As explained by WebMD, serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another…it is believed to influence a variety of psychological and other body functions. This includes cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation and some behavior.
As you can conclude from the statement above, serotonin has a wide range of functions. It is often called the happy chemical, as it contributes to happiness and wellbeing. Consequently, despite its scientific name (5-hydroxytryptamine), most people know it as the happy chemical.
How To Boost Serotonin Levels Naturally
Meditate: All forms of meditative practices are beneficial in boosting the production of serotonin. But, the most impactful form of meditation on serotonin isTranscendental Meditation, or TM. It is believed that it stimulates serotonin levels because of elevation of 5-HIAA, one of serotonin`s building blocks. Researchers have found a direct link between increasing concentrations of 5-HIAA and elevated serotonin levels in the brain.
Sunlight: Have you ever noticed how opening the shades on a sunny day can instantly boost your mood? This is due to the fact that our brain tends to self-inject itself with serotonin. Even on a cool day, sunlight can positively affect our mindset.
It is recommended to briskly walk for about twenty minutes at least once daily. Optimally, walk in the morning. This helps you burn more calories and prepares you mentally for the day ahead.
Get a Massage: Researchers have found that professional massages reduce cortisol levels by 31%. When the production of cortisol is inhibited, our brains are in optimal state to produce serotonin. Also, massage can boost the production of the“reward and pleasure” brain chemical dopamine.
A simple massage by a friend will suffice for most people. But, those experiencing trauma may be best served by a licensed massage therapist.
Take Some B Vitamins: Vitamin B6 aids in development and function of serotonin in the brain. People who are prone to stress should supplement their diet with B-complex due to its exceptional effects on brain chemicals.
Both B6 and B12 are effective in reducing depressive symptoms. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, elderly individuals who have been diagnosed with depression improved after supplementing their diets with B vitamins. The recommended intake of a B-complex product is 50 to 100 mg a day.
Get Some 5-HTTP: Known as 5-Hydroxytryptophan, this substance has been found effective in treating hypertension insomnia, anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia. It does all of these things by stimulating the production of serotonin.
Additionally, it even promotes weight loss. According to a study at an ItalianUniversity, female subjects who ingested 5-HTP lost an additional 10 pounds over two weeks compared to the placebo group who lost 2 pounds only.