HAPPINESS HORMONE: What is it and How to activate it

  • Jul 26, 2021
Hormone of happiness: what is it and how to activate it

The biological foundations of happiness are necessary to facilitate psychological well-being and emotional balance. In our body we have chemical substances that are closely related to happiness and our brain is capable of generating them. Specifically, one of these substances is commonly known as the happiness hormone. Also, this hormone of happiness can be increased naturally in our body. If you want to know what the happiness hormone is called and what you can do to increase its levels, keep reading our Psychology-Online article: Hormone of happiness: what is it and how to activate it.

You may also like: What is the function of the hypothalamus: location, hormones and diseases


  1. What is happiness?
  2. What is the hormone of happiness?
  3. Happiness hormone serotonin
  4. How to activate the hormone of happiness

What is happiness?

Before knowing what the happiness hormone is, it is important to know briefly what is happiness. Happiness has been the object of study in philosophy since ancient times. Diversity of thinkers and thinkers have tried to generate a universal definition of this concept, as well as to establish the characteristic aspects of happiness. However, happiness is currently conceived as

a subjective and relative emotionIt is also recognized that culture and society have a great weight in the idea of ​​happiness that people develop. From psychology, happiness is a positive emotion, a positive emotional state related to satisfaction, motivation and the achievement of goals and objectives. It is a subjective well-being, which has a great influence on our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. Positive psychology affects the idea that happiness is the result of the set of positive activities and positive emotionssuch as joy and tranquility.

What is the hormone of happiness?

Happiness can also be analyzed from a biological point of view. From biology, happiness is fluid brain activity that positively stimulates the limbic system, the part of the brain that is related to emotional states. In our body, we also have chemical substances linked to a positive emotional state.

The happiness hormone name it is serotonin. The serotonin (5-HT) It is a chemical that our body produces naturally both in the brain and in the intestines. It is a neurotransmitter, which means that it enables connection between neurons, thus influencing the activity of our central nervous system. It is considered a hormonal neurotransmitter, since it not only acts in the brain, but also in other regions of the body. This substance plays a role in mood regulation, essentially in psychological well-being and balance of emotions. That is why it is commonly dubbed as the hormone of happiness.

Serotonin hormone of happiness.

The serotonin It is essential in the regulation of mood and emotions, since it is capable of generating the chemical reactions necessary to increase our levels of well-being. It also helps to cope with the stress and demands of day to day. The increase of this chemical substance in our organism, generates almost automatically feelings of well-being, relaxation and positivity. That is why normal or balanced amounts of serotonin in our body produce benefits in our emotional health and promote psychological balance.

Serotonin facilitates the regulation of anxiety, distress and aggressiveness, as well as it is a great ally to combat states of sadness and irritability. However, an imbalance in this substance can lead to experiencing discomfort, anger, sadness, etc. Significantly low levels of this substance are directly related to depression. The relationship between serotonin and depression it is complex; since the deficit of this substance due to the low production of this by the brain, leads to this mood disorder, while that the development of a depressive disorder due to some external factor leads to a decrease in serotonin levels in our organism.

Serotonin deficits have also been associated with aggressive states, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In fact, the most commonly used pharmacology to help in the psychological treatment of these symptoms and pathologies are antidepressants. SSRIs, which block the reuptake of serotonin to increase its amount and availability in the brain, with the aim of improving mood. Antidepressant abuse can produce excess serotonin, causing symptoms of nervousness and agitation.

Serotonin, in addition to its role in emotional regulation and its relationship with happiness, has other functions such as the regulation of sleep, intestinal function, body temperature, appetite, sexual function and clotting.

Hormone of happiness: what is it and how to activate it - Serotonin hormone of happiness

How to activate the hormone of happiness.

As we have seen, serotonin has a great role in regulating emotions. To increase the psychological benefits of this substance, we can increase its levels naturally. How to activate the hormone of happiness? In the following ways:

1. Hormone of happiness and sport

You can activate the hormone of happiness doing physical exercise regularly. Physical exercise has antidepressant benefits, in addition to increasing serotonin levels in the brain, promoting feelings of well-being. In addition to serotonin, exercise promotes endorphin release, related to pleasure and serenity, as well as being positive for our physical health and state of the organism. In this article you will find how to release endorphins.

2. Hormone of happiness and food

It is possible to activate the happiness hormone through a diet rich in tryptophan, since Serotonin is produced by tryptophan, a substance found in various foods. Therefore, the eating foods that contain tryptophan facilitate the natural production of serotonin. Some of these foods are: chicken and turkey, blue fish, nuts and other dried fruits, legumes, cheese, dark chocolate, pumpkin, spinach etc.

3. Trying to reduce stress levels

High stress levels lower serotonin levels. The practice of breathing and relaxation exercises They can help with stress management, as well as go to psychological therapy if necessary.

4. Sleeping the necessary hours

Excess or lack of sleep has a negative influence on serotonin levels. The levels of this substance are restored during rest, so good sleep hygiene is important for our psychological well-being. Also, lack of sleep increases stress levels.

5. Looking for sunlight

Another substance that has an effect on the production of the happiness hormone is vitamin D. This vitamin increases with sun exposure. Carrying out activities outdoors or spaces with natural light are beneficial for emotional balance.

6. Avoiding excess caffeine

Excessive coffee and other stimulant beverages increase hormones related to stress and nervous arousal, adrenaline, and cortisol. These stress hormones hinder the natural production of serotonin.

7. Avoiding foods with refined sugars

These foods lack the necessary nutritional elements in the diet and are digested very quickly, so that shortly after consuming them the appetite returns. Diet is closely related to the production of serotonin, so eat healthy food and that stimulate its production is beneficial for our body.

On the other hand, the consumption of foods such as industrial pastries, processed and artificial foods, are negative for our general health and for serotonergic production.

8. Taking care of your emotional health

Taking care of yourself is not only about eating well and exercising, it is also about spending time doing activities that you find them pleasant, to socialize with those people you want and to dedicate time to you, to understand you and listen to you.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hormone of happiness: what is it and how to activate it, we recommend that you enter our category of Neuropsychology.


  • Alarcón, R. (2015). The idea of ​​happiness. Notes on Science & Society, 5 (1), 2.
  • Guadarrama, L., Escobar, A., & Zhang, L. (2006). Neurochemical and neuroanatomical bases of depression. Journal of the UNAM Faculty of Medicine, 49(2), 66-72.
  • Lacasse, J. R., & Leo, J. (2006). Serotonin and Depression. Drug Bulletins, 9(1)
instagram viewer