Do you Want to be Happier? Raise your Serotonin Naturally

Several effective habits help improve your mood and can increase serotonin levels in your body. Here we tell you how to do it naturally.

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LatinAmerican Post | Erika Benitez

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Leer en español: ¿Quieres ser más feliz? Eleva tu serotonina de forma natural

The fast pace of life, work, obligations, self-demand, the pressure to be successful, as well as a poor diet and a sedentary life, are aspects that can influence people's mood. Which, in turn, causes serotonin levels in the body to drop. When this happens, we can feel tired, down, or sad. Even the lack of this hormone has been linked to the appearance of depressive and anxiety disorders.

The good news is that by making small changes in our habits and lifestyle, such as eating a good diet or exercising and meditating, we can help our body to synthesize serotonin naturally. Consequently, the feeling of satisfaction, well-being, and joy will increase.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a hormone that the human body produces (specifically in the intestines and the brain) to maintain emotional balance and a certain level of psychological well-being. However, it also fulfills other types of functions. This hormone acts as a neurotransmitter whose chemical composition is 5-HT, meaning the signals it sends go directly to our nervous system. There, the message is transcribed from an amino acid called tryptophan. It is popularly known as the "happiness hormone."

According to a publication in National Geographic magazine, serotonin plays a crucial role in "regulating physiological functions necessary for survival, such as hunger, sleep, pain, and sexual response." Its involvement in people's cognitive process is also known, that is, in what has to do with learning and memory.

How to Increase Serotonin Levels?

The primary function of serotonin is to regulate well-being and psychological stability through the chemistry of our brain. This is why the levels of this hormone must remain within typical values to experience balanced emotions.

Several studies have verified that it is possible to increase serotonin levels without resorting to drugs. As the Harvard Health Publishing Magazine indicates, there are several natural ways to do it. We highlight some things that you can do in your day-to-day!

Activate your Body

One of the most common ways to increase serotonin is exercising your body. For example, when you ride a bike, walk, run, or lift weights, your body releases more tryptophan, the amino acid needed for your brain to make serotonin. This increase, along with endorphins and other neurotransmitters, makes people experience that euphoric feeling and makes them feel happier and more energized.

Vitamin D Can be your Ally

Sun exposure (at appropriate times) is another way to increase serotonin levels naturally. When receiving the sun on the skin, Vitamin D is produced, which, when it comes into contact with our blood, is synthesized by the brain in the form of serotonin, causing our mood to improve. Work in spaces that receive daylight or exercise outdoors.

In this regard, the Harvard Health Publishing magazine states that phototherapy is one of the main treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This refers to the winter blues caused by decreased serotonin levels in the body.

Take Care of your Diet

In this regard, the Harvard Health Publishing magazine states that phototherapy is one of the main treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This refers to the winter blues caused by decreased serotonin levels in the body.

In addition, the intake of fatty acids (Omega 3) favors the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine.

Also read: The Latin American diet can influence the development of type 2 diabetes

Regulate your Sleep

Sleeping between 7 and 9 hours and at the corresponding times also helps regulate serotonin levels. Lack of sleep and rest generally have several adverse effects on our health. In this case, the body becomes stressed and secretes cortisol, inhibiting the production of serotonin, which can increase sadness or irritability. In addition, part of the serotonin is transformed into melatonin, a hormone promoting sleep.

Manage Stress

Although with high serotonin levels, we can better handle stressful situations, on the other hand, stress affects the production of serotonin. It is a vicious circle that must be broken. Activities such as meditation and proper task organization undoubtedly reduce day-to-day stress. Multiple studies recognize the positive effects of meditation in people's lives at physiological and psychological levels.

Finally, it is not surprising that several studies verified that the company of dogs makes us feel better; they bring warmth and comfort to our lives; there is even evidence that having a dog helps improve heart health. In this sense, research from the Center for the Study of Animal Well-being at the University of Missouri-Columbia suggests that physical contact and interactions with our pets help promote the release of chemicals in the brain that stimulate mood, such as oxytocin, serotonin, and prolactin.

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