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The average American feels sad 3 days every month. Things like fighting with your spouse, the loss of a loved one, and problems at work can all attribute to feeling blue. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
Your brain naturally produces serotonin, otherwise known as the “happy chemical”, to help boost your mood. But some days, it may feel like your brain is taking a break from that serotonin production.
Luckily, there are ways you can boost serotonin levels to improve your mood in no time.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn 10 ways you can increase serotonin production naturally.
1. Eat Well
Although junk food may make you feel happy while you’re indulging in it, it can actually attribute to lower energy levels and decreased mood throughout the day.
Instead, focus on eating a well-balanced diet. Foods high in vitamin B12, magnesium, iron, omega-3 fats, and zinc, in particular, can help your brain produce more serotonin.
If you’re having a hard time getting all those necessary vitamins into your diet, consider taking supplements. Instead of taking specific supplements for the vitamins and minerals listed above, consider getting serotonin supplements such as tryptophan or 5-HTP. These are specially designed to target serotonin production, and you’ll only have to worry about taking one supplement a day.
2. Exercise Frequently
It’s no secret that exercise is vital to keep your body healthy. But did you know that it’s good for your brain too?
That’s right, your brain produces more serotonin when you’re breaking a sweat. So, not only will you feel happier, but you’ll also lower your risk of certain health conditions and sleep better.
If you want to reap the amazing benefits of exercise, like weight loss, consider finding a personal trainer through Fithaus. Of course, if you just want the serotonin boost, try jogging around the block or running up and down the stairs.
3. Crank the Tunes
Turning on some music is a great way to make your workouts more fun. But did you know that music can actually help increase serotonin production all on its own?
It provides rhythmic stimulation which can increase serotonin as well as endorphins and dopamine. It’s also a great way to relax, so you’ll feel better in no time.
4. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Stress, sadness, and lack of sleep often go hand-in-hand. You may toss and turn all night or stay up thinking about that huge fight you had with your spouse.
However, a lack of sleep can also inhibit your brain’s ability to produce serotonin. Try to get a solid 8 hours of sleep every night. To help you fall asleep faster, consider taking a melatonin supplement and don’t look at your phone right before bed as the blue light in the screen makes it harder to drift off.
Take a moment to remember your favorite vacation, a fun day you spent with your kids, your wedding day, or anything else that makes you happy. The simple act of thinking about happy memories actually triggers serotonin production in the brain.
If thinking about old memories can boost your mood, then it should come as no surprise that creating new ones can do the same. Whenever you laugh, you instantly feel better because the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) lowers while serotonin levels simultaneously rise.
Have lunch with your friends, spend some quality time with your spouse, or even watch a funny video online. Do whatever it takes to get you laughing.
7. Go Outside
Have you ever noticed that you’re sad more often in the winter? That’s because you spend less time outside during the colder months.
Your body absorbs vitamin D while outside, which can help increase serotonin levels. If you’ve been feeling down, consider eating lunch outside or going for a leisurely walk around the block.
Aim to spend at least 15 minutes per day outside. If you want to stay out for an extended period of time, don’t forget to apply sunscreen. After all, nothing can put you in a worse mood than a nasty sunburn!
8. Get a Massage
If you’ve ever gotten a massage before, you’ll know just how amazing you feel when it’s over. And it’s not just your muscles that benefit from it.
Stress can prevent your brain from producing serotonin. When you get a massage, the quiet music and dim lights paired with releasing pent-up tension in your muscles can all help you destress, and thus, increase serotonin production.
There’s no better way to reduce stress than by practicing meditation. Not only will you feel better right away, but you can learn breathing techniques that will help you reduce stress no matter where you are.
If you want to combine meditation with exercise, consider taking up yoga. Even a 30-minute yoga or meditation session can help you relax and boost your serotonin levels.
10. Lower Stress
While getting a massage and meditating are great ways to reduce stress, they’re not for everyone. However, it’s important to identify the best ways you can lower stress in your daily life.
While this will vary based on your personality, common methods include aromatherapy, taking a warm bath, journaling, partaking in hobbies, exercising, and spending time with pets. Once you’ve found a few different stress-reducing activities that work for you, be sure to do at least one every day. You’ll feel more relaxed and your brain will be able to produce more serotonin to boost your mood.
How to Naturally Boost Serotonin
Don’t let yourself feel stressed out and sad. Instead, follow this list to boost serotonin and feel better instantly!
Do you suffer from anxiety? Then check out these tips to successfully handle your anxiety today.