There is a clear-cut science behind happiness. The emotions and feelings we experience are basically due to the chemical changes or chemical reactions taking place inside our brains and bodies. There are many biochemicals (chemicals present within living organisms), which are responsible for our emotions and feelings. They can be either neurotransmitters or hormones.
A neurotransmitter is a compound released by a nerve terminal when the nerve is triggered by an electrical impulse. On the other hand, a hormone is a compound produced by endocrine gland and is released directly into the bloodstream. Some of these are responsible for making us feel good, and some are responsible for making us feel bad. Here, we are referring to two categories of chemicals, happiness hormones and stress hormones. Usually, when stress hormones increase beyond a particular level, happiness hormones come down; and vice versa.
There are basically 4 major chemicals that influence our happiness, and they are abbreviated in an acronym called DOSE – D for Dopamine, O for Oxytocin, S for Serotonin, and E for Endorphins.
These 4 chemicals are age-old, most of them are discovered more than 50 years ago and some even more. Later another happiness molecule has been discovered. It is called “Anandamide.” The name has been taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “joy, bliss, delight, etc.”, and added to amide. So what we have done, we have abbreviated all the 5 happiness hormones as – “A DOSE of Happiness Hormones:”
1. A – Anandamide
2. D – Dopamine
3. O – Oxytocin
4. S – Serotonin
5. E – Endorphins
When we are happy, these happiness chemicals are released; as a matter of fact, we can activate or produce these happiness chemicals naturally. Before we go into how this can be done, let us look into and understand each molecule briefly; especially as regards to happiness.