Some days we can wake up feeling a little low. The good news is, on days like these we can all makes choices that will help you experience a brighter, happier life. Try these easy, mood lifting tips to boost your feel good hormones!
The best and most effective way to boost serotonin is with daily exercise. 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day is enough to receive the benefits. Exercise has the added bonus of regulating sleep, clearing the mind, keeping our hearts strong and weight healthy. It produces and increases in the levels of endorphins and serotonin which improve our moods and energy levels. Next time you’re feeling low, go for a brisk walk outside, dance or take a group exercise class and see how your perception changes!
Spend time in the sunshine
Most of us only need short, regular sunlight exposure to help our bodies synthesise vitamin D, which is needed for the production of brain chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine and acetylcholine. Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It also occurs naturally in a few foods - including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks - and in fortified dairy and grain products, however nothing feels better than some time in the sun.
Eat some chocolate
Chocolate-lovers rejoice! Good quality dark chocolate has many amazing health benefits including being an endorphin booster. It also reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure and protects the health of your arteries.
A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way so stick to having small servings around 2-3 times per week for optimal health benefits.
Eat good carbs
Research has found that carbohydrate foods increase our serotonin levels and improve our mood, thereby increasing our happy hormones! The best carbohydrates to eat are low GI, certified organic and nutritious, such as: muffins, sourdough spelt toast, bananas, brown rice and oats.
Pet a dog or cat
Research has shown that petting a dog or cat for just 15 minutes releases the feel good hormones serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve loneliness and lower negativity. A great excuse to spend some time with a furry friend!
Meditation and mindfulness are hugely beneficial to our mental health and happiness. Meditation triggers the hypothalamus; stimulating the pituitary gland to release endorphins, promoting relaxation, self-healing and overall wellbeing. Practicing can also improve anxiety, depression, pain, focus and the physical side-effects of stress.
To see the benefits of mediation, simply spend ten minutes per day focusing on your breath. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath with kindness.
Getting enough B vitamins are important for the production of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency include irritability, short attention spans and short term memory loss. Vitamin B6 is naturally found in brown rice, legumes, wholegrains and meats. Vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin is another brain-boosting nutrient. You an also find B vitamins in your leafy greens of all varieties including kale, spinach, broccoli and rocket.