Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and enhances your ability to get quality sleep. Improving serotonin levels is important for fighting depression and living a happy life. Read on to learn different ways to boost your serotonin levels and start feeling better.
We all know how rewarding it feels after our workout is complete. Exercise releases dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, making you feel good. Group workouts can be even more effective because it can increase your pain tolerance, push you to work harder and activate even more neurotransmitters.
Getting sunlight is a natural way of getting vitamin D and these are known to increase serotonin levels. Research suggests light therapy can help ease depression and this phototherapy is often used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
3. Healthy Eating
We all know eating healthy is one of the best things we can do for our body. Particularly, eating foods containing the amino acid, tryptophan, can boost your serotonin levels quickly. Beneficial foods to consider include spinach, green beans, tomatoes, pineapple, bananas, papaya, strawberries, avocados, oats, nuts, and seeds.
When your body isn’t getting enough nutrients, consider taking supplements. Amino acid, 5-HTP, plays a vital role in boosting serotonin. L-theanine is another amino acid which elevates neurotransmitters and can provide benefits like anxiety relief. Antidepressants raise Magnesium levels, a mineral affecting serotonin production. B-vitamins also produce mood enhancing chemicals, particularly B-6 and B-12. Even taking probiotics are linked to better moods and more energy.
5. Think Positively
Do you ever smile when you look back on fond memories? These happy thoughts, as well as thinking optimistically, can produce serotonin. If you ever feel down, do your best to start fostering positive thoughts for instant relief and a better mentality.
Meditation is known to reduce cortisol, a hormone that contributes to stress. Cortisol can block serotonin production, so finding ways to relieve stress can go a long way. Focusing on deep breathing can be very beneficial for these reasons.
7. Treat yourself
Indulging in less healthy foods can also make you feel good. Eating high-carb foods, junk food and sugary foods can set off neurotransmitters. Although this may bring an instant high, it inevitably causes a crash after, so it is more of a short-term solution. Do what you will with this information, just remember the importance of moderation.
Creative expression can be a process of healing. Allow yourself to explore your emotions and experiences through your favorite mediums. Making art can alleviate stress and depression. Plus, you’ll be left with a finished piece to be proud of.
Spending time with your loved ones, whether it’s friends, family, a lover, or your pet, can release oxytocin. Oxytocin helps release serotonin and may distract you from the chaos of life. Enjoy these moments and lean on these sources of love when you need to. Having genuine support reminds us that we don’t have to face adversity alone, and that even at our lowest points, we really are loved.