What’s the key to empowering your mental state and feeling good?Some of us may say it’s healthy relationships or the job of your dreams.Spiritual gurus may say it’s living in the moment and positive thinking.
But, isn’t it more interesting and useful to find out what neuroscientists say about that? After all, they are the ones who study our brains.Despite what you believe, neuroscience has a lot to say about our mental state and how our brain works. According to many research studies, there is one particular element to mental well-being that you may not be aware of.It’s called serotonin, and it’s a neurotransmitter that can affect your mood changes, your memory, your sleep cycle, and even your sex drive.By boosting the serotonin in your body naturally, you can also empower your mental state and your motivation. Below you’ll find ten natural ways to increase your serotonin.
1. Eat Tryptophan.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that mainly helps in your body’s production of serotonin. You can find tryptophan in eggs, dairy, lean meats, nuts, and seeds.
2. Enjoy a massage.
Getting a massage can improve your mood no matter what, but did you know that it can also lower your cortisol levels? Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s produced when you are “under attack” or in stressful situations. However, when you have too much of that hormone in your body, it can prevent serotonin from being produced.
3. Boost your B Vitamins.
Especially B12 and B6 can help in serotonin production. There is further research suggesting that raising your intake of these vitamins can also help with depression. Most people can boost their intake of B vitamins with 50-100 mg/day but better check with your doctor to be sure.
4. You can benefit from the sun.
Unsurprisingly (and unfortunately) for those of us who live somewhere in the north, not getting enough sun can affect our mood negatively. Sunshine can initiate serotonin production in your brain.
5. Enhance your intake of Magnesium.
It’s said that up to 75% of the Americans are deficient in Magnesium. This mineral can regulate blood pressure, control nerve cell function and enhance serotonin. You can find it in supplements and foods such as dark greens, bananas, and fish.
6. Be positive.
Increasing serotonin is linked to your attitude as well. By changing your self-talk, and perspective, you can also affect your brain positively. When you do things that you enjoy, you tend to feel better.
7. Eat less sugar.
One of the symptoms you might feel when you’re low on serotonin is a craving for sweets. However, by consuming a lot of sugary foods, you will feel a crash soon after. You should rather boost your serotonin in healthier ways.
8. Begin a meditation practice.
Meditation increases an acid called 5-HIAA in the brain which is directly linked to serotonin. By sitting in meditation every day, you can lower stress, as well as the production of cortisol and other stress hormones. You also boost the production of serotonin.
Any form of activity that gets your blood going and your heart pumping can also contribute to the production of serotonin. Exercise also produces positive chemicals in your body such as endorphins, which can improve your mood right away.
10. Get lots of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is strongly linked to mood and also has antidepressant properties. According to a study, people who took in lots of vitamin C for one week felt happier. Vitamin C might not be directly related to serotonin, but it helps the brain to make other neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and dopamine, which both can make you feel great.
Reference: The Power Of Ideas
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