AND WHAT YOU CAN DO - THE HAPPINESS HORMONE HACK.
Hormones, there are 100’s of the buggers floating round your body. Why? Because they’re chemical messengers, sending instructions from one part of the body to another.
When we think of hormones, especially when we’re thinking about how menopause affect the body - most of us think of ‘sex’ hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones, for the most part, take care of your fertility, determine your cycle or support your pregnancy and can kick you up the arse during menopause. But, they also exist to support lots of other functions in your body.
They’re stimulate actions or feelings in our mind or body to help us feel better. Our bodies are always striving to be in equilibrium and these hormonal messengers are part of our feel good feedback system.
Christmas and new year can be tough at the best of times. It strikes me that many of us are either over-burdened or lonely, a little bit goldilocks and finding balance right now is hard. So I’ve put together some tips for a ‘happiness hormone hack’ that cost you nothing, and, I hope can take you through these next few weeks and keep you well.
Starting with the big D, Dopamine.
Dopamine the ‘Reward’ Chemical
Ever wondered why you love shopping online so much, or maybe enjoy the satisfaction of completing tasks or continually check your phone. It’s (partly) to do with dopamine. The hormone that gives you a kick when you do seemingly ‘good’ things.
I’ve been enjoying dopamine hits for years, without even knowing it. The thrill of the online sale chase, the emails in and I’m on the website asap. I’ve spent too much again but I just don’t care. I’m enjoying that rush and I’m getting my dopamine reward. Thankfully, I can also get a dopamine hit from trying the clothes on and sending them back.
The first part is the thrill of securing the sale items and the second part is being organised to send them back!
I’m not saying my shopping habits are healthy but they do demonstrate what dopamine does really well. Can I recommend some other, non sales related dopamine hits for you;
Completing a task. I know this isn’t always easy, distractions, commitments and just life in general. Identify something that’s easy to achieve like writing in a journal every day, or doing the wash up before you go to bed. Maybe try reading one chapter of your book each day. If you set yourself an achievable task and achieve it you’re on to a dopamine winner!
Doing self-care activities. If you give yourself some time to achieve an activity that’s good for you, you’ll be doubly rewarded. This could be as taking 3 deep breaths before you get out of bed every morning. Or committing to a mindful or yoga practise once a week.
Eating food (so simple) gives you a dopamine hit. This might explain why some of us constantly graze. Each time we eat we get a little dopamine buzz. Perhaps you could combine the self-care with the eating hit and choose to eat food slowly, mindfully – giving yourself the full eating experience rather than snatching a snack on the run.
Celebrate the little wins. Ding, dopamine release. Acknowledge your achievements however big or small. If you’re like me the things that go well are just done and moved on from. Stop, acknowledge and bloody well pat yourself on the back.
Our minds and bodies are far more complex than most of us give them credit for. We’re finely tuned and made to be in balance. When we pay attention to the positive, seemingly ‘small stuff’ like self care, eating well and celebrating success we are taking care of a much bigger system and our overall well-being.
PART 2 Increasing Love in your life with Oxytocin happiness hormone hacks.
About Jo Darling MBAcC Lic Acu
Jo is a Brighton-based Acupuncturist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Acupuncture from the University of Greenwich. Her training includes western medicine pathology, physiology and anatomy. She is also a member of the British Acupuncture Council.
Jo is passionate about women’s health. She has helped 100’s of women live healthier, happier lives. She has spent over 10 years practicing acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, reflexology and Chinese herbs.
As well as fertility, pregnancy and natural menopause Jo specialises in the treatment of breast cancer patients particularly those thrown into early menopause by chemotherapy. This work inspired Menopoised.
For more information about her work visit her website.
We understand the challenges of menopause because we are menopausal. That’s why we created Menopoised. The Menopoised Menopause Magnet is a first of their kind, acupuncture inspired, safe, effective and side-effect free. Our products have been created to support a broad spectrum of issues, designed to help guide women through a positive menopause.
How Can Help You?
If you’re suffering with hot flushes and night sweats, we can help. When we trialled our heroine product, the Menopoised Menopause Magnet, over 80% of our participants experienced a reduction in the intensity and frequency of their hot flushes and night sweats within a week of use. Read about our research here.
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