Adult Health

Dopamine and Serotonin: The Best Couple in Town

Written by andy

Dopamine and serotonin are 2 of the neurochemicals that make you happy. Here’s how they work:

The brain is a curious, complex thing. When it works right, it can do amazing things! Your body produces chemicals that help your brain to function properly. These neurochemicals play many important roles in your overall health and wellbeing. Two of the most important neurochemicals are dopamine and serotonin. You’ll find that they both play important roles in keeping you happy, positive, motivated, and content. Once you understand what they can do for you, you’ll realize why they’re so important!

Serotonin 101

Your body produces serotonin for a number of purposes. It is a neurotransmitter that carries electrical signals along and between the nerves in your brain. It also plays a role in the constriction of your smooth muscles (heart and blood vessels), and it regulates the cyclic processes in your body. It is necessary for a healthy appetite, digestive function, sleep, sex drive, and memory.

But, most important of all, serotonin plays a vital role in the maintenance of your mood. Healthy levels of serotonin keep your mood balanced, meaning you are happy and content. However, if your serotonin levels drop, you begin to suffer from symptoms of depression. If your serotonin levels are chronically low, you may have clinical depression.

READ MORE: 6 Herbs for Healing Depression

Dopamine 101

Dopamine is another neurotransmitter, one that controls the parts of your brain responsible for pleasure and feelings of “reward”. When you do something good, your brain produces dopamine in order to stimulate those good feelings. When you eat a food you like or do an activity you love, dopamine is produced as a result.

However, dopamine also plays a role in your emotional responses. Not only does the neurochemical help us to understand the concept of “rewards”, but it encourages us to move toward the things we perceive as rewarding.

Low dopamine levels can lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease, but it can also make people more prone to addiction. Addicts always crave the “reward” of their particular vice, and their low dopamine levels make it harder for them to experience the satisfaction.

How to Get More Dopamine and Serotonin

If you want to be happier and enjoy your life more, producing more dopamine and serotonin is the key. These two chemicals will balance your mood, help you feel more “pleasure” in life, and give you that “rewarding” feeling that you need. But how can you get more dopamine and serotonin?

  • Set small goals — Break your large tasks down into small, easily-obtained objectives. When you reach that goal, you will get that feeling of “reward” that triggers the release of dopamine. It will then be easier to continue working toward other goals.
  • Celebrate — If you’ve done something worth celebrating, celebrate! This is the best way to reinforce the “reward” and “pleasure” feelings.
  • Find value in life — Serotonin is produced when you feel important or valued. In order to produce more serotonin, you need to experience those positive feelings. This is where gratitude practices come in. Be more positive and find more value in your life. Think about all you’ve accomplished, everything you’ve overcome, and everything you are doing, and you will produce more serotonin.
  • Go outside — Did you know that exposure to the sun is the best way to produce more serotonin? The UV rays of the sun will increase Vitamin D and serotonin production. With just 20 to 30 minutes of time in the sun every day, you can seriously boost your mood and help yourself feel better.

Follow these tips, and you’ll find life is so much happier!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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