The DOSE of Happiness

- By Kashish Uppal

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you felt happy all the time? Why is it that we can be in a great mood and then immediately feel sad? The biological explanation for all your moods lies in the neurochemicals.  Neurochemicals are responsible for our sense of happiness , well being and accomplishment. The feeling of belongingness, anxiety, being lazy are all results of the neurochemicals at work.  Different neurochemicals affect different moods, so sometimes when we feel happy, happy neurochemicals are  at work.  These “happy” neurochemicals are namely - Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins commonly abbreviated as DOSE. This DOSE is the “Chemical Locha”(The chemical glitch) you must have commonly heard about in movie dialogues. Each happy neurochemical triggers a good feeling, including joy, happiness, warmth, pride, euphoria, and many more. These chemicals have evolved over time to promote survival and not to provide permanent ecstasy. Hence, biologically you can't have a surge of all these neurochemicals all the time. Each of these perform a specific function and then “switch off” when their job is done.

Happy Neurochemical

Loretta G. Breuning, PhD in her book titled ‘Meet Your Happy Chemicals’  simplifies the DOSE hormones and talks about how to rewire your brain to experience this chemical reaction better in just 3 steps- 

Step 1 : Don't judge yourself for 45 days.

Step 2 :  Make peace with your unhappy chemicals as they are natural too.

Step 3 : Let go of bad habits and choose your new habits wisely.

The 3rd step is crucial because you can rewire and hack your hormones by making better choices. 

According to Loretta G, we look at an example of how two different sets of choices can lead to the same amounts of Dopamine secretion.

Similarly, exercising daily leads to a higher release of Endorphins ( a runner’s high), focusing and building better and stronger social relations leads to more Oxytocin. A good way to increase Serotonin is by appreciating the value you already have instead of chasing the importance you don’t get! 

A quality unique to the brain is its ability to reorganize itself, popularly known as Neuroplasticity. So, in a way your understanding of your reactions with respect to the neurochemicals can help you rewire the biology of happiness and help you stay away from habits and behaviour that make you feel happy but ultimately can lead to addiction or may land you in trouble.So, take charge of your learning and choose a natural high and get your dose of Happiness!

Learning should never stop and neither should you! You can reach out to us at , we look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

About the Author

Kashish Uppal is an applied psychology student from the University of Delhi. She believes that to truly understand the world, one must understand oneself. She is an avid reader, skill trainer and food enthusiast. Her life mantra is to live life mindfully and with gratitude because life is not waiting forever for the storm to pass, it is learning to dance in the rain !