The Game of Hormones in Goal Setting4 min read

Did you know that our actions have a direct impact on our physical and mental wellness? This happens as every emotion results in our brain producing certain hormones and these hormones are responsible for our moods, temperament, and overall physical and emotional well being. Today, I want to simply talk about four hormones that are the answer to questions like ‘How to increase productivity?’ or ‘How to improve memory?’ or ‘How to improve memory retention?’ or ‘How to enhance your mood and energize yourself?

These are the famous-four happy hormones:

  • • Serotonin
  • • Oxytocin
  • • Dopamine
  • • Endorphins

Let’s begin with Serotonin – the feel good hormone. It helps positively regulate our mood, our digestion and our sleep pattern. Did you know  your gut bacteria is involved in the production of this hormone? Serotonin along with Melatonin controls the circadian rhythm of your body. By that I mean, the 24 hour internal clock responsible for sleep. So Serotonin helps regulate your mood naturally. When your serotonin levels are at a normal level, you should feel more focused, emotionally stable, happier, and calmer. This obviously impacts your performance at work and in general. It’s a chain reaction. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other, enabling you to be more present, creative and focused at work.  When you tie it with goal setting,  sky’s the limit in what you set to achieve. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. However, if the brain has too little serotonin, it may lead to depression.

The second one is the hormone called oxytocin – the hormone that promotes bonding and trust. It’s also referred to as the cuddle hormone because a simple hug to your loved one helps your brain produce oxytocin. That is why if you want to share your happiness or if you wish to express sympathy, a good hug actually helps.  If you are feeling a bit low, the same hug helps lift you up.  The best example that comes to my mind is the bond between a mother and a newborn child and how a hug automatically induces trust. Essentially, this hormone brings about a healing effect, easing pain and improving the immune system. As a result, it promotes mental well being to a great extent. It goes without saying that when your mental health is well taken care of, you are better equipped at anticipating and dealing with a changing environment. And as we all know, change is the only constant. In our personal and professional lives, dealing with change can be cumbersome, but if you are mentally fit, you can easily handle any challenge thrown at you.

Next is the hormone called dopamine – the third in the series of happy hormones and one that loves to work with a  reward system. Hence, any kind of achievement – big or small – is translated into the creation of dopamine in your body.

So when you are pursuing a goal, start with baby steps and look for small wins. As the happy hormone dopamine kicks in, your body starts craving for more, and the brain motivates you and supports you in doing better for further wins. However, the downside of dopamine is that it is addictive. For instance we’re all addicted to our mobile phones, to social media. You post your picture on Instagram or Facebook and as soon as you get likes and appreciative comments it kicks off the dopamine in your system eventually wanting more and more. This is an addiction that must be maneuvered well, else it can prove to be detrimental in more ways than one.

Also dopamine is said to enhance productivity. Use these tips to boost the level of dopamine in your body and you’ll see how effectively you can achieve your goals.

Finally, we come to Endorphins. When you exercise, cardio activities like walking, running, dancing, swimming release endorphins into your system. These are known to give you the high you feel after a good workout session and also known to block physical pain. It basically keeps you in a happy space. Being physically active thus has a boosting effect on your moods, to help you maintain positivity, which inturn can help in reducing anxiety and depression. So exercise and physical activities promote great mental well-being. You will always notice that before your workout laziness may creep in, but once you push yourself to do it, you feel elated and energetic afterward. It gives you a positive feeling and being in a positive state of mind goes a long way in supporting you to meet your goals, to dealing with change and the stress that come with the challenges of life. I strongly believe that the area of your focus brings you results in exactly that direction, be it the positive or the negative aspects of life.

If you still feel downhearted and overwhelmed with the never ending challenges that come with being a professional in a working environment that is constantly changing, visit my blog for valuable reads on how to promote wellness in the workplace, dealing with change in the workplace, anticipating and dealing with a changing environment and ultimately creating a fulfilling professional journey.

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