Why do you think you feel happy when you see someone you know or suddenly feel low for no exact reason? Sometimes your mood is good and sometimes not. Have you ever given it a thought? What do you think is responsible for your sleep, emotions, memory, mood, appetite, etc.? If you guessed serotonin, you guessed it right.
Serotonin is a chemical that affects the function of your entire body. It helps the brain and nerve cells to communicate with each other. So, when it decreases, it affects your sleep, mood, emotions, appetite, etc., causing depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and so on. But there is good news. There are several ways to boost serotonin levels.
13 ways to boost serotonin levels
According to a study, tryptophan is responsible for the production of serotonin in the body.
If the tryptophan level is low in your body, then the serotonin level will also decrease. So, the best way to boost your serotonin levels is to increase the intake of tryptophan.
Tryptophan, an amino acid, is responsible for the growth of the body and the production of necessary nutrients, like enzymes, proteins, neurotransmitters, and muscles.
However, you don’t get serotonin directly from foods. Tryptophan is converted into it by enzymes in the brain. And the foods that are rich in tryptophan are:
- Nuts and beans
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese
- Tofu, etc.
These foods help increase insulin levels in the body, which aids the body in converting the tryptophan into serotonin in your brain.
Besides these, taking foods rich in vitamin B, zinc, omega-3, magnesium, and iron helps boost happiness, sleep quality, and mood.
Also, avoid alcohol and tobacco since these will decrease the serotonin levels in the body. Plus, if possible, stay away from consuming too much caffeine and sugar.
So, get ready to retain your happy days back and enjoy by focusing on a healthy diet.
One of the ways to boost serotonin levels is to exercise and keep your body moving and active.
Have you ever questioned why your body always becomes too relaxed and fresh after exercise? Why your self-esteem and self-satisfaction increase? Why your depression, stress, and fatigue decrease after a walk? Why you feel hungry after workouts? Because your body produces serotonin which helps to boost your mood and appetite. It helps to release tryptophan.
Therefore, it is crucial to break a sweat. Moreover, it helps to release other hormones and chemicals responsible for improving mood. And you don’t have to do intense exercises. Light ones like walking, jogging, etc., are good to go. Also, you can engage in sports, swimming, cycling, dancing, etc.
Always take care of your health and fitness if you want to boost serotonin levels.
Exposure to sunlight
You may not have ever thought that exposure to sunlight would affect the serotonin levels in the body. But, according to a study, the brain produces more serotonin levels on sunny days than other times. It is because the vitamin D that we get from the Sun is essential for our body. Otherwise, the deficiency in vitamin D causes mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia, etc.
Even though you get vitamin D from food, it is necessary to get sunlight every day. It is because the Sun is the best source of vitamin D.
So, spend more time out in the Sun to get more vitamin D. Even if it’s for an hour or two, go outside. It is better than not getting any sunlight. However, remember to use sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Many people are attracted to oily, junk, and canned foods. Do you think they are healthy? Of course not. They are the causes of several health problems, like food poisoning, ulcers, diabetes, cancer, etc. Because such foods directly affect your different parts of the body, mainly the stomach. So, it is necessary to keep the gut healthy.
Keeping your stomach healthy not only prevents diabetes, ulcers, cancer, etc., it also helps to boost serotonin levels in the body. So if your gut is healthy, then you are healthy as well.
When your stomach is healthy, it helps to support the functions of nerve cells in the brain. In addition, it aids blood vessels in carrying necessary nutrients to the brain, improving the communication between the cells.
So, always focus on keeping your stomach healthy to boost serotonin levels.
We cannot deny that mental problems, like depression, stress, anxiety, etc., are the leading causes of sleeping disorders, dissatisfaction, etc. It entirely takes away your happiness and happy moments. Therefore, when you reduce your stress, most of your problems, be it physical, mental, or social, will automatically fade away.
Moreover, stress affects your nerve cells that produce serotonin in the brain.
