When we don’t “feel good,” there’s usually a chemical explanation for that. It is mostly caused by the neurotransmitter caller serotonin, which is responsible for regulating our moods. Aside from that, it is also greatly connected to out sleep, our appetite, our memory capabilities and our learning. If the serotonin levels are low, it usually leads to us being irritable, depressed, anxious and having low self-esteem. It also messes with our sugar cravings and gives us sleeping troubles. If you recognize the symptoms, here are a few ways to release your ‘happy hormone.’
Daily Dose of Sunlight
Vitamin D is a great way to boost the serotonin level – and you can find plenty of that in sunlight. Have you ever noticed how people tend to feel blue during the winter, but happy during summer? That’s because the lack of sunlight messes with our serotonin levels and we do not get enough vitamin D. So go out and catch some UV rays!
Enjoy a Workout
Working out makes you happy – that’s a fact. Studies show that doing a little bit of cardio not only burns those pesky calories, but it also boosts our serotonin levels. Even yoga and meditation, as easy as they sound, may raise your serotonin levels. It can lower your cortisol levels – which is actually the stress hormone.
You may want to close the entire world out when you’re feeling down, but studies show you should actually do the opposite. Spending some time with your family and friends can trigger the release of oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone”) which in turn stimulates the release of serotonin. Keep in mind that what you need is face to face contact; social media interaction is actually very far from being ‘social.’
There’s “happy drunks,” and then there’s “self-destructive drunks.” The happy drunks, well… they are a rarity, and they’re only ‘happy’ in the beginning. Until they drop. But most of the time, those who consume alcohol are more likely to get depressed and needy (hence the need to text your ex at 2 AM). This is because alcohol causes the serotonin levels to drop, making you more depressed and aggressive. If you want to avoid emotional breakdowns, you might want to avoid alcohol – it won’t drown anything. It will just make it worse.
Take Care of Your Gut
Good bacteria in the gut translate to an overall healthy body. Your gut it generally responsible for your cognitive function, immunity, hormonal balance, weight management, and happiness. As a result, it’s also responsible for your serotonin levels – greatly! Studies show that most of the serotonin released by your body is found in the gut (about 80% or 90% of the entire quantity).
So this is what you need to know: go out, have fun, work out, avoid toxins and treat your body like you would a temple. If your body feels happy, then you’ll also feel happy.