What is serotonin and how to increase serotonin are important learning areas on a valuable chemical in the human body. Serotonin is a chemical produced in the body that acts as a messenger and sends signals between the human body’s nerve cells. It is mostly found in the digestive system, the central nervous system and blood platelets.
Serotonin plays multiple useful roles within the entire body. The most popular of these roles occur in the human brain where it regulates the mood and this is why it is commonly referred to as the ‘feel good hormone’.
How Can You Increase Serotonin?
Besides being the ‘feel good hormone’ other roles of this chemical messenger include boosting digestion, sleep, bone density, blood clotting, and sexual function among others. Evidently, this is a critical chemical whose decline can lead to severe health complications. Some of the causes of low serotonin levels include stress, depression, genetic factors, poor diet, toxins like pesticides, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, etc.
Luckily, serotonin can be increased easily and so you need not panic if you discover that your body is experiencing low serotonin.
These 25 tips on how to increase serotonin will come in handy, help you get back to normal levels, and stay out of danger.
1. Improve Your Diet With Amino Acid Rich Foods
Amino acid is essential in serotonin production. It is therefore important that your diet is rich in amino acids to aid in the production of sufficient serotonin. The body can attain serotonin from foods such as spinach, poultry, soy in soya products, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.
Good food is one of the best natural approaches on how to increase serotonin. Pay attention to the types of food rich in amino acids as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Something as simple as a handful of nuts can go a long way.
2. Get More Light By Sunbathing
Sunbathing nourishes the body as it leads to improved mood and blood serotonin levels. It creates a seasonal increase in serotonin in your brain so you might want to take advantage of the summer times. The brain makes more serotonin in the bright light of the day, giving you the best chance to make good use of this natural serotonin transporter.
Take long walks in the sun. This can be very effective, easy light therapy to curb seasonal depression also known as seasonal affective disorder which is caused by serotonin deficiencies in the brain.
3. Try Supplements
Supplements such as tryptophan supplements, dietary tryptophan are great for effective brain function. The right tryptophan content contains essential amino acids equivalent to the amino acids found in your normal food sources and can help boost serotonin.
Be sure to get your supplements from a trusted source to reduce the risk of using counterfeit medicine. Always check with your doctor for medical advice on the correct amounts of tryptophan as well as a credible source of tryptophan. Bear in mind that supplements can cause mild side effects and this is normal.
4. Get a Massage
Peer-Reviewed studies show that built-up depression caused by low serotonin levels in the brain can be controlled by a good massage.
A well-administered massage is a fabulous serotonin boost as it gets you relaxed hence regulating your mood and effectively reduces chances of mood disorders which can lead to mental health concerns.
5. Exercise Regularly
You can never go wrong with regular exercise or physical activity. Exercises such as yoga, jogging, walking , running , Zumba , and aerobic exercise are great ways to improve your serotonin content which in turn improves the brain serotonin function.
Regular exercising has been found to be an important natural approach that plays a valuable role in preventing common physical disorders and even anxiety disorders. So take full advantage of the beneficial effects of any physical exercise.
Yes, you read right, scholars have found out that meditation is a great way to increase serotonin. Research shows that 30 minutes of daily meditation reduces the gray matter in the brain responsible for anxiety, mental health conditions, fear, and depression.
If you need professional guidance on the right meditation approach, you can seek the services of a meditation expert or even a mental health provider if that is what you can easily find. Besides boosting serotonin, meditation offers a wide range of benefits including clearing symptoms of depression and avoiding depression from progressing to risky levels.
7. Try Mood Induction
Create a little time during the day and try to think of positive things only. This has been found to increase serotonin production in the brain and contributes to the release of dopamine.
A good mood reduces challenges such as blood pressure, bipolar disorder, cognitive decline, and neurological diseases. There is every indication that good mood is a great contributor to absence of disease and this creates the right environment for serotonin production.
8. Be Grateful
It is said that gratitude improves serotonin levels as it makes one happy regardless of the current circumstances. Even when things are tough, you can always find one little thing to be grateful about and afford a smile.
Besides contributing to increased serotonin levels among other benefits, the art of being grateful is considered a natural deterrence and treatment of depression among other related complications.
Note down things that make you happy and grateful from day to day then utilize them fully to get the additional benefits that even medicine cannot provide.
9. Visit a Therapist
Talking and venting out is an effective way to improve serotonin. It changes your mood, allowing you to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and to face your fears. Ask your therapist about the ‘serotonin replacement therapy.’
Be sure to identify an affordable therapy routine that you can comfortably sustain over time. Start with light therapy as advised then advance based on the progress. Put emphasis on natural therapies because when done properly, they can save you costs of prescription medication.
10. Do What You Love
Tending to our hobbies is a fantastic way to reduce depression and improve our moods. When practiced often, hobbies can curb low serotonin turnover.
