The best thing in life is we have the power of CHOICE; in our attitude, in our perception and in our actions. Choosing how to live every day, how we want to FEEL, is one of my favourites. It can be done with the simplest little things, that make our feel good hormones soar! To continually feel wonderful and super charge our productivity, the “happy chemicals” in our brain need to be triggered. This is done by activating our daily D.O.S.E.
These are some practical “to-do’s” and activities to start (continue/increase), then turn into habits and to relish in the rewards as they enrich our days.
Lets activate the “ins”!
Do it for the Dopamine
This chemical gives us the sense of achievement and pleasure from making progress. Increasing dopamine helps with memory, focus, concentration and alertness. It is also described as the chemical of reward – for me it is all about MOTIVATION.
What increases the dopamine hit?
- Ticking things off the list, getting through your task list. For me this is making a realistic ‘top three’ things to achieve every day, writing them down and feeling sooo good as I achieve them.
- Set goals and then celebrate when you achieve them – all the steps along the way. It is through small milestones that we release enough dopamine to make the next steps more manageable and achievable.
- Do something for someone else – an act of kindness or volunteer
- Compliment someone
- Practice gratitude
- Always have something to look forward to (that’s the anticipate part! – apparently, the anticipation (e.g missing someone, or saving for the house, holiday) is a stronger sensation than the actual ‘thing’ (e.g. finally seeing the person, moving into the house, taking the holiday).
- Dark Chocolate – happy I found that one 🙂
Oooze the Oxytocin
Oxytocin helps us feel close to others, reduces stress and increases our contentment with life – we need that! It is also the social aspect, connecting with others. It can be released by woman giving birth and with certain music.
Prescribe these into your day.
- Get or give a hug – that is the biggest one!
- Go have a coffee with a friend or colleague and laugh together
- Pet an animal and feel their unconditional love
- Listen deeply
- Appreciate, enjoy and develop your close relationships
- Commit to being a close friend 🙂
- Dark chocolate again!
Search for Serotonin
This hormone is all about finding meaning. It boosts confidence and self-esteem and the lack of it can trigger depression. The emphasis, I think, is on the sense of purpose and feeling significant.
Let’s increase the purpose dosage!
- Look for meaning in what you do
- Say THANK YOU
- Eat well, – interesting fact: Apparently (as per a great video which goes way deeper into how our brain works) 80% of serotonin exists in the gut, and explains why we get ‘hangry’ (angry when we are hungry )!
- Get some exposure to sunshine
- Acknowledge words of encouragement
- Dark chocolate!
Also, again music has a part of play, in reducing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing many of the “in’s” – depending on the type of music. To relax, focus, de-stress and even increase productivity!
Energise for Endorphins
These are produced for us to more easily cope with pain or stress. They work like opioids – but are a NATURAL happiness booster. They are most commonly released during exercise – e.g the runners high.
Pop the natural pick-me-up pill.
- Get your own feeling of euphoria (drug-free) with some vigorous physical activity. I know if I feel frustrated or demotivated, I force myself to get out and go for a walk. In fact I have someone on my team, who can just about read my moods and TELLS me to go for a run 🙂
- Watch your breathing, and take the time for deep breathes. Activities like yoga and meditation and their attention to breathe also help to increase endorphins
- Laughter and lots of it
- And wait – yes you guessed it – Dark Chocolate! (besides the fact I LOVE dark chocolate I promise I found references to it everywhere haha)
This D.O.S.E can also be applied from a business perspective, excellent article on this here on building these hormones to succeed. This blog post also explains some of details of the D.O.S.E perfectly.
Once you figure out what triggers these neurotransmitters (which, believe me, is actually easier than you think) you can set them off regularly, most certainly daily, adding HUGE value to the life you live 🙂
So… linger longer in that embrace with your loved one …..luxuriate in the coffee as you sip it, savor that cake treat or meal that someone spent time preparing…take the time to breathe in nature….and of course…