Serotonin is a hormone that naturally helps lower stress, anxiety and depression. It is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and it helps to regulate your mood, sleep cycle, appetite, temperature and even sensitivity to pain. People who suffer with depression often have low levels of serotonin found in their bodies.
Pharmaceutical companies often put serotonin substitutes in medication and some of these medications can have some undesirable side effects. I find this baffling when there are so many ways to increase your levels of serotonin naturally in your day to day life.
You can kick start your bodies production of serotonin in natural ways from food, sunlight, from exercise and the easiest way of all…HUGGING! Adding these basic things into your daily routine will inevitably increase your production of serotonin in your body.
Ok, I can hear people saying that when your depressed its not like you want to jump out of bed and go on a run before fixing your self a healthy breakfast – I know. I know how hard it is to find the motivation, when your body feels heavy and getting out of bed is impossible. I have been there and still get taken down by the black dog that is depression, however, the more you incorporate these things into your daily routine on your well days then they will become habits and the basic things for you to do on your bad days. And please trust me on that as I am living proof. This is not something that happens over night but it is something that we can all do, mental illness or not, it can benefit everyone.
(Picture found from http://www.authenticdiscovery.com.au/)
Here are some examples of how you can increase your serotonin naturally –
*Going outside into the sunlight
*Go for a walk …even better if you go for a walk while there is sunlight as then you get a double boost.
*Getting a massage
*Giving or getting a hug ( Good with people and pets! )
*Watch what you eat. Foods high carbohydrates also, eggs, cheese, nuts and even black pepper (there are more and this is in no way an all inclusive list and I will write about the links between food and health at some point soon, so if your interested in that keep an eye out)
(Serotonin is a chemical messenger that’s believed to act as a mood stabilizer. It’s said to help produce healthy sleeping patterns as well as boost your mood. Studies show that serotonin levels can have an effect on mood and behaviour, and the chemical is commonly linked to feeling good and living longer. Supplements can increase your serotonin levels via the amino acid tryptophan. Serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan. ) – http://www.healthline.com
Me getting a hug from one of my pets 😛