Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our body. It contributes to a general sense of mental well-being and happiness, quality of sleep, learning ability, memory, libido, and appetite.
Lacking a healthy production of it can lead to depression, and one of the ways it can be boosted is through prescription anti-depressants. However, there are natural ways you can boost your serotonin as well, and you should start doing them regardless of whether you are taking anti-depressants or not.
Anti-depressants are sometimes needed for us to take solid ground and start working on ourselves. So here’s how you can do that and improve your general sense of happiness and well-being.
1. Cut down on sugar
Sugar cravings are usually a sign of lowered serotonin, as the body needs the insulin produced in response to sugar as a building block for serotonin. However, in the long run, sugar creates a complete mess in your body and you are simply better off without it.
2. Eat more protein
Foods high in protein introduce more tryptophan in your body – the building block for serotonin. Introduce more lean meats, cheese, eggs, and any other protein-rich food you can think of.
3. Take more B Vitamins
Especially Vitamin B6. The B Vitamins contribute to a better brain function and serve to protect it and boost its performance. You need that a lot if you want more serotonin.
4. Introduce more nuts and seeds into your diet
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan as well, and you should definitely eat as much as you can get your hands on. They are also rich in some very healthy fatty acids, many of which contribute to a better brain function.
5. Fermented foods and drinks
Fermented foods and drinks boost your digestion and help your body to better assimilate the nutrients that are used for the creation of serotonin. Which is more, they boost the nutrients you intake by a hundredfold and the yeast contains the essential B Vitamins.
6. Get more sunshine
Sunlight triggers the brain to produce more serotonin. So, pull your curtains away and get out in the sun every day for at least 10-20 minutes.
7. Do more exercise
Doing physical exercise makes the body produce endorphins which make you feel in better spirits immediately. During workout, your serotonin levels also change. You could do some workout in the sun, or if it’s cold outside, do some workout after the walk in the sun.
8. Get a massage
It does feel good on tired and tense muscles and, what’s even better, it has a direct impact on your serotonin levels. Massages reduce the cortisol levels in the body (the stress hormone that blocks the production of serotonin) and this allows the brain to boost the serotonin production.
Workouts are good for the body and trigger the serotonin response; meditation is good for the mind and it also triggers an increased production of serotonin. It also helps the mind to stop wandering and ruminating, thus contributing to a better mental well-being.
10. Spend more time in nature
Nature offers a peace of mind and large amounts of oxygen that can help your brain to clear the rubble out and reboot. Hiking in nature is a very effective way of boosting your serotonin.
11. Get rid of toxic people
You should never forget that sometimes assholes can make you more depressed than anything else. Get rid of them and surround yourself with positive people who share your vibration.
12. Keep out of stressful situations
If you are struggling with depression, it’s best that you stay away from situations that cause unnecessary stress. Focus on your well-being and simply say NO to these scenarios (at least for now).
Your lifestyle is the best anti-depressant you can get and it doesn’t cost anything extra. If you are taking anti-depressants, you should be aware that it’s probably for the best – although introducing a better lifestyle is paramount in this period.
However, should you decide that you don’t need them anymore, we urge you not to stop taking them before consulting your doctor. Some anti-depressants can be dangerous if cut out instantly.