The Jar Essentials: Happy Hormones vs. Stress Hormones
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Hormones are widely misunderstood. Need proof? Try calling a woman hormonal and there is a very high chance this will lead to further somehow tense arguments. It’s either name-calling or some mystical word to describe male masculinity. That’s how far the misconception goes.
Both men and women, and the whole of the living world in general are basically slaves to the chemicals released by our endocrine glands - hormones. Each part of our body from brain to skin takes directions from the endocrine system - the control centre. Hormones act as the messengers between this control centre and the rest of the organs, affecting basically everything from growth and development, metabolism, reproduction and mood. And are not limited to male sexual function or women’s mood swings.
Why is this important? Because our well-being is highly dependant on this balance. When we experience different emotions from happiness, stress or midnight cravings - it means our brain triggered the release of certain hormones. Today The Jar Healthy Vending team declassifies those responsible for our different moods and emotional conditions.
There are four primary hormones which promote positive feelings, including happiness and pleasure.
Dopamine - an important part of the brain’s reward system. Released when we receive what we want, eat food we crave or when we have sex, contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as part of the reward system.
Serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, appetite, sleep and memory.
Oxytocin - the "love hormone". Responsible for promoting trust, empathy and bonding in relationships. Released after physical affection like kissing and cuddling.
Endorphins - natural pain reliever. Released in response to stress and discomfort, also when engaging in reward-producing activities.
How to boost:
Spend some time outdoors. The exposure to sunlight can increase the production of serotonin and endorphins.
Exercise. The most common link is between exercise and endorphin release, however, regular physical activity can also improve serotonin levels.
Laugh. Social laughter triggers endorphin release, and also, bonding over something hilarious with a loved one can affect oxytocin release. And those love hormones are no joke.
Good meal. Our favourite part. Of course, there are certain foods that improve hormone levels. Because our gut is so closely connected with the brain, probiotics are the most effective in serotonin and dopamine release. Nuts and seed might also help increase serotonin levels. Slightly spicy foods can trigger endorphin release.
What we can guarantee, The Jar Healthy Vending products will surely positively affect your hormone levels, because all as one are delicious. And delicious means dopamine.
Familiar with that feeling of anxiety, tense muscles, sweating and tachy chest? Welcome to the world of stress hormones.
Adrenaline - the fight hormone, released in stressful situations. Responsible for immediate reactions we feel when stressed.
Cortisol - the primary "stress hormone" and common public enemy. Released in response to fear and stress.
You might feel like these hormones do nothing but disrupt the peaceful life, and, frankly, are mostly useless. You do need to reflect on your body's response to stress but there is no need to strive to get rid of those hormones completely. Here's why.
The effect of cortisol and adrenaline is to increase the mobilisation of energy sources and adapt the individual to its new circumstance. What happens is you become more responsive, aware and awake. Use it for your own good next time you encounter a stressful situation and mobilise your energy with the help of stress hormones.
The only problem is cortisol, it’s released continuously and may lead to it's chronically elevated levels and serious issues. It suppresses the immune system, increases blood pressure and decreases libido.
How to reduce:
Sauna. Unexpectedly, one of the most notable benefits of sauna for endocrine system health is the reduction of cortisol.
Right amount of sleep. Good bedtime routine results in better- quality sleep. Read our bedtime routine article to learn how to manage your evenings better.
Exercise. Do not bring your gym workouts to the extreme if your primary goal is to feel better.
Learn to recognise stressful thinking. Or in simple words, do not overthink - stay calm.
Once again - healthy food. Sugar intake is of the classic triggers for cortisol release. However, small amounts of healthy sugar are noticed to have positive effects.
What The Jar Healthy Vending can offer for one of those stressful office days:
Dark chocolate - the favourite treat, try our Frubis Strawberry Dark Chocolate for even better effect.
Tea - A lot of the good stuff, but few calories - that's ChariTea’s green tea mantra. Try Green and Black Tea to balance the cortisol release.
Probiotics - healthy gut means happy mood. Our Kombucha is to the rescue!