Happiness can be difficult to quantify. Luckily, science has our back! Anyone who has experienced the utter bliss of a decadent slice of cake, a brisk mountain hike, or patting a four-legged friend on the head understands just how important happiness can be to our health.
When we talk about happiness, we often talk about hormones. What are these good hormones, and more importantly, how do we get them?
Often referred to as the “happiness hormones,” these moments of sheer delight come from magic neurotransmitters called dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin. These hormones are triggered by specific activities and offer a unique benefit to our happiness. And the best part? These happiness triggers can include wine!
The Happiness Hormones
Let’s explore the basics:
Dopamine is best known as the “happy hormone” that satisfies our brain’s natural reward system. Influencing our means of motivation, dopamine sparks pleasurable sensations and can increase learning, memory, and more.
Serotonin is our body’s "feel-good hormone" and plays a vital role in stabilizing our feelings, happiness, and mood. This hormone is particularly helpful in overcoming anxiety and depression.
Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone" and rightfully so. Commonly affiliated with mother-infant bonding, oxytocin is the hormone responsible for feelings of love, empathy, and trust - basically all things warm and fuzzy.
Endorphins provide that post-workout euphoria we call the "runner's high." These hormones act as a natural pain reliever and reduce emotional stress, giving us even more reason to stay active!
How Do We Get Happiness Hormones?
Certain behaviors produce each of these hormones and, lucky for us, many of these can be achieved while drinking a glass of wine. We know that wine tastings stimulate our brains more than a complex algebra equation. Turns out, wine can actually play a role in our happiness as well. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of wine-related activities that will boost these happiness hormones and keep you smiling.
- Pair wine with your favorite food
- Develop your wine knowledge
- Take a wine education quiz
- Celebrate your learning milestones
- Enjoy wine during a sunny picnic
- Make self-care time with wine
- Practice mindful palate sensory
- Connect with others on wine
- Unwin(e)d from the busy day
- Host wine tastings with friends
- Go for a stroll with wine glass in tow
- Sip wine during a funny movie
- Imbibe at home while cuddling your pet
- Taste wines & write notes on them
- Teach loved ones about wine
- Say yes to that romantic wine date
In Vino Finito
No matter your stage of life, we’re all on the pursuit of happiness. Luckily enough, wine can come along for the ride. Cheers to our mental health!