Although I usually try to do a live video each Friday afternoon, this afternoon I decided I’d share with you a few ideas for beating the state of fatigue that many people are feeling with the extended lockdowns that we’ve faced in Victoria and NSW in particular. So I wanted to share a few ideas that can be helpful for hacking your brain chemistry-and then I’m going to do the same and do a quick yoga workout!
So I wanted to share some ideas about how we can boost chemicals that we know are present and can help for us to experience happy feelings. I think we are all in need of something practical we can do to help shift our mood in a more pleasant state, so this is my reminder to you this Friday afternoon as we head into celebrating the Dads, Dad-figures and men in our life this Sunday.
There are four main brain chemicals that are really useful for this and it includes some that are made synthetically for our antidepressants.
Dopamine is a brain neurotransmitter than is released when we do a number of things, but it is very involved when we have an accomplishment. It mediates pleasure in our brain and then also stimulates our brain to seek out more pleasurable activities. So we can increase the amount of this in our system by doing things like:
- completing a task
- Making a goal
- Doing a self care task
- Eating food
Serotonin is a chemical that helps to boost and stabilise our mood. It’s involved in reducing the risk of depression, regulates anxiety and healing the body. When our serotonin levels are normal we are able to feel happier, calm and more focused. To boos it’s levels we can try out activities such as:
- Meditation or practicing mindfulness
- Getting into sunshine
- Being in nature
- Connecting with another human
Oxytocin is sometimes also called the Love Hormone. It get produced when we feel connection with another being, so trying out things like:
*spending time cuddling with a pet
- spending time with a baby or child
- holding hands/touch
- Having a hug (or giving yourself a hug)
- Giving or receiving a compliment
Endorphins are knows as being natural pain killers. They relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria and are involved in activities such as eating, drinking, sex as well as maternal behaviour. They are also involved when we are doing things that can be tiring such as intense exercise, but actually gives us a feeling of high energy even when we’ve been using energy.
We can boost these chemicals by doing thing like:
*activities that produce laughter
- using particular essential oils
- Eating (dark) chocolate
So these are just a few ideas to get you started,