Let's talk pleasure. Specifically pleasure hormones or happy hormones. We have four main pleasure hormones: Endorphins, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Dopamine and they all play an important role in our body and make themselves heard if they are deficient.
Recently, I've been on a journey researching these guys including how to naturally increase them (in positive ways) and, identify when they're levels are in a decline. Here's what I've learnt:
Endorphins are your body's natural pain killer. This hormone triggers a feeling of euphoria in your brain in response to pain and stress. This hormone is also what causes a 'runner's high' feeling when someone exercises excessively or, to a lesser degree, when muscles are activated from other actives such as laughing.
If you're deficient in this hormone, you might find yourself with chronic headaches, insomnia, addictive behaviours, muscle aches/pains, mood swings, anxiety and/or depression.
To naturally increase Endorphins:
Eat spicy foods
Use Lavender Essential Oil
Citrine, Red Jasper and Carnelian Crystals (help balance Sacral Chakra which is linked to endorphin production)
Take cold showers
Have orgasms (this is going to be a running theme)
Oxytocin is the cuddle hormone. Fortunately, if you're single, you don't need to have a cuddle buddy to activate this one as social connection, general bonding, foods and self soothing sensory activities will also get you there.
If you're deficient in this hormone, you might find yourself with poor communication, irritability and inability to feel affection, more anxiety than normal, experiencing mechanical sexual encounters, increased appetite for sugar rich foods, difficulty achieving orgasm, disturbed sleep and/or muscle aches.
To naturally increase Oxytocin:
Music and singing
Socialising and elevating social perception
Hugging, kissing, cuddling and sexual intimacy
Volunteering and doing good deeds
Self soothing or administered bilateral sensory stimulation such as stroking or tapping the opposite side of face/chest/arm etc.
Giving and receiving flowers
Increase vitamin D and C and magnesium if too low
Pleasurable food intake (this can obviously be abused especially if someone is otherwise low in their oxytocin)
Take Psychobiotic Lactobacillus Reuteri
Stimulate Vagus Nerve by avoiding blue light and mouth taping
Use Lavender, Clary Sage, Neroli, Indian Sandalwood and Roman Chamomile
Pink Opal, Rose Quartz and Rhodonite Crystals (self-love/connection/heart crystals)
Take warm or cold showers
Serotonin is the mood regulating hormone. This is tied deeply to your mindset and reflects in the emotions and feelings that you experience. If you find yourself generally down, low, sad, frustrated and angry - this is hormone to keep a close eye on and prioritise increasing.
If you're deficient in this hormone, you might find yourself with depression, changes in sleep, chronic pain, memory/learning issues, anxiety, schizophrenia, problems with your internal clock, appetite issues, hyperactivity/ADHD and/or dementia.
To naturally increase Serotonin:
Get out in the bright light (sun)
Initiate self induced mood changes
See a therapist to help with induced mood changes
Avoid artificial sweetener
Avoid electromagnetic radiation
Stimulate Vagus Nerve
Use Bitter Orange, Cinnamon Leaf, German Chamomile, Rose, Orange, Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon and Clary Sage Essential Oils
Amethyst, Howlite, Apophyllite and Selenite Crystals (all help reduce anxiety/stabilise mood)
Have indoor plants
Take goddess baths
Take a cold shower
Intentional breathwork to shift mindset
Dopamine is the reward hormone. This is the hormone that makes you feel good about the little or big things in life. There are a lot of ways to induce an unhealthy Dopamine high and have your dopamine levels increase by 100, 200, 400 etc. by smoking, vaping, drinking alchohol, taking drugs, gambling, using your phone apps constantly etc. However, aside from other concerns, this type of behaviour causes Dopamine receptors to become ineffective or to burn out completely which then results in massive low periods either side. The trick with Dopamine is to keep it balanced rather than too high or too low and to ensure that the reward is equal to the input.
If you're deficient in this hormone, you might find yourself with procrastination, lack of motivation to eat, apathy/hopelessness, self destructive/addictive behaviours, fatigue and sleep problems, inability to complete tasks, concentrate, connect and feel pleasure, lack of motivation, low libido, memory loss and/or mood swings.
To naturally (and in a healthy way) increase Dopamine:
Get a massage
Do activities that help with survival
Avoid artificial sweetener
Avoid electromagnetic Radiation
Increase vitamin B6, B9, Copper, Zinc and Iron if levels are too low
Take L-Tyrosine if amino acids are too low
Avoid blue light between 11pm-4am
Stimulate Vagus Nerve
Use Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary Essential Oils
Shungi and Black Tourmaline Crystals (both of these are great for warding against electromagnetic radiation)
Eat broad beans and foods containing L-Tyrosine
Enjoy coffee/caffeine and tea
Note: I am not a Doctor and this is not to be taken as medical advice, endorsements or recommendations. Do your own research and consult your own doctor as required.
Want to find out more about what I do as a Coach and Hormone Educator, how we can work together to remap your mindset, find your intuitive strategies and empower yourself with your cycle? Read more here or message me to lock in your spot for a consult or 1:1 coaching. x