Many are the times when we blame hormones for our emotions and in a way it is so. The hormones they are very powerful natural chemical compounds involved in numerous and important processes of our body, but with our actions we can enhance its secretion.
Endorphin, Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin are four natural chemicals (hormones) known as "the quartet of happiness”. This name is due to the fact that these hormones are involved in biological processes that unleash the feeling of happiness.
The endorphins They are considered the morphine of the body and you can increase your levels by laughing, practicing your favorite hobbies and getting a good night's sleep.
The absence of serotonin may be responsible for the feeling of loneliness and depression, in fact, many antidepressant drugs act on the brain's serotonin receptors (such as Fluoxetine, available in our section on pharma). Playing sports and exposing yourself to the sun can increase your serotonin levels.
To dopamine it is credited with the role of mediating pleasure. However, it has more to do with motivation. To increase your dopamine levels, learn to enjoy life's little pleasures and set short-term goals.
To oxytocin it is associated with emotional ties and it is known as "the hug hormone." Scientific studies have shown that administering this hormone increases the generosity, the confidence, the feelings of love and of empathy, the excitement sexual and reduces stress. Likewise, studies carried out with mice without the gene that codes for the oxytocin receptor (the OXTR gene), show that these animals present aberrant social and emotional behaviors.
But really, the union of these hormones to their corresponding receivers are those that regulate the nervous system generating that feeling of happiness.
Now, as much as we increase our hormone levels, if they do not have a receptor to bind to, the information is not going to reach our system and we are not going to achieve that feeling of happiness. That is why what is really important in these processes are the receivers and by analyzing genetic variants associated with oxytocin and dopamine receptors, we can provide you with your genetic predisposition to have high or low levels of these hormones.