Zoe Wellness Centers of America

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Getting your daily D.O.S.E.

Getting your daily D.O.S.E.

Dopamine: The Reward Chemical

Handles motivation, learning and pleasure

Oxytocin: The Love Hormone

Creates feelings of love, trust and bonding

Serotonin: The Mood Stabilizer

Balances mood, self esteem, importance and happiness

Endorphins: The Pain Killer

Relieves pain and stress


These neurotransmitters are known as the brain’s Happy Chemicals. They each play an individual and equally important role in our lives. And the good news is, you can release them naturally with ease. They’re natural chemicals, with natural sources! So it is important to learn the healthiest ways to release them. It’s easier once you learn how your mind works.

Dopamine: There’s no feeling of satisfaction quite like a job well done, when you’ve seen your hard work pay off! Often referred to as the Reward Chemical, Dopamine is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation! It’s released in response to doing something good our mindy/body deems as good or pleasurable. After a release, your brain takes note of every environment cue: where, when, why, hoe and what caused you to feel this pleasure? We’re filled with motivation, driving us to keep going and do it again!

Healthy levels of Dopamine contribute to →

  • Motivation
  • Focus / concentration
  • Learning
  • Appetite
  • Forming habits
  • Pleasure and happiness
  • Altertness
  • Coordination and movement
  • Interests, curiosity and desire

Low Dopamine could be the reason for your bad mood! You may also experience: 

  • Sadness or apathy
  • Poor memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Exhaustion and low energy
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Loss of interest in passions
  • Less motivation and enthusiasm
  • Easy weight gain 

Oxytocin: You know that warm feeling of comfort you get when you make a new friend, play with your puppy or kiss your partner for the first time? That’s Oxytocin: The Love Drug or Cuddle Chemical! This neurotransmitter has learned its many names for its release when we form bonds with our family, friends, romantic partners or even pets! Similar to all neurotransmitters, this chemical plays several roles in our lives: physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and romantically. Oxytocin is necessary! 

Oxytocin plays a physical role with: 

  • Childbirth
  • Facial recognition 
  • Triggering protective instincts
  • Breastfeeding 
  • Boosting arousal 
  • Reducing drug cravings
  • Appetite 
  • Sleep 

Oxytocin also helps to: 

  • Strengthen friend groups
  • Solidify relationships
  • Make friends
  • Create emotional memories
  • Improve social skills
  • Foster generosity
  • Generate trust
  • Feel extroverted

Serotonin: It’s time to meet the neurotransmitter most sensitive to diet. The one responsible for your moods, well being, self esteem and happiness. Although its functions are carried out within the brain, 90% of the body’s serotonin supply is located within the gut! This Happy Chemical is converted from an amino acid known as Tryptophan, which our body cannot produce on its own. It comes from foods such as dairy, chickpeas and turkey. So of course… proper diet is the best way to ensure that you have an appropriate intake of Trytophan!  

Serotonin, the Mood Stabilizer, helps your body to: 

  • Heal wounds
  • Reduce depression
  • Manage anxiety 
  • Promote sleep
  • Balance libido 
  • Control appetite
  • Support learning 
  • Regulate emotions 

When absent, low serotonin results in:  

  • Low self esteem
  • Social withdrawal
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep issues and fatigue 
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and digestive issues 
  • Brain fog and poor memory

Some causes of serotonin deficiencies:  

  • Lack of sunlight exposure 
  • Prolonged drug / medication use
  • Chronic stress
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Age related health 
  • Poor diet**

Endorphin: Think of that amazing, euphoric feeling you get after finishing an intense workout. The Runner’s High is the body’s release of endorphins. This is your body’s natural chemical response to pain and stress. It’s also helpful in alleviating anxiety and depression. There are plenty of natural, healthy and easily accessible sources for endorphins that you can find in your everyday life!  

Alternatively, the lack of endorphins result in: 

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Pleasure food cravings
  • High emotional sensitivity
  • Mood swings
  • Aches and pains
  • Chronic headaches
  • Low pain tolerance
  • Impulsive behavior 

Some causes of endorphin deficiencies: 

  • Imbalance gut health
  • Constant stress
  • Poor sleeping schedule
  • Trauma
  • Overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol
  • Chronic stress and fatigue

Ready to make this your year of transformation? ZOE Wellness Center offers the ultimate accountability partner – a one-on-one coach committed to guiding you towards your weight loss goals. Take the first step and call us today!

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Sydney Davis

Sydney Davis

Editor-in-Chief | IIN Certified Health Coach


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