The world has numerous factors that affect our well-being, many of which can trigger anxiety and depression and make our jobs more challenging. The chemicals in our brains affect our mental state, and four specific chemicals affect our happiness. Read on for more information on these four chemicals and how they will make us feel happier in our careers.
Dopamine is part of the body’s reward system, which helps us understand what we need to survive. This chemical provides pleasure as a reward and gives us happiness as we partake in an activity.
We feel motivated to pursue this feeling frequently, which is why junk foods and various entertainment media are alluring, as they produce large amounts of dopamine. Work, on the other hand, will sometimes leave us feeling unfulfilled and lacking in motivation. So focus on pleasurable activities, such as quality sleep or sunlight exposure, that reward you with improved mental and physical health. In turn, this will give you more drive in your job.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries messages to the nerve cells throughout the brain and body to influence your emotions, memory, and learning—all of which are integral to better workflow. Serotonin affects these parts of your mind to create a wholesome state that makes your time at work better.
Activities such as exercise and spending time with friends will produce serotonin. Also, exposure to sunlight will help boost your energy levels during the day thanks to the production of serotonin, and you’ll feel more focused and emotionally stable. Constantly producing more of this chemical in the brain will eventually lead to an improved lifestyle and help you feel happier.
Endorphins aren’t a single chemical but a group of chemicals the brain produces. Your brain produces endorphins in response to pain and uses them to counteract the uncomfortable feeling by giving you a feeling of happiness.
Endorphins help you through the pain of exercise and make it more pleasurable, which is why people have a positive feeling after a good workout. The release of endorphins will help you with soreness and other pain felt throughout the day, so it’s not as distracting at work. Increase the release of endorphins with various physical activities such as dancing, hiking, or jogging through the neighborhood.
The feeling of love is a culmination of different feelings merged into one powerful emotion. Oxytocin is the chemical in the brain that contributes to happiness and the love you feel toward someone. People can feel the effects of oxytocin upon physical touch, during childbirth, or when looking into a loved one’s eyes. The happiness, trust, and bonding you feel come from the oxytocin affecting the nerve cells in the brain and body. This can lead to deepened care and trust for loved ones and make your workday feel less burdensome, as strong relationships give us something to look forward to after work.
Happiness is a result of the experiences you have in the world and the chemicals your brain produces. Perform more activities in your daily life to produce these chemicals and give yourself that pick-me-up you need for a happier work-life balance.