Hack your feel good hormones

This coming Saturday kicks off the first of our annual collection of Feel Good Festivals here at Everyone Health.

You and your family can get your feel-good on at Southend’s Feel Good Festival on 29th July from 10am-4pm at Garon Park – exploring the SIX different zones packed full of family fun, picnicking in the park, and of course, making plenty of use of the FREE bouncy castles (who says they’re just for kids!). 

However, if you can’t make it this Saturday – don’t fear! We’re here to tell you how you can hack your hormones so you don’t have to miss out on the feel-good factor.

The 4 happy hormones responsible for your mood are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins – all of which can be boosted through a whole host of simple activities and we’re here to tell you how.

Getting outside

Spending time outdoors (ideally in sunlight, however the UK should be so lucky) is a great way of unlocking these hormones. We recommend spending about 15 minutes outside a few times a week to really feel the benefits.

Exercise

Not only does exercise have so many health benefits, but also endorphins and exercise go hand in hand. Getting a workout in is one of the easiest ways to boost your happy hormones – whether you choose to in the morning, setting up right for the day, or prefer a nighttime workout, releasing all the pent up stress from work. To maximise your workout even more: try going outside for it (weather permitting) or including a few friends or members of your family.

Laugh with a friend

Laughter is the best medicine after all. Sharing a laugh with someone can help to relieve feelings of anxiety and stress, and quickly improve a low mood by boosting dopamine and endorphin levels. So, share that funny video or watch your favourite comedy to reap the benefits.

Indulge in a happy hormone friendly meal

Looking for a way to boost all 4 hormones? Look no further. The enjoyment you get from tucking into a delicious meal can trigger the release of dopamine along with endorphins. Sharing the meal with someone you love can help to boost your oxytocin levels, and did you know that certain foods can have an impact on hormone levels? Jot down the below foods when you’re meal planning for a happy hormone boost:

  • Dark chocolate (no surprise!)
  • Bananas (1 of your 5 a day!)
  • Nuts and seeds (a great source of healthy fats)
  • Salmon (another brilliant source of healthy fats)
  • Asparagus (perhaps you could pair it with the salmon for the ultimate happy hormone meal?)
  • Foods that contain probiotics i.e. yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut

Getting a good night’s sleep

How many of us can honestly say we’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep? Not getting enough quality sleep can affect our health in multiple ways, including an imbalance of hormones in our body which can affect our mood. If you find it difficult to get a good night’s kip, try:

  • Reduce any light, noise and screentime an hour or so before you go to sleep
  • Take some to relax before bed, whether it’s taking a bath, reading a book or listening to music
  • Decrease caffeine intake (remember, tea still has caffeine in!) in the afternoon and evenings
  • Going to bed and getting up at fixed times every day
  • Don’t clock watch – sometimes worrying about getting enough sleep can itself stop us sleeping. If you struggle to stop checking your clock, try turning it around our putting it on the side of the room so you can’t watch time ticking away
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