I was recently asked to name the different hormones of happiness. Here are the ones I know of. Please leave a comment if you know more!

For the record:

Neurotransmitter: A chemical that is released from a nerve cell which transmits an impulse from a nerve cell to another nerve, muscle, organ, or other tissue. It is a messenger of neurologic information from one cell to another.
Hormone: A chemical that is secreted by specialized glands called endocrine glands into the bloodstream. Hormones are essential for every activity of daily living, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and even mood control.
The major hormones that create happy feelings are (many of the ones below also act as neurotransmitters):
  • ACETYLCHOLINE: Alertness, memory, sexual performance, appetite control, release of growth hormone.
  • DOPAMINE: Feelings of bliss and pleasure, euphoric, appetite control, controlled motor movements, feel focused.
  • ENDORPHINS: Mood elevating, enhancing, euphoric. The more present, the happier you are! Natural pain killers.
  • ENKEPHALINS: Restrict transmission of pain, reduce craving, reduce depression.
  • GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid): Found throughout central nervous system, anti-stress, anti-anxiety, anti-panic, anti-pain; Feel calm, maintain control, focus.
  • MELATONIN: “Rest and recuperation” and “anti-aging” hormone. Regulates body clock.
  • NOREPINEPHRINE: Excitatory, feel happy, alert, motivated. Anti-depressant, appetite control, energy, sexual arousal.
  • OXYTOCIN: Stimulated by Dopamine. Promotes sexual arousal, feelings of emotional attachment, desire to cuddle.
  • PHENYLETHYLMINE (PEA): Feelings of bliss, involved in feelings of infatuation (high levels found in chocolate).
  • SEROTONIN: Promotes and improves sleep, improves self esteem, relieves depression, diminishes craving, prevents agitated depression and worrying.
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