Celebrate your victories! It’s the healthy option

06 Oct

 

This short video is a breath of fresh, joyful air.  I hope that you will feel as inspired as I have watching this little guy take in the roar of approval and then lift his arms in victory. Believe it or not, watching this video is likely to boost your serotonin levels. The same boost in ‘feel good’ hormones can apply when we take the time to congratulate ourselves for a job well done.

Biologically, we are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. To support our natural inclination towards happiness our bodies have hundreds of neurochemicals, only a few of which have been identified by scientists. To live a fulfilling life it is helpful to know how some of these neurochemicals work and how to activate them. Here are just a few neurotransmitters and their functions:

Dopamine – sometimes known as the ‘reward’ neurotransmitter – is responsible for reward-driven behaviour and pleasure seeking.  If you want to enjoy a feeling of pleasure and success set a goal and achieve it. The video above is a great example.

Serotonin plays many roles in our bodies. The natural effect of serotonin is a feeling of self-worth and confidence, as well as a sense of belonging.  If you want to have increased feelings of worthiness find opportunities that give you a feeling of purpose, meaning and accomplishment. As mentioned in the title of this blog, find reasons to celebrate your life. The more you do this, the more serotonin will be released and the more fulfilled you will feel.

Oxytocin is the so-called ‘happy’ molecule. This hormone is the ‘bonding chemical’ that is key to our need to feel connected to others, and to feel trust and loyalty. It is released during times of intimacy, giving birth, affection and even in group contexts where a deep ‘tribal’ connection is experienced.  Oxytocin is also released when showing affection to a loving pet.

Did you know that performing a random act of kindness for another person will boost the levels of your body’s natural feel-good chemicals serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin?  In addition, receiving a kind gesture, as well as watching someone perform an act of kindness boosts the same beneficial neurochemical cocktail in the observer.  Apart from simply feeling good, this neurotransmitter cocktail may help decrease your risk of heart attack and heart disease and can even slow the signs of aging. [www.scientificamerican.com/article/kindness-emotions-psychology].

What’s not to celebrate? Choose to be kind to yourself and one other person today ♥