We now know that the chemical, which is naturally occurring in our bodies, Serotonin, is associated with enhancing and elevating mood levels. In our previous article on the topic, we talked about the foods that you can consume to boost serotonin levels in your bodies. In this article, we will be sharing how one can increase their serotonin levels in other natural ways.
- Aerobic Exercise
It is no secret that exercise triggers the release of tryptophan into your blood. It can also decrease the amount of other amino acids. This creates an ideal environment for more tryptophan to reach your brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid which ups your serotonin levels.
Aerobic exercise which gets your heart pumping seems to have the most impact on raising serotonin levels.
Examples of aerobic exercise would include biking, jogging and swimming.
Data has suggested that serotonin levels tend to dip in the winter months and spike in the summer months. As such, spending some time in the sunshine is advocated for those who want to boost serotonin levels as your skin may be able to synthesize serotonin when exposed to sunlight.
15 to 30 minutes outdoors is the suggested block of time although it would be advisable to put on sunscreen if you are exposed to direct sunlight.
Some studies have indicated that regular massages can help increase serotonin and dopamine, another mood-related neurotransmitter. It also helps to decrease cortisol a hormone produced by the body when one is stressed.
4. Mood Induction
Research has suggested that thinking about something that makes you feel good can help increase serotonin in your brain, which can help promote an improved mood in general. This can be done in a variety of ways such as :
- visualising a happy moment from your memory
- thinking about a positive experience you had with a loved ones
- looking at photos of things that make you happy, such as your pet, a favourite place, or close friends
Keep in mind that moods are complex, and it’s not always that easy to change your mood. But sometimes just engaging in the process of trying to direct your thoughts toward a positive place can help.
As always, please see professional medical advice if ever in doubt.