All thanks to our chaotic and stressful lifestyle, many have turned to antidepressants to boost their serotonin levels. Serotonin is basically a happy hormone that exerts a powerful influence over mood, emotions, memory, cravings (especially for carbohydrates), pain sensation, sleep habits, appetite, digestion, and body temperature regulation. Serotonin levels, let’s face it are often reduced in people who are not exposed to sunlight for months. It is also closely linked to the availability of vitamin B6 and the amino acid tryptophan. If our diet lacks sufficient vitamins, we run a greater risk of serotonin deficiency. Now before you resort to antidepressants, here are some of the natural ways to boost serotonin levels.
Regular exercise can have an antidepressant effect. 30-minutes of workout or exercise is sufficient to boost serotonin levels in individuals. Go for the gym, swimming, light hiking, Zumba, aerobics, running, cycling, cardio anything that can help regulate serotonin levels. Serotonin via exercise can lower hostility and symptoms of depression. It also encourages agreeableness.
2. Get Serotonin Rich Food:
Feed yourself Serotonin rich foods. Though you can’t directly get serotonin from food, you can get tryptophan, an amino acid that’s converted to serotonin in your brain Since our gut produces almost 90 percent of the serotonin in our bodies, we need to feed it the right things to prevent a chemical imbalance, which will affect depression and anxiety levels. Have foods that include pineapples, eggs, fish, tofu, cheese, spinach, salmon, nuts and seeds.
Did you notice you feel real mood dips during the winter(winter blues anyone?). Yes natural Vitamin D e.g. sunshine is extremely important to improve those mood dips. Light therapy is a common remedy for seasonal depression. studies show a clear relationship between being exposed to bright light and serotonin levels. To get better sleep, or to boost your mood, try to work in a daily lunchtime walk outside in the sun for around 20 minutes.
Gratitude is directly proportional to happiness. Scientific research has shown gratitude affects the brain’s reward system. It correlates with the release of dopamine and serotonin. Gratitude has been directly linked to increased happiness. Secondly, happy memories can increase dopamine or serotonin levels like nothing else. People reliving sad memories produced less serotonin in that region. People dwelling on happy memories produced more serotonin.
5. Taking Supplements:
Supplements are a gentler solution than medication since they’re unlikely to have adverse side effects. You can take one specifically designed to boost serotonin, reduce anxiety and stress. Supplements rich in vitamin D helps in improving mood swings and reducing depression.
The bottom line is that there are a ton of benefits to elevating your mood, from increased health to clearer thinking. And fortunately, there are lots of simple things you can do to get that boost quickly. However, don’t hesitate to reach out for help if these tips aren’t cutting it.