5 Easy Ways to Increase Serotonin and Boost Your HappinessFeb 20, 2023
Think of serotonin as your inner DJ, setting the tone for your mood and energy. Increasing your levels of serotonin makes you feel happy, confident, and calm.
Here are 5 easy Micro Strategies to boost your “happiness hormone.”
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What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger in your body that affects pretty much every human behavior system, from mood to appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, and much, much more. Basically everything. And it's made in your brain. But surprisingly, it's also made in your gastrointestinal tract. And the latest studies show that about 90 to 95% of your serotonin is made by your gut.
And what serotonin is known for is the role that it plays in making you feel calm, confident and happy. So it's sometimes referred to as the happiness hormone. Think of it as the tiniest DJ, and its job is to create a really powerful mood. Your mood. And like a DJ, its job is to control the energy by adjusting different levels.
You can change the whole vibe of the club with just the right song. Have you ever been on the dance floor when a DJ just drops a total clunker? And what about when you've been on the dance floor when the DJ plays just the perfect song and everyone is pulled out to the floor?
Serotonin needs to maintain the right levels to keep you feeling happy, relaxed and balanced.
So how is this tied to resilience?
In many ways, because, remember, serotonin is involved in almost every human behavior. But I’m just going to mention 2 of them today. So science has shown that there is a link between chronic stress and decreased production in serotonin and multiple studies have shown a decrease in serotonin is also connected with anxiety and depression, which is why a lot of SSRI's, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are prescribed to treat depressive symptoms. *And just a little side note here, women actually secrete less serotonin, which makes them more vulnerable to depression and mood disorders.
How to Increase Serotonin to Boost Your Mood
But just like a DJ, you and serotonin can boost your mood with micro strategies to change your level of serotonin.
Here are 5 simple micro strategies to increase serotonin on a daily basis:
- SUNLIGHT - sunlight exposure is a great way to increase serotonin. Try to get anywhere between 10 - 30 minutes in the morning and later on in the day. (Sunlight is so important a Norwegian town called Rjukan, located in a valley, installed a series of mirrors on the mountainside to shine light down in the town's square so that folks could boost their serotonin.)
- FOOD – certain foods are also involved in the manufacture of serotonin, specifically foods high in omega-3s and tryptophan. So things like fatty fish, fish oils, full fat milk, canned tuna, turkey, oats, nuts, seeds, bananas and apples.
- SLEEP - plays a big role in serotonin. When we get poor sleep, it actually dysregulates our serotonin system. So please do everything you can to practice good sleep hygiene.
- PHYSICAL CONTACT - is another way to get serotonin, and that can be human to human contact or human to pet contact. (And research studies also reveal that your pet gets the benefit of serotonin too)
- GRATITUDE - receiving gratitude or even just observing somebody expressing gratitude can also boost serotonin. Interestingly enough, the scientific studies around gratitude reveal that only the act of receiving or observing produces serotonin. The act of giving did not. Although, we also know that giving gratitude has a number of other positive effects on our physiology, so give freely and give often.
10 Micro Strategies to Boost Your Energy & Resilience
Instead of reaching for that candy bar or cup of coffee, here are 10 QUICK & EASY WAYS you can increase your energy and resilience by changing your chemistry and physiology.
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