Are you low on serotonin? As you may already know, serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that sends messages from one area of your brain to another.
Studies suggest it plays a role in a wide range of psychological and psychological functions, ranging from mood to sleep quality, learning ability, libido, appetite, and even memory.
Most people are aware that serotonin can be linked to depression, but what you might not realize is that you can influence serotonin levels without taking anti-depressant drugs.
And while you may be better off taking such medication, it’s exciting to know that you can boost the production of this neurotransmitter in natural and powerful ways.
Increased levels of serotonin will not only make you feel so much happier but will help you attract better things into your life. Because, as we know, “like attracts like”.
Here are the top 9 natural serotonin boosters we suggest you try today!
When you’re exposed to sunlight (and even just daylight on a cloudy or cold day), your brain starts to produce more serotonin in response. So, make a habit of going for a walk for 10-20 minutes each day. You may also find that this time gives you a great opportunity to reflect and plan for the day ahead.
People with low serotonin often report intense cravings for sugar. This may be your body’s way of signaling that you need more of this crucial neurotransmitter
This is because sugar produces insulin, which then provides some of the building blocks required for serotonin.
Comfort eating may also come into play. When you are feeling down, indulging in sugary treats can be an easy way to temporarily feel better.
However, this isn’t a good way to stabilize your body. High levels of sugar can increase your risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease and spark a crash in mood further down the line.
All B vitamins help to support good mental and physical health, but vitamins B6 and B12 are particularly famous for improving mood thanks to their ability to boost the amount of serotonin in your brain.
For example, one recently published study showed that older adults with depression typically improved after just a few weeks of supplementing their diets with B-vitamins.
A daily dose of 50-100mg is recommended.
It isn’t just your treatment of your body that can increase serotonin levels in your brain; psychologists have discovered that deliberately establishing and maintaining a positive outlook leads to large gains in serotonin.
For example, keeping a gratitude journal, spending time with good friends, and listening to soothing music can all help to regulate your neurotransmitters and assist in alleviating depression.
Some other ways of working on positivity include:
The protein content of foods like eggs, cheese, and lean meats can dramatically boost the levels of tryptophan in your blood, thereby leaving you with more serotonin.
Remember to eat the yolks and not just the egg whites, however, as yolks are also rich in tryptophan and potentially cancer-fighting antioxidants.
All nuts and seeds are a source of tryptophan, which is an amino acid needed to synthesize serotonin. This means you choose your favorites as a snack and reap the associated benefits!
This not only applies to mood but also to your heart, respiratory system, and cell production. A handful of nuts also gives you a nice dose of fiber, keeping your digestive system in good working order.
While everyone knows that a massage feels great on tired muscles, fewer are aware that this form of healing touch has a direct impact on serotonin levels.
This benefit comes from the fact that massages reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that blocks your brain from producing the right amount of serotonin. In fact, research suggests as much as a 31% reduction in cortisol, leading to a much better mood.
As well as going for walks to elevate the amount of sun exposure you get per week, do your best to engage in regular cardiovascular exercise. The endorphins produced by a thorough workout immediately make you feel in better spirits, partly due to changes in serotonin levels.
Plus, people who exercise frequently appear to have stronger immune systems, so you’ll be helping your body fight disease as well.
Finally, it’s worth noting that regular meditation practice is a wonderful way to keep your serotonin at the right level. At this stage, there are dozens of credible studies proving the connection between meditation and psychological health, so you have multiple reasons to stick to this habit.
Also, if you haven’t tried transcendental meditation (TM), now might be a good time to start! It has a particularly potent stimulating influence on happiness. It elevates levels of 5-HIAA (which are necessary for the production of serotonin).
Like massage, meditation also cuts levels of cortisol and leaves you feeling much calmer.
Meditation also is a great form of self-care.
Taking time to just concentrate on yourself can help with low mood, anxiety, and a range of mental health issues.