What makes people happy and what really drives them depends mainly on two hormones: dopamine and serotonin. These two hormones control mood and are primarily responsible for the driving force.
What is dopamine?
The happiness hormone is an important neurotransmitter and is generally released when people are “rewarded.” It can be a favorite hobby, sexual activity, special music, or social interaction.
The body remembers the euphoria, and these beautiful experiences influence the release of hormones.
In this way, the use of a type of feedback motivates people to repeat exactly those things that make them feel good, which simply makes them happy and makes them feel full of energy.
The hormone of happiness motivates and draws attention to those goals that people associate with a pleasant and good feeling.
How does it work?
Dopamine is a signaling molecule neuromodulator. The excitation of nerve cells is influenced by the hormone and therefore regulates signal transmission in the brain.
Dopamine promotes the transmission of impulses between nerve cells. The hormone of happiness is responsible for coordination, impulse, motivation, but also for regulating appetite.
Endorphins (the body’s opiates) and other messenger substances (oxytocin) are responsible for people’s euphoria, that is, in the state in which they get what they crave.
So, the happiness hormone is the neurotransmitter that awaits the reward. The dopamine system generates a deep desire and if the person gives in to this desire, the mesocorticolimbic system is activated.
The hormone of happiness is involved in the processes of perception and thought, as well as in motor skills.
As a neurotransmitter, dopamine regulates blood flow to some internal organs and also plays a key role in other hormonal processes. Certain organs need dopamine hormones for essential regulatory and control processes.
Effects of dopamine on the body
Dopamine is one of the most important hormones in the human body and, as a neurotransmitter, it is responsible for the transmission of feelings and sensations.
It is responsible for blood circulation and control of internal organs. Also, the hormone transmits impulses to the muscles. Dopamine is a precursor to norepinephrine or adrenaline, chemically it belongs to the group of catecholamines.
The effects of the happiness hormone in the body can be demonstrated with both a deficiency and an excess. If there is not enough happiness hormone, this can have a serious effect and Parkinson’s disease can develop.
This deficiency symptom means that the correct information for arm and leg movements is no longer properly processed in the cerebral cortex. An excess of the hormone can also sometimes trigger schizophrenia.
Addictive substances (cocaine) also release dopamine in the body and, therefore, influence and promote people to develop a strong desire for such substances.
The effects of the hormone of happiness on the body affect both psychological and physical well-being.
In the human body, it transmits nerve excitation to the brain through synapses. The hormone is an endogenous drug and is the basis of every movement, every thought, and every emotion.
In addition to dopamine, the body also produces five other happiness hormones, namely serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, norepinephrine, and phenethylamine.
The hormone of happiness apparently increases feelings and perceptions. For example, a healthy person has a demonstrably low concentration of dopamine in the body compared to someone with psychosis.
People with a higher concentration of dopamine perceive the environment more strongly. But they cannot process their sensory impressions correctly and, therefore, can no longer distinguish between the unimportant and the important.
The happiness hormone has an effect in the body, which can possibly lead to an increased willingness to take risks.
A high level of dopamine makes rewards more attractive, but negative consequences such as drug abuse or gambling should not be ignored.
What are the consequences of a dopamine deficiency?
A dopamine deficiency may be responsible if you have difficulty concentrating or motivation problems. Because the hormone produces good feelings, a deficiency or insufficient supply can have significant negative effects on the mind and body.
Some typical symptoms of this are fatigue, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, depression, and loss of motivation. Dopamine deficiency often goes hand in hand with a serotonin deficiency, as the two interact closely.
Extreme dopamine deficiency especially affects those with chronic central nervous system disease and those with Parkinson’s disease.
The causes of dopamine deficiency can be different. The natural concentration of the happiness hormone in the body can be reduced due to an alteration in the corresponding receptors.
Symptoms of a deficiency
If there is a reduced concentration of the hormone in the blood, it is considered a dopamine deficiency.
If movement impulses are transmitted slowly or very slowly due to lack of dopamine, various symptoms may occur, such as muscle stiffness, decreased voluntary motor function, lack of stability, and gait or tremor.
Dopamine deficiency can also have devastating effects on other critical brain functions. The hormone plays a central role in mental health, like memory. You also suffer from inattention, lack of drive, and lack of motivation when dopamine receptors are no longer stimulated enough.
Lack of dopamine can also have a negative effect on the kidneys and abdomen because the hormone promotes blood circulation and causes the blood vessels to dilate.
In these areas, dopamine deficiency can lead to swallowing disorders, uncontrolled sweating, constipation, and bladder emptying disorders.
Doctors suspect that dopamine deficiency could be the cause of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
What do omega-3 fatty acids have to do with dopamine?
The cell membrane must have a good consistency because it is important that the binding of the happiness hormone or the neurotransmitter to the respective receptor works well. The omega-3 ensures that the membrane is changed, in the best case, to a fatty and flexible type.
This is how omega-3 fatty acids work by producing more neurotransmitters (point one). Omega-3 fatty acids may also be responsible for more receptors, but also for their performance to be significantly better (point two).
Omega-3 fatty acids modulate both points because in both the nerve cell membrane is in the foreground of the necessary action.
One study showed that after the administration of omega-3 fatty acids, 40 percent more dopamine appeared and that the receptor’s ability to bind to the hormone was significantly better.
If the cell membrane is enriched with unsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, voids are formed. The membrane must be oily, this creates the kinks or cavities and this ensures that the receivers can do their job and move properly.
Receptors (proteins) are stored in the membrane, allowing the cell to react to external signals. Hormones can be coupled to a respective hormonal receptor.
How to generate dopamine?
Dopamine can be ingested through a suitable diet. Foods that contain a lot of tyrosine are ideal for this. Your body needs tyrosine in order for it to produce the hormone of happiness.
The fuel for well-being is produced due to a complicated conversion process.
The body can produce more happiness hormones by eating bananas, almonds, beans, pumpkin seeds, poultry, meat, and low-fat dairy products .
It is important to eat antioxidants, which are sometimes abundant in walnuts, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, oranges, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, fruits and vegetables, sunflower seeds, and beets.
Packaged and refined foods should be avoided, as they can affect brain function.
An increase in dopamine production can also be achieved through regular exercise. A dream right almost always ensures that you feel invigorated and start the new day with a smile on your face.
The achievement of a new lens also increases the content of the hormone in the body because pleasure plays a central role in the hormone of happiness.
Dopamine can be ingested using supplements, illegal drugs, and medications.
What causes a lack of dopamine?
Dopamine production is hampered by routine and stress. Only the expectation that you will experience something beautiful leads to feelings of happiness, and therefore to the release of the hormone of happiness.
Men, women, and children need so many happiness hormones in their bodies to increase their ability to perceive because the hormone is released during pleasant experiences.
Both adults and their offspring need the hormone of happiness to be able to walk through life with joy and pleasure.
Does it make sense to take supplements?
There are dietary supplements that have a positive effect on motivation, mood, and concentration. Dietary supplements that contain a lot of protein are a cheap way to increase the hormone of happiness.
They may make sense for ADHD patients, as they regulate and stabilize their well-being. Dietary supplements can very well withstand the level of dopamine.
But above all, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and a healthy lifestyle are the best guarantees for a balanced and good balance of dopamine.