Serotonin is a chemical produced by cells that send signals between nerve cells.
Serotonin impacts the body from emotions all the way to motor skills. It affects things as simple as sleeping, eating, and digesting, as well as reducing anxiety and depression, increasing bone health, and healing wounds.
In terms of mental health, serotonin boosts and regulates your mood naturally. When the body has normal serotonin levels, you will be happier, calmer, and more focused. Sounds great, right? Here is how you can boost your serotonin:
1. Switch up your dietGiphy
Many foods contain serotonin in them, as well as tryptophan (the amino acid that serotonin is made from,) such as pineapples, eggs, and cheese. Adding these into your diet will increase the number of amino acids in your body and allow you to create more serotonin.
Tomorrow morning, make yourself a serotonin-boosting breakfast. Cut up some pineapple, scramble some eggs, and pair with some healthy carbs, such as a bowl of oatmeal. Pair this meal with a cup of your favorite coffee, juice, or tea to start your day off right.
2. Go outsideGiphy
Sunlight has been proven to increase serotonin levels. Sunlight may actually be one of the most beneficial sources of serotonin. The vitamin D our bodies get from the sun allows us to convert the tryptophan into serotonin. Even on a cloudy day, getting that natural light will be beneficial for our serotonin levels and mental health.
After you make that yummy breakfast, take it outside and set up a picnic for yourself. Soak in the morning sunshine before it turns 100 degrees and the last thing you want to do is step into the heat.
3. Listen to musicGiphy
Listening to music that makes us happy releases serotonin into our brain to boost our mood. Maybe even have a dance party with friends, or by yourself to some music you love
Of course, at your picnic, you'll need something to listen to. You could always listen to the music of the birds chirping, but if you're like me, I think you'd prefer some Harry Styles or Frank Ocean. Whatever you choose, enjoy the music.
4. Think of positive memoriesGiphy
Thinking of the times when you were nothing but happy can release serotonin into your brain to create a positive mood. Focusing on the positive things in our lives can distract us from adverse events going on and increase serotonin production.
After the song you queued, maybe a song that you and your dad listen to before getting onto your favorite rollercoaster comes on. Don't skip it. Listen to that song and reminisce about how happy you guys are before getting on that rollercoaster every year.
So you have finished your breakfast, but you're not quite ready to go back inside yet? Don't. Clear your picnic and get in some exercise. Do some yoga on the picnic blanket, go for a walk, or even a swim.
Trying one or all of these things may help you to become happier and healthier. Take some time from your day to work on you.