5 Tips To Boost Serotonin Naturally
Serotonin is one of the human body’s most important chemicals. It regulates nervous system activity and strongly influences moods, appetites, sleeping habits, and even digestion.
A proper serotonin balance makes you feel happier and more in-tune with your emotions, but maintaining that balance through natural means can be challenging. Here are five essential tips to help naturally raise your serotonin and stabilize your bodily functions.
SEE ALSO: Judging Is Holding You Back From True Health
Adjust Your Diet
Proper nutrition is the most important part of maintaining healthy serotonin levels. Your brain needs a balanced diet just as much as your other organs. How can you expect your nervous system to react positively when you primarily eat unhealthy or un-sustaining foods? Maximize your serotonin boost by including foods with high tryptophan contents. Tryptophan is an amino acid that gets converted to serotonin. Some studies have found that eating carbohydrates along with these foods can help your brain absorb more tryptophan per serving and thus raise serotonin even higher.
Tryptophan might help, but don’t let it dominate your diet. Focus on eating well-balanced meals with proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. These ingredients will energize you, improve bodily functions and boost your serotonin by extension. Simply knowing that you’re eating the right foods can be enough to change your mood.
Daily physical activity can work wonders for your serotonin levels. It gives your body and mind the stimulation they need to continue producing essential hormones and chemicals. The “runner’s high” that athletes experience isn’t imaginary – it’s a massive cocktail of endorphins released all at once, including dopamine and serotonin. Regular exercise enhances your physical and mental functions, helping manage stress, anxiety, and other mood instabilities. It can also improve sleep quality, as sleep and exercise have a close bidirectional relationship that often dictates your lifestyle.
However, you will only see the positive emotional benefits of exercise if you put your body and mind into the activities. Don’t go through the motions or force yourself to do boring activities. Choose something you enjoy and do it with purpose.
Try Physical Therapy
Physical therapy techniques, including massages and acupuncture, have been shown to release serotonin, dopamine, cortisol and other “happiness chemicals” that boost moods. Skin-to-skin contact in itself can boost serotonin, but the effects become amplified when it also relieves aches and pains. It’s no secret that physical therapy is supposed to relax the subject, but it’s traditionally reserved for recovery purposes. As a result, healthy people don’t try it because they think they haven’t earned the right to display health-seeking behavior. They don’t have an injury or medical problem, so they feel therapy isn’t for them.
You don’t need to wait for an injury or medical procedure to try physical therapy. If you’re feeling unhappy, visit a local massage therapist or acupuncturist and enjoy the experience on your own terms.
Spend More Time Outside
Humans are designed to live outdoors. They’re not supposed to spend excessive amounts of time in artificial structures with fluorescent lighting and inadequate airflow. Get out of the house and spend more time outdoors. The sunlight, fresh air, and surrounding nature will improve your mood instantly and have significant long-term benefits. Sunlight exposure is the primary serotonin booster, but you can get many other benefits from becoming in touch with your natural environment. Your mental functions will improve, you will get better sleep and you will have an easier time staying physically active.
Optimize Your Before-Bed Schedule
Quality of sleep is vital. Humans today severely underestimate the value of rest. They use bright technology and stress about responsibilities until the moment they shut their eyes. As a result, it takes longer to fall and stay asleep. Even if you lay in bed for eight-plus hours, you still might not be getting adequate rest every night. Optimize your before-bed schedule to get a better night’s rest. Shut off the electronics at least one hour before bedtime and establish firmer ground rules with your work life. Use guided imagery, diaphragmatic breathing, and meditation to calm yourself down and prepare your mind for sleep.
Sleep doesn’t directly boost serotonin, but it allows your serotonin receptors to rest and regain sensitivity for the next day. A consistent and thorough schedule keeps your receptors fully functional and helps maintain healthy serotonin levels in the long run.
Try Natural Instead of Artificial Solutions
Medicine is an easy way to raise serotonin levels, but it’s not a permanent solution, and it doesn’t address the source of the problem. Stop relying on these artificial methods and try natural ones. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and seek physical therapy to address your ailments.
You should also spend more time outdoors and less time on your electronics before bed. Your serotonin levels, mental capacity and sleep quality will all see improvements. People live in an increasingly artificial world, so the most rational thing you can do to balance your body’s chemicals is to live more naturally.
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