best ways to naturally boost serotonin levels and thus happiness. Once the L-tryptophan is ingested through food, it is first converted to 5-HTP and then synthesized into serotonin.

This is where it gets exciting, because that's what needed your body another one another factor, namely the solar radiation. Sounds weird?

If you expose your body to the sun, it forms in the skin Vitamin Dwhat your body needs to make serotonin. This means that you not only need amino acids from your diet, but also vitamin D to increase your serotonin level and feel better.

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4. Happiness hormone and tip # 3: Increase the release of endorphins

The term endorphins is closely related to happiness. There are two reasons. On the one hand, endorphins ensure that you get into a State of euphoria will and to the other dampen she yours Feeling pain.

Athletes in particular know this feeling because while one intensive training session become Endorphins released and you don't feel the strain as much anymore. in the In hindsight are athletes then very satisfied and relaxed.

All a work of endorphins! The solution for an increase in endorphins and thus more satisfaction is obvious: Exercise is the best Stimulant for the production of endorphins.

It doesn't matter what type of training it is, the main thing is that it is exhausting. You will surely love the positive feeling afterwards! Certain foods like black pepper (piperine), can the production of endorphins improve.

5. Happiness hormone and tip # 4: The cuddle hormone oxytocin makes you happy

Everyone needs physical closeness. Your brain knows that too, because it does pours at social ties, Touches and sex the Hormone oxytocin. It is not for nothing that it bears the name "Cuddle hormone”. If oxytocin is released, depending on the intensity, you will feel elated.

The hormone not only makes you feel happy, but is also supposed to make you more receptive to interpersonal signals, according to a study by the University of Zurich. [4]

The study examined human interaction in connection with oxytocin and was able to prove that oxytocin can improve trust in others and thus also your own self-image.

More relaxed and open in interpersonal interaction? Sounds pretty good, but here's the catch. The formation of oxytocin cannot be controlled, for example through food. The only thing that helps: Cuddle as much as you can!

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6. Conclusion

To a large extent, being happy is a very personal and subjective feeling. In order to feel happiness, however, various chemical processes take place in our brain. Here the so-called happiness hormones dopamine, serotonin, endorphin and oxytocin are released.

You can consciously influence the release of these hormones yourself. The easiest way to do this is to eat a balanced diet so that your body gets all the nutrients to produce the right hormones. You can also consciously carry out actions that lead to the production of happiness hormones.

7. Sources

[1] http://rzbl04.biblio.etc.tu-bs.de:8080/docportal/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/DocPortal_derivate_00034176/Henk_2014_Auf_der_ sucht_nach_der_Wwissenschaft_von_Flow.pdf
[2] http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v12/n4/abs/4001949a.html
[3] https://source.wustl.edu/2002/01/low-serotoninreceptor-levels-linked-to-depression/
[4] http://www.news.uzh.ch/de/articles/2011/fremden-vertrauen-dank-oyxtocin.html