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The Feel Good Hormones And What You Can

Are you familiar with the 4 Feel Good Hormones?

Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins, and Oxytocin. In the space of mental health, they are a big deal. Check out a helpful read that talks about how these hormones impact the mind, mood, and body here. It’s written by Harvard Health.

As you take on the week find space to activate them.

Remember:  being proactive = better mental health.

Dopamine feel-good neurotransmitter

You can activate dopamine by exercising regularly. This hormone can help to enhance your mood and motivation through its release.

So, wake up at 5 and be ready by 5:30 AM sharp! Rain or shine.

Just kidding, you do not have to wake up at 5 AM. You can release this hormone by moving. Simply moving purposefully. I used to think that dopamine needed to be this rigorous process of explosive moments.

I was wrong. It can be released by everyday activities that incorporate a sense of workout through the process of moving purposefully.

For me, moving means that I take breaks during my sessions with patients. I am standing and stretching, walking around, or doing a few yoga movements. The book Blue Zones actually has a neat section that talks about movement and longevity.

They found that movement such as gardening and going for walks is connected to a longer healthier life. Click here to check out the book.


Key benefits of dopamine:

  • Supports with sleep.
  • Modulates the body’s response to stress.
  • Provides a sense of pleasure.
  • Helps to reinforce behaviors.
  • Regulates movement and helps with motor control.
  • Receive a feeling of reward.
  • Healthy levels are associated with improved focus and cognitive performance.
  • Helps with mood regulation.
  • Promotes a sense of satisfaction.
Counseling Practice In Greensboro, North Carolina Providing Individual, Couples, And Family Counseling To Kids, Teens, And Adults.

Serotonin can push off depression 

One of the key responsibilities of serotonin is to boost your mood. It’s why when people experience depression they are often provided antidepressants.

Are you familiar with SSRIs?

SSRIs stand for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They are one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and have plenty of research connected to it about their impact on depression.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on a big-picture basis increase levels of serotonin in the brain.


Common SSRIs include:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft


One key item to remember is that this is information and not treatment. I strongly encourage you to speak with a trained medication provider about your specific treatment. A helpful read on SSRIs can be found here.

Serotonin can be found in nature. That’s right my friends. Right in your backyard. Exposure to natural light and outdoor environments boosts serotonin levels.

This article is published in May and I have plans to see the beach this summer. That means that I will have plenty of exposure to natural light. That’s right, Sunlight.

Get creative and find ways to increase your exposure to sunlight. You can start by taking nature walks, spend time pulling weeds or planting your summer garden, or simply pitch a hammock and soak up the sun.


Benefits of serotonin:

  • Helps to regulate body temperature.
  • Regulates the sleep and wake cycle.
  • Contributes to a sense of well-being.
  • Helps with digestion.
  • Supports with learning and memory.
  • Contributes to happiness.

Serotonin has also been connected to the practice of gratitude. Check here to read about how expressing gratitude is linked to the release of serotonin. You’ll also see that it can help to release dopamine as well.

Ways to increase serotonin:

  • Practicing gratitude.
  • SSRI medications.

How does counseling help?

As you can see one of the benefits associated with dopamine is the sense of reward and pleasure. You can achieve this through exercise and setting and reaching goals.

Working with a counselor can provide you with the space needed to work on personal development. Doing so helps you create and achieve goals. This lays the foundation to aid the process of dopamine release.

See how it all ties together?