When your stress and tensions are wholly gone, a prosperous and happy life will welcome you. It will automatically heal your every pain and boost your serotonin levels.
Therapies not only relax your body and reduce your stress and anxiety, but it also boosts your serotonin levels.
Therapies such as aromatherapy and psychotherapy or individual therapy help reduce your cortisol levels, a stress hormone. Thus, improving your mood and boosting serotonin levels.
Besides these, you can try massaging your body. It regulates your mood and relaxes your body.
Your mood, emotions, and sleep quality is directly related to serotonin levels. When it decreases, your affection and feelings also reduce and vice versa. And one way to maintain them is through meditation. Meditating regularly helps to boost your serotonin levels.
Meditation reduces your stress levels, relaxes your mind and body, gives you peace, and makes you happy. It prevents unnecessary thoughts and tensions from taking over your brain. And when that happens, it enhances your mood and raises serotonin levels.
So, meditation is essential to keep your body and mind in an active state all the time.
It is crucial to take a break from your work and give yourself time to have fun and enjoy.
Taking breaks helps to boost your mood and increase your performance and productivity. When your brain is stressed due to work overload, it creates tension and pressurizes you, making you irritated, dull, and tired every time. As a result, your brain and body can’t function as expected.
But when you take a pause and refresh yourself, your mind and body will be calm and active. Thus, helping you to boost serotonin levels.
You can travel, go on a vacation or plan a camping trip and live your life to the fullest. It will enhance your mood, keep you active and energetic.
Listen to music
One of the ways to boost serotonin levels is by listening to music. We all know that music helps us to relax and calm our minds. Even for a moment, it aids in enhancing our mood and prevents unnecessary tensions and thoughts from controlling us.
Moreover, it is said that listening to music helps to boost serotonin levels in the brain by reducing cortisol, a stress hormone. In addition, it helps in the production of chemicals and hormones responsible for happiness and good mood.
People who don’t sleep or don’t get quality rest are often the ones suffering from depression, stress, and look tired. They get irritated over small things and struggle to find happiness in their life. They lose their appetite. Also, they lose the ability to make rational decisions. And because of this, the body loses the ability to produce and release enough serotonin.
However, getting quality sleep enhances your mood and appetite. Your mind will refresh from the load that it gets during the daytime. It will reduce your stress by keeping cortisol levels under control. As a result, your body will get enough rest to produce serotonin.
So, a good night’s sleep of seven to eight hours is essential to boost serotonin levels.
Connect with people
Loneliness and boredom are some leading problems to low serotonin levels. When people are lonely, unnecessary thoughts dominate over the mind, which may stress the brain. Moreover, they are less likely to deal with their anxiety and problems.
But when you connect with people, it makes you happy, and you will feel relaxed. And when that happens, it will help your body to produce serotonin. It will help neurons and other cells in the body to release chemicals to convert tryptophan into serotonin.
However, connecting with people doesn’t mean virtually, like going online and chatting. You should interact with them personally in the real world.
Look for ways to be happy and positive.
If you want to boost serotonin levels, then find more ways to be happy and positive. Find things that make you feel right and good and give them time. It can be anything, like hobbies, spending time with friends and family, hiking, traveling, rafting, kayaking, camping, and so on. Moreover, try to look at every situation positively.
If thinking about something or someone makes you feel good, then do it. It will help trigger your mind to relax and be happy. As a result, it will help increase serotonin levels.
If you are having trouble with stress-related problems, then it is an indication of low serotonin levels. As a result, you may need the help of doctors. So, it is best to consult the experts as soon as possible and start medications to boost serotonin in the body.
For a healthy and happy life, serotonin is essential. So, try the above-mentioned ways to boost serotonin levels. However, remember that too much serotonin level is dangerous. So, keep it under control and maintain it.
Find what is best for you and make changes, even if it is small, to your lifestyle and habits to boost serotonin levels.