Our hormones can do a lot of things and are involved in many of our bodily processes. Our hormones can even regulate our mood and have an impact on how we feel. From alleviating anxiety and boosting motivation, which hormones regulate your mood and how do they do this? Keep reading this blog post to find out!
Serotonin can regulate our mood, as well as aid our sleep and digestion, promote bone health and form blood clots to assist in healing wounds. Serotonin is found in the brain and it promotes feelings of happiness and comfort, while also preventing anxiety. If there are low levels of serotonin in our brain, this may potentially lead to depression. If there are very high levels of serotonin in the brain, this could lead to excessive activity of nerve cells, therefore it is important to have normal levels of serotonin in order to promote positive emotions, such as happiness.
Dopamine is found in our brains and plays an important role in the reward system in our minds. Due to its role in the reward system, it also has a role in motivation. When you work towards reaching a goal and finally make it, the positive emotions that you feel are most often due to increased levels of dopamine. This rush of hormones is the reward feeling, and this motivates you as you want to gain this feeling again. It is thought that particular symptoms of depression, such as low motivation, feelings of helplessness and lack of interest, are caused by low dopamine levels in the brain. Trauma, pain or stress may trigger a dysfunction in the dopamine system, leading to depression.
Oxytocin is an important hormone for new parents, especially during pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding. Oxytocin promotes feelings of love, trust and empathy, and it normally increases in the body following childbirth to elevate love and bonding between mother and baby. Levels of oxytocin can also increase through cuddling, kissing and sex.
Cortisol is made in the adrenal glands and has a role in the stress response, controlling inflammation, regulating blood pressure and sugar and controlling the sleep/wake cycle. Due to cortisol’s role in the stress response, in which it can increase energy levels to deal with a certain problem while also shutting down other, not as necessary, bodily functions, different levels of the hormone can change our mood. Anxiety and depression can be caused by abnormal cortisol levels, as well as fatigue.
Endorphins are hormones that can relieve pain in the body, while they can also increase pleasure, so they are released in response to stress, pain or discomfort. Endorphins can help to regulate our mood by having a role in relieving the symptoms of depression, alleviating stress and anxiety and boosting your self-esteem. Exercising, having sex or eating can all boost our endorphins.