Three Key Chemicals to Live More Happily

How many days per year do you wake up feeling happy? 91? 182? 274?

Many of us walk around feeling unhappy without realising that we can significantly influence how happy we feel.

We have control of our happiness because we can manage the levels of certain chemicals in our brains and bodies.

Physical Intelligence is the ability to actively manage the levels of certain key chemicals (hormones and neurotransmitters) racing through our bloodstream and nervous system) so that we can stress less, achieve more and live more happily.

We can do this using our Physical Intelligence, by:

Understanding the neurochemistry

Using our body in specific ways

Changing the quality of our thoughts

Transforming our emotions

Chemicals for Happiness

Serotonin, Oxytocin and Dopamine are the top three chemicals for happiness.

Serotonin influences our levels of happiness, status and feelings of satisfaction and well-being. With enough serotonin, we believe that we are enough, have enough. We feel naturally balanced, empowered and can take responsibility for our role in society.

Serotonin is released by independent neurons in the gut as well as in the brain.

With high serotonin levels we can live without anxiety, feeling content and balanced.

The signature feeling of serotonin is happiness.

Boost serotonin by:

Smiling at ourselves in the mirror and others


Twisting and stretching the torso and abdominal area of the body daily

Soaking up sunshine

Getting good quality sleep

Eating bananas and high quality chocolate

Thinking positive thoughts

Practicing tai chi or any activity where you move in a fluid way

Jumping up and down and/or shaking out your limbs and body

Getting a good night’s sleep – regularly

Taking a holiday

Knowing your own value and self-worth

Using open, expansive posture

Being fully present

Learning about what undermines or triggers you and working therapeutically to overcome negative beliefs

Oxytocin is our social bonding and trust chemical. It comes from feeling part of a group – our “tribe,” feeling loved, respected and cared for, and giving the same to others.

Oxytocin is released by independent neurons in the heart as well as in the brain.

With high oxytocin levels we feel supported by others, safe and with a sense of belonging. Too little, and we may feel isolated; we might not build professional relationships or know how to use our networks for support. We need to be able to boost our own levels of oxytocin.

The signature feeling of oxytocin is belonging.

Boost oxytocin by:

Sending a thank you email or text

Having a heart to heart conversation

Empathising with others

Bringing the team together to celebrate or commiserate

Holding hands or hugging

Committing acts of kindness

Talking to strangers (e.g. at a networking event)

Bringing people together for a party

Being honest

Using open arm and hand gestures

Maintaining stable, non-threatening eye contact with people

Keeping your promises

Doing stretches that open the chest and heart area

Opening your arms wide

Using warm vocal resonance

Speaking words of encouragement

Stroking a dog

Getting a massage

Telling someone you love them

Spending time with loves ones

Reaching out when someone is grieving

Supporting a cause important to you or joining a club

Dancing in the same rhythm as someone

Dopamine has many functions.

The three that relate specifically to happiness are feelings of intense pleasure or reward from enjoyable activities or pursuits that have value for you, being awarded or appreciated by society with a mark of achievement, and the ability to focus on and commit to achieving our goals.

With a healthy dopaminergic system we can sustain effort through arduous periods of delayed gratification and can work hard and think creatively to realise our dreams

The signature feelings of dopamine are pleasure and need.

Boost dopamine by:

Taking pleasure in the simple things

Walking in the countryside

Looking at a wonderful view

Visualising a positive future

Tasting good food and drink rather than gulping it down

Being playful, laughing

Being flexible and creative

Seeing something you want and being determined to achieve it

Cooking and serving a delicious meal

Deciding on a goal and the steps you need to take to achieve it

Celebrating successes

Enjoying the simple things (e.g., the feeling of getting into a warm bed at night)

Enjoying the exhilaration that follows a good workout

Gardening and growing things

Arranging flowers in a vase

Looking at art

Dancing at a night club

Rewarding yourself after completing your work (e.g., with an episode of your favourite series or chapter in a book)

Listening to music

Watching a good movie,

Solving a difficult problem

Finishing the cross word puzzle

Reaching the next level of your favourite computer game

Passing your exams

Bank those happiness chemicals

When we are happy, we can ‘bank’ those happiness chemicals by augmenting the feeling, allowing ourselves to feel that emotion without reserve, creating a powerful memory of feeling good by increasing the intensity of this positive emotion.

When we are sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, etc, we can use these techniques to process negative emotions efficiently and changing the quality of our thoughts.

Try this for the coming year…Make a habit of marking an ‘H’ in your diary on every happy day over the next year, and on New Year’s Eve count them up and celebrate!

About Physical Intelligence

For more information about how Physical Intelligence can help you, order our book, on sale now.

About Companies in Motion

There are over 80 easy to use techniques and tips to build our Physical Intelligence -- the neuroscience-backed approach to detecting and actively managing the balance of eight key chemicals in our bodies and brains so that we can take charge of our body, brain, schedule and life. You can read about all of them in our new book, Physical Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Untapped Intelligence to Achieve More, Stress Less and Live More Happily by Claire Dale and Patricia Peyton available from Simon and Schuster. (Order here.) (Multiple translations will be available later in 2019.)

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© 2019 by Companies in Motion.