The Biology of Joy



Our feelings of joy have many facets: compassion, love, happiness, laughter, contentment. These positive feelings are a message from the limbic area of the brain, telling us that things are going well. Current research is exploring how the hormones and neurotransmitters connected with our joyful feelings—especially dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin--may influence our longevity and quality of life. Joyful people have been found, in some studies, to have less pain, better cardiovascular health, and better memory.


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