Serotonin, a neurotransmitter incharge of regulating sleep, mood and appetite is linked to mental health. Its low levels are intricately linked with mental health disorders such as depression. Psychiatrists all over the world include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ) in the treatment of this disorder.
But, what if you just really need a little boost to help you keep your mental health and serotonin levels just where it should be? Here are five natural, free ways to boost those happy levels up to the sky.
You Are What You Eat
Eat healthy and you´ll be healthy. According to a study made from the American Chemical Society, people who follow a nut-rich diet (Omega 3) had increased levels of serotonin. Not only did they balance the neurotransmitter, it also leveled cholesterol levels in the same study.
Strawberries, mangos, and oranges; not only do they help you recover faster from stress, but are rich with Vitamin C which helps your immune system. Don´t forget to include pineapples, tomatoes and plums in your diet.
While working-out your body, so does your brain. Serotonin and dopamine are being released while you exercise, trying to compensate the pain you might feel in your muscles and keep you going “´till you sweat”. The good news is, a 20- minute workout can improve your mood for up to 12 hours, so you won´t be needing to hit the gym for hours to get a complete boost.
There is no rule for what is the best type of exercise to do, just do what best suits you. After all, doing exercise should be pleasant to start with if you want to improve your mood.
Not only does it lower your blood pressure and spike your serotonin levels, it also helps release stress, improve depression symptoms as well as treat anxiety disorders. Studies have proven that meditation helps lowering anxiety levels, as the subjects are able to shift their attention away from the threatening stimulus.
Follow the Sun
Seasonal affective disorder mostly affects women with symptoms that include low energy levels, carb cravings, weight gain and diminished sex drive. It can vary from manageable to life-disrupting. Consider investing in a light box packed fluorescent bulb to boost up your serotonin levels.
Relax with a Massage
Recent studies from the University of Miami School of Medicine have found that massages attack both anxiety and depression by diminishing cortisol levels by more than 50% while boosting up the serotonin and dopamine levels.