Towards the end of September 2018, I had a mental breakdown due to various events that had occurred in the previous couple of days. I never thought that I would need to go through this but I had to be taken to a Psychiatrists to deal with the problem. I’ve only heard of such doctors before or watched them in movies but this was my first experience of actually sitting down in a session with one. As per what I have seen or heard about them, they just sit and talk to you about things and then find out the cure accordingly. Surprisingly, this is not how it worked with the Psychiatrists whom I was sent to and he later explained to me how it actually works. Due to my mental illness being treated at its initial stage, I just had to attend three sessions with him until I was declared to be ‘Back on Track’ after some tests. I never understood how I was declared to be okay in just three sessions. He later gave me the answer which put all my questions and doubts to rest. I further implemented those and I’ll say I started to feel a lot better day-by-day.

He said, there are four hormones that determine a Human’s Mental Condition. So by measuring the level of these hormones in the brain, they find out if the mental illness has been cured or not:

  • Endorphins.
  • Dopamine.
  • Serotonin.
  • Oxytocin.

It is important that we understand these hormones, as we need all four of them to stay Happy and at Peace. I’ll just break this down and try to explain things in a simpler way without using much scientific jargon.

So the first hormone is the Endorphins. When we put our bodies through certain physical exercise, the body releases Endorphins. This hormone helps the body cope with the soreness of the physical exercise. We start to enjoy exercising because these Endorphins not only make us happy but also builds that urge to keep the adrenaline going.
Laughter is another good way of generating Endorphins. You might have seen some people jogging regularly and doing a laughing therapy session. That’s to get their day’s dose of Endorphins.

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The second hormone is Dopamine. We accomplish many little and big tasks in our everyday life, and when we get appreciated for that, it releases various levels of Dopamine. When we get appreciated for our work at the office or at home, we feel accomplished and healthy, that is because it releases Dopamine. This also explains why most housewives are unhappy since they rarely get acknowledged or appreciated for their work.
Once, we start working, we buy a car, a house, the latest gadgets, a new house, so forth. In each instance, it releases Dopamine. Now, do we realize why do we feel happy when we shop? It’s all because of Dopamine.

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Coming to the third hormone, which is Serotonin. It is released when we act in a way that benefits others. When we transcend ourselves and give back to others or to nature or to society, it releases Serotonin. Even, providing useful information on the internet, answering people’s questions on Quora or Facebook groups or any other forum generates Serotonin. That is because we will use our time to help others. Not only it is about humans, even if you feed an animal or just show some affection towards them, it also generates Serotonin.

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Speaking about the final hormone which is Oxytocin and its about human touch. It is released when we get close to other human beings. When we hug our friends or family Oxytocin is released. For Bollywood movie lovers, the “Jadoo Ki Jhappi” from Munnabhai Franchise does really work. Similarly, when we shake hands or put our arms around someone’s shoulders, various amounts of Oxytocin is released which makes us and the other person feel good.

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So, if you look at it scientifically, living a happy life has never been so simpler.

  • Do physical activity of your choice every day to generate Endorphins.
  • Make a note of small goals every day (for example, try not to smoke today) and try everything to achieve it for the release of Dopamine.
  • Be nice to others. It is free and costs nothing. It will help release serotonin in your body.
  • And finally, hug your loved ones to generate Oxytocin.I’m not saying that this will end all the problems that you have to deal with every day but when we are mentally at peace, we can deal with our challenges and problems in a better way.

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It’s not just with elders, sadly we see a lot of children showing signs of mental illness nowadays at a very early age. One of the main reasons for that is them being glued to cellphones and other gadgets all day. So it is a genuine request to all parents not to ignore such traits and keep the children away from computers and cell phones until its something homework-related. Motivate them to play Outdoor Games and Sports to generate Endorphins. Appreciate them for every small or big achievement which will not only help them release Dopamine but they’ll also learn to appreciate things and people. Inculcate a habit of sharing with your child and they’ll generate Serotonin. Lastly, do give them a hug before they go to bed for a night of better sleep and for Oxytocin.

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