Being happy is not only a personal experience, it is also a chemical response within the body. Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphins are the quartet of feel-good chemicals produced in your brain which are responsible for your happiness. They are neurotransmitters that can be triggered by many situations. By understanding how to hack our happiness chemicals, we can take control of our mood and be happy always. In short, a happy brain = a happy life.
When we, as adults and children, engage in activities like exercise, mindfulness, self-care, gratitude and laughter with friends, we release these feel-good chemicals in our brains. Below are listed some happiness hacking strategies and activities that we can do with our children to help improve our moods and relationships.
OXYTOCIN "THE SNUGGLE HORMONE"
Patting your dog or cat
Hugging your family
Giving a compliment
DOPAMINE "THE REWARD CHEMICAL"
Listening to music
ENDORPHIN "THE PAIN KILLER"
Performing a random act of kindness
Take a bath
SEROTONIN "THE MOOD STABILIZER"
Take a nature walk
Fruits, vegetables and nuts
A healthy dose of sunlight
You can undertake the above strategies and activities as early as possible with your children so that they become healthy habits that can be incorporated into their lives as they grow.
As parents, we also need to practice self-care and coping skills and hack the happy chemicals. They are important for our own health and happiness too. Research proves that exercise, mindfulness, gratitude, laughter and self-care lead to increased health and happiness.