What chemicals are released in the brain in response to happiness?

Chemicals released in the brain in response to happiness include endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Medicine has created drugs to target these receptors in the brain. However, there are natural ways to activate these parts of the brain. Dopamine targets the reward center and embracing and moving towards a new goal will stimulate these receptors. Building up a sweat through exercise releases endorphins. Having confidence in yourself or feeling like others do in you can increase your serotonin levels. Lastly, levels of oxytocin bump up with trust and love.
Ronald Siegel
Researchers found that the neurotransmitter dopamine activates the reward system and is associated with positive emotions, exuberance, and desire. On the downside, the dopamine reward system may also be associated with addictions, in which people develop uncontrollable urges to repeatedly engage in pleasurable but harmful behaviors, such as taking drugs, gambling excessively, or compulsively viewing pornography.

Another group of chemicals, the internally produced opiate-like chemicals called endorphins, is also associated with pleasurable feelings, such as those created by eating chocolate or a runner's high. Endorphins released in the brain also increase the release of dopamine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.