Interesting Facts

The Chemistry of Feelings and Emotions: How Hormones Affect Mood

Some people tend to think that the gift to feel and experience emotions is given to us by nature. In fact, the "mechanism" of feelings and emotions is so deep and complex that not everyone will be able to figure out what causes stress and depression, good mood, energy boost or exhaustion. In all these processes, chemistry plays the first violin – chemical processes in our brain trigger the hormonal system, so let's answer the question of how hormones & nbsp; affect mood. It cannot be said that only one hormone is aimed at the formation of one or another feeling in a person, only the close interaction of all processes and elements can bring about an emotional uplift.

How hormones affect mood

Three organs of the brain are closely interconnected and function for the synthesis of hormones, control of certain processes. These are the pineal gland, hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which are classified as secretion glands of the endocrine system. Some hormones are also produced by the adrenal glands. Consider the functions of hormones: serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, as well as hormones that cause opposite emotions, adrenaline and norepinephrine. How do hormones affect mood? Very simple – set in motion chemical processes aimed at the emotional sphere.

In order to always be in a good mood, it is worth increasing the level of serotonin

The substance serotonin is a neurotransmitter that transmits chemical impulses from nerve cells to the brain. In addition to the brain, Serotonin is secreted by the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal tract), so when we eat a lot of chocolate, our mood can improve. Not only feelings and emotions fall into the field of influence of serotonin, but also cognitive activity, creative thinking increases, serotonin leads to muscle tone and effectively affects the motor system. When serotonin begins to be produced in the body, it seems that strength has increased and a person can do anything, even move mountains. A good mood begins to be felt with the activity of serotonin in the cerebral cortex, and if there are other hormones involved in the formation of sensuality, sensations can reach their climax – euphoria and pleasure. Serotonin deficiency leads to depression, fatigue, tension and despondency. Serotonin can control the level of susceptibility of brain hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine to receptors in the brain. Thus, serotonin can increase self-control, emotional stability. But, serotonin itself cannot be released in the body, it is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan and glucose.


Serotonin blocks appetite, causes a subjective feeling of satiety. How hormones affect mood and how it happens: when we eat carbohydrate foods (bananas, chocolate, sugar, even bread) containing tryptophan and glucose, the production of the hormone serotonin is accelerated, and this helps to improve mood and overall body tone. Brain activity, in turn, gets used to getting a lot of material for the production of serotonin, and when there is a shortage and depression begins, it requires a person to replenish the reserves again. This requirement is called the sweet tooth syndrome.  No wonder they say: the fuller, the kinder. Everything is extremely simple, the matter is in the work of the hormone serotonin.

Light or shadow – melatonin

The opposite of serotonin – Melatonin is produced by the thyroid gland and synthesized from serotonin. Melatonin is produced in the dark. If the sun is bright and bright, the production of this hormone is difficult. 70% of melatonin per day is produced at night. The biological clock in the human body is triggered by melatonin. It gets dark quickly in winter, the body often plunges into darkness, so melatonin is produced more, and it inhibits the work of serotonin, which causes seasonal stress and depression. Watch your body: when the sun shines brightly in winter, you immediately feel a good mood and an increase in physical strength – less melatonin is produced, a larger proportion falls on serotonin.

The feeling of pleasure depends on dopamine

Dopamine belongs to the phenethylamine group and is a neurotransmitter and hormone. Through other substances, it affects cardiac activity, the motor apparatus, and can even cause a gag reflex. As a hormone, dopamine is produced by the adrenal glands, and as a neurotransmitter – in the midbrain. There are four pathways along which dopamine moves, they are called dopamine pathways. The mesolimbic pathway produces a feeling of contentment. During eating and sexual intercourse, dopamine levels are highest. Dopamine is produced even when we anticipate pleasure, waiting for the time to eat or have sex. It is believed that it is dopamine that helps a person make a decision, make a choice: a high level of dopamine allows you to make a decision quickly, but if there is a violation of dopamine transport, then it is difficult for people to make a choice, they hesitate and cannot decide. This dependence is explained by the control of dopamine by the feeling of a future reward after a decision is made, which is in the subconscious.

Rage or fear: is it adrenaline and norepinephrine

The hormone adrenaline and norepinephrine are produced in the adrenal glands and determine the feeling of fear or rage, anger. Adrenaline is activated during stress, it is aimed at triggering the self-preservation and self-defense reflex. Adrenaline – it is a hormone directly involved in the promotion of nerve impulses. When the blood is saturated with these hormones, a wave of changes occurs in the body:

  • heartbeat quickens;
  • the vessels in the abdominal cavity, muscles and mucous membranes narrow;
  • pupils dilate.

Adrenaline is aimed at adapting the body to stress so that it can respond to an unforeseen situation in time. Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Activated with fear, anxiety, trauma. Norepinephrine increases blood pressure and directly constricts blood vessels in the body. It is norepinephrine that is considered a hormone that produces a feeling of rage, can cause anger, a feeling of permissiveness.

  • Comments (1)

    Татьяна Новицкая#2117
    25 декабря 2017, 16:25

    мелатонин вырабатывается не щитовидной железой

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