In spite of all complains about terrible transport system, poor infrastructure, messy working style, electricity shortages and slow internet, almost all of our volunteers say that in Brazil they feel happier. The reason is simple – not the material things make us happier but the chemical processes in our body. Four substances in our brain are responsible for producing “felicidade” which means “happiness” in Portuguese. And here we have all good conditions for them to be produced “a vontade” – as much as you want.
Endorphines. Endorfines are produced in response to pain. However their production can be triggered by sport activities as well. 30 min of running on the treadmill will lead to decrease of depression. Here you don’t even need a gym – there is a beautiful beach in front of the house with vast line of sand which makes running even more enjoyable. If you are not fun of running just take a bath in the sea – the pleasant feeling of contact of the skin and warm water will activate the production of endorphin as well. Imagine the effect of combining those two – sport activity and taking the bath in the sea? Not surprisingly surfers are known to be the happiest people in the world. There are also possibilities of other water sports on our beach – stand-up paddle, body boarding, kayaking and just jumping in the water from the boat!
Serotonin. Probably the most famous chemical of happiness – most of antidepressants are dealing with it. The best way to increase its level is the sunlight. We have summer the whole year round here, just don´t forget use the sunscreen.
Dopamin. Sometimes it is called chemical of recompense. When the goal is achieved or the difficult task is completed, the good dose of dopamine is produced – the sense of work done. You also can feel it by taking care of others. Volunteering as well as good thoughts and intentions increase the level of dopamine.
Oxytocin. Mothers know it very well – it is produced by childbirth and breast feeding. It is associated as well with warm hugs. If you want to increase its level, go and hug somebody – even the cat. Brazilians love to hug and kiss people. Even if your culture is reserved you will get to used quickly to these gestures, in the end it indeed makes people happier.
These are the main hormones which help to produce the feeling of happiness. There are more of them and more chemical reactions are going on in the body. One of the good way to receive the hormonal balance is yoga practice. Different postures stimulate organs responsible for hormone development and distribution. We have yoga hall just in our house. Everyday yoga practices complete the natural hormone therapy and make all sadness, depression and bad feelings go away.