We’re looking at ways to boost your levels of dopamine, the happy hormone, to help you feel calm in body and mind.
Make time to meditate
Numerous studies show meditation can have a positive impact on physical and mental health, reducing stress as well as lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
Just one hour of meditation was found to increase dopamine production by as much as 65 per cent in a study done by the University of California.
Those who took part were experienced meditators but the research suggests that even doing a short session can still boost dopamine levels.
Stroke a pet
Stroking you’re a dog or cat for 15 minutes is enough to prompt your brain to release more dopamine, according to research at the University of Missouri, Columbia. The dopamine effect is more marked when it’s your own pet!
Listen to your fave tunes
A recent study at McGill University, Canada, found that when people listened to their favourite pieces of music, scans showed their brains released more dopamine.
The chemical was also released even in anticipation of listening to pleasurable music.
Take a cold shower
A study reported in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that showering for just 2-3 minutes in cold water can decrease stress hormone cortisol by 34 per cent and increase dopamine levels by 250 per cent – incredible!
Pleasant touch such as stroking, tickling, hugging, kissing and having sex all increase dopamine levels – time to get touchy-feely!