Find hobbies that you can engage in regularly, such as music, reading, hiking, watching live football, etc. Persons who have no single hobby can suffer high susceptibility to depression and face the risk of depending on antidepressant medication, yet this expense can be avoided through simple hobbies.
11. Try Out New Experiences
Engaging in less familiar activities for example, a new recipe you found on YouTube, riding a bicycle for the first time, crocheting, and molding can lead the brain into increasing dopamine levels, hence creating a good environment for serotonin creation.
12. Limit Coffee
Caffeinated substances such as coffee and tea tend to contribute to a reduction in serotonin in the human brain.
Try as much as possible to cut down on regular intake or substitute them with chocolate and cocoa drinks.
13. Avoid Alcohol
Any form of alcohol causes a drastic decline in serotonin in the brain hence causing more depression and anxiety.
While studies have shown that alcohol intake can boost serotonin in the body and bring happiness, this is only temporary. Long-term use of alcohol or excessive consumption will bring down the levels of serotonin. Make your consumption minimal or avoid it completely if you can.
14. Get More Sleep
Insomnia or lack of sleep is known to be one of the leading causes of depression; this can lead to low serotonin levels as the brain is awake most of the time.
Never compromise on sleep, no matter the urge. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per day and utilize every opportunity you get to sleep more than this recommended minimum.
15. Increase Carbs In Your Meals
Carbs such as sweet potatoes, yams, oats, and whole grains are a great way of boosting serotonin levels in the human body.
Just watch out to ensure you do not overfeed on carbohydrates as they may bring other challenges along the way, such as obesity and other issues that are associated with being overweight.
16. Try Essential Oils
Essential oils such as lavender, lemon, and bergamot are known to be therapeutic as they prompt your brain to release serotonin.
Be careful though with the type of essential oils you choose to use as some of them can compromise your health depending on their production process or even when misused. Remember to keep away from children.
17. Set Goals and Achieve Them
When we set and achieve goals our brain releases serotonin from the happiness and satisfaction achieved. Continuous set and achieved goals keep a steady supply of serotonin in the brain.
18. Reflect on Happy Memories
Reminiscing on happy memories through items such as photos, videos, diaries, and journals can prove to be a good ingredient for serotonin production.
Memories of past happy moments take the mind back , down the memory line and allow us to relive the great moments. This calm feeling creates the perfect moment to increase serotonin.
19. Read Books
Novels with a happy story and a happy ending such as romance help increase serotonin levels in the brain by creating a good mood.
That brings happiness and satisfaction at the end. Reading is indeed one of those things you can do without struggling. Of course not everyone enjoys reading but hey, you can try to create a habit of reading a book from time to time.
20. More Time With Friends, Loved Ones
Spending more time with those you love or treasure creates a cool environment where the factors required to increase serotonin will thrive so well. It could be a friend, colleague, lover, or even a family member.
Kinds are known to have antidepressant effects. Their innocence and playful nature will drastically work on your serotonin levels as they brighten your world.
21. Add Color To Your Life
A dull environment brings gloom, hence reducing serotonin levels in the brain. Boost the environment you spend most of your time in for example by painting bright colors, adding flowers or increasing the lighting.
22. Warm Foods and Drinks
Avoid cold drinks and cold foods as they can interfere with serotonin production and eventually lead to a gradual decline of this important chemical. Warm food and drinks light up one’s mood hence reducing depression and anxiety. A high-protein food is also recommended for treating anxiety and depression.
23. Talk to Long Lost Friends
Make that call to your childhood friend, former neighbor, long-lost classmate, or workmates. This lights up your mood instantly because the mind is taken down the road of those good old days.
By talking to those you had a great time with in the past, you help the brain ‘have a good time’, hence feeling good and boosting serotonin.
24. Take a Walk
Have you ever suddenly felt happy or relieved after a long walk or drive? This is because your serotonin levels were depleting and have been rejuvenated.
Instead of sticking in the house during your free time, challenge yourself and take a walk. It might be difficult to cultivate this habit at first but getting started will trigger that feel-good factor and you might end up making it a routine.
25. Clean Up
Do you ever feel like a dirty environment makes you unhappy and depressed? Yes, this is true. Cleaning up and arranging our environment can positively impact serotonin production and you will not need to search any further on how to increase serotonin. A clean environment can lead to an increase in the levels of serotonin in our brains.
The role of serotonin in the human body cannot be overstated. We all want to avoid depression at all costs and now you know what you can do to boost your feel-good hormones and remain a happy, anti-depressed human.
If left unattended a decline in serotonin levels can lead to all manner of complications, some of which can cause mortality. Practice all the simple things we have covered and get professional advice where necessary.
Did you enjoy reading this article on how to increase serotonin? Kindly leave a comment below, and share if you liked it.