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From light and windy inspiration to irrepressible euphoria. Joy is a basic emotion that every person on Earth can experience.

A joyful cocktail is made up of the “three” main hormones and neurotransmitters – DOPAMINE, SEROTONIN, OXYTOCIN. Let us consider separately the state of euphoria caused by ENDORPHINS.

Somehow you woke up in the morning from the touch of gentle sun glare on your face. Calm warmth spread throughout the body and you felt an emotional uplift. When exposed to bright light, melatonin levels decrease and serotonin levels rise. You feel a surge of joy and you want to jump out of bed to start your morning rituals that bring you pleasure – our motivator, dopamine, already succeeds.

 It encourages us to take actions that once were fun in our memory, as well as to try something new. In a good mood, you wrote a message to a close friend. When the friend responded, you felt a surge of love and trust, which was activated by the surge of oxytocin. So, your emotional background has risen due to biologically active substances, which we will consider in a little more detail.

Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter often referred to as the hormone of happiness. Serotonin works to reduce susceptibility to negative emotions. If serotonin is normal, a person feels joy and, in general, a good mood; low levels lead to anxiety and insomnia, and too high amounts of free hormone will provoke unhealthy emotional arousal. 

Serotonin “happiness” comes with a pleasant feeling of warmth in the chest. The mood rises, and at the physiological level, this leads to a decrease in the pain background, the anti-inflammatory properties of the body increase, and the peristalsis of the stomach and intestines is activated. The transmission of signals between neurons in the brain is accelerated – thoughts become clearer and more productive.


If too much serotonin is released into the bloodstream, a phenomenon called serotonin syndrome may occur:

– trembling in the body;

– dilated pupils;

– fever, chills;

-“goose” pimples;


-high blood pressure;

– muscle spasms;

– blurred consciousness

It is also interesting that the amount of a repeated piece of amino acids in the gene that transports serotonin determines a person’s ability to maintain a good mood and the speed of switching it from negativity.

Dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for a motivational goal that reinforces pleasure in action. It’s like asking for a supplement if it was tasty and pleasant. 

How does the body feel when dopamine is released?

+ heart rate increases – not much, but noticeably;

+ since the peristalsis of the stomach and intestines is inhibited – you can feel how the stomach “stirs up”;

+ blood pressure rises

If you feel child’s joy, this is probably a consequence of the release of dopamine. Another function of dopamine is a passion for novelty, a constant search for fresh feelings. Interestingly, the gene encoding one of the 5 dopamine receptors is responsible for the search for novelty. The length of this gene determines how difficult or simply a person can achieve peak states of pleasure – the buzz from simple things or sophistication in objects and actions. 

A wave of dopamine overtakes after eating delicious food, high-quality sex, as well as from the individual characteristics and taste of a person – a successfully completed business, a written code or text, a learned verse, observing the joy of another person.

Dopamine rewards us with pleasure for the work done, makes the brain understand what needs to be remembered in order to enjoy it, and motivates us to take steps to this again and again. 

Oxytocin is another hormone found in the cocktail of joy, which gives this state a note of caring and affection. Yes, oxytocin gives us a sense of trust and comfort in the world. As soon as you felt a wave of trusting gaze or you yourself began to feel a warm feeling for a person, you experienced a surge of oxytocin.

When you feel like belonging to a group of people, feel safe and comfortable with being in this circle of friends – thank oxytocin.

This hormone is intensely released from pleasant contact with loved ones, touch, hugs, massage and sex. 

As mentioned, consider a state of euphoria that differs in strength from simple joy. Euphoria is a state of intense excitement and delight. This is a strong and acute outburst of mood that fills the person completely, often with a loss of control and composure. Short-lived episodes of euphoria are good for their cheerfulness, a tendency to respond positively to situations, a sense of carelessness. If the state of euphoria is unreasonable and drags on for a long time, you should consult a doctor.

The ENDORPHINS are responsible for euphoria.

Endorphins are our internal morphines that reduce pain and give a feeling of lightness and forgetfulness. About endorphins, you can say: “Not from a good life.” Why is that? They were evolved to respond quickly to physical pain. For example, when injured, the person may not be aware of the pain, which can help him hide from further danger or find help. Endorphins accelerate wound healing, increase stress resistance and reduce appetite. 

Endorphins are also released during moderate exercise, stretching, dancing, listening to music, and experiencing positive experiences.

The rush of endorphins is felt as euphoric, lack of discomfort and painful feelings in the body, inspiration and delight. They say about such a state: “The head is spinning with happiness!”

Research shows that endorphins are an important constituent in the mechanism of removing negative emotions and pain that have occurred in the past. If there is a lack of endorphins, it can be difficult for a person to forget the bitter experience and move on. 

Other hormones also take part in the states of JOY:

PHENYLETHYLAMINE, adding a touch of love, VAZOPRESSIN – affection. 

We hope that this excursion into the chemistry of JOY, you enjoyed and benefited from understanding how chemicals affect mental processes.