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The body chemisty that drives happiness and success in your business, workplace, and studies


By Titus Kinoti

Happiness in human beings activates several areas of the brain including the right frontal cortex, the precuneus, the left amygdala, and the left insula. This activity involves connections between the awareness (frontal cortex and insula) and the ‘’feeling center’’ (amygdala) of the brain. When you feel happy, you generally have positive thoughts and feelings. The cortex and the precureus parts play a big role in making you happy. Angry feelings activate the amygdala part which is associated with emotions, fear, anxiety, and anger. Research studies have shown that increases in dopamine in the striatum can motivate people and rodents to perform harder physical tasks.

Cultivating positive relationships and mindset is the key secret to happiness. You cannot control your environment (people) but you can take actions to trigger the right hormones and manage the situation in your favor. Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphin hormones in your brain are known as the “feel-happy hormones”. These can also be called your “success hormones” because apart from a happy mood, they offer you optimism, and vigor, connect with others, and thus elevate your drive, leadership, and confidence at work.


The higher the levels in your body, the higher your alertness, assertiveness, focus, creativity, long-term memory, and concentration. Dopamine is the motivation chemical that drives you to seek rewards in achieving goals and enables you to take the effort it requires to be successful. Dopamine is your goal achievement dose.

Break down your targets into weekly targets for regular dopamine ‘’injections’’ when you achieve them. If you celebrate with your team or friends, you collect an emotional reward. Each reward increases your dopamine level. It’s like redeeming free airtime bundles for more talking. It’s like earning bonga points when you successfully reach a given talk-time by Safaricom company.

Dopamine deficiency leads to procrastination, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, low energy and fatigue, inability to focus, feeling anxious, feeling hopeless, and mood swings.

Oxytocin, if triggered increases loyalty, trust, empathy, and generosity at your workplace while reducing stress levels and boosting security and happiness. This molecule is increased by playing with a pet like a dog, playing with a baby, holding hands, hugging your family, giving compliments, having dinner with a family, dancing, and giving a gift.

Deficiency symptoms include; feeling lonely, stressed, lacking motivation, low energy and fatigue, poor relationships, anxiety and insomnia,

Serotonin boosts willpower, self-esteem, confidence, and satisfaction. It helps manage stress. This is the main regulator of your moods. When it’s low, you have depression and when high you have good moods. It helps leaders handle people to win them. You can increase this chemical in your body by meditating, running, sun exposure, swimming, relaxing massage, cycling, spending out in nature, achieving a goal, and getting a cold shower.

Endorphin hormone elevates your mood and reduces emotional stress. Increasing endorphins mostly involves fun activities like watching a comedy, laughing, and listening to music through earphones at the workplace. It helps push further and harder for the distance goals as explained in my book, page 227 (FROM FEEBLE TO ABLE MEMOIRS). With this hormone, you stay determined and happy.

However, lack of it results in the following behavior; overly sensitive, low self-esteem, panic attacks, mood swings, social phobia, obsession, insomnia.


A recent study has proven that dopamine actually controls learning retention (good memory and concentration) and is critical for learners to be successful in their studies. It is therefore a secret weapon for learning success. Dopamine is a powerful thing and finding ways to stimulate that sweet feeling of reward during collaborative learning is your best and competitive way to generate motivation and engagement. Encouragement, positive feedback, and recognition generate positive responses for the learners to get hormonal incentive rewards.

Motivation is a word derived from the word ‘’motive’’ meaning the intention or desire or the drive within an individual. It’s the process of stimulating an action from within a person in order to accomplish a certain goal. The ‘’happiness hormones’’ dictate your moods, level of activity, focus, self-confidence, trust, and desire to keep going on and on, until you achieve the desired results. Our ability to work hard is fueled by endorphins while dopamine incentivizes goal setting, focus, and progress. Finally, you achieve your objectives and goals resulting in feelings of joy and happiness.

You should always be in the control panel to dictate your destination to happiness now that you have access to the toolbox. Happiness is your choice. The bottom line of becoming happy is up to you.

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive good things and good people will be drawn to you (Mary Retton quote).

Titus Kinoti (Author of books and articles)

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