Understanding serotonin and its effect on happiness could be a primary key to understanding how the body regulates mood—and could help you to increase your own happiness with a bit of simple everyday science.
Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps to regulate your mood.
It also helps your sleeping patterns, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory.
Some people call serotonin ‘the happy chemical’ because it actually does a lot to contribute to your happiness and well-being.
There have been a lot of studies done to look at how serotonin may impact human happiness.
But honestly, there’s still a lot that we don’t understand about it.
However, in this post, you’re going to learn how serotonin may affect human happiness, and how you may be able to use this information to increase your own levels of happiness, to have an even happier life, and to experience more positive feelings.
If you’ve been struggling with happiness and you’d like to try to give yourself a natural boost, then trying to increase your serotonin levels may actually be one method for helping to overcome the problem.
Here’s the thing though.
You can’t really directly get serotonin from any particular source.
The best you can do is to help trigger your body to produce its own serotonin—and there are a number of ways to do this.
Even better, these are all steps that you can start taking in your life today.
Let’s break it down and get started.
1. Eat High Protein Foods
Tryptophan, an amino acid that’s converted to serotonin in the brain, is commonly found in high-protein foods like salmon and turkey.
Eating these types of foods can actually have quite an impact on your serotonin levels.
Some other food options that can help boost your serotonin include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, a handful of nuts, and brown rice.
Adding these foods to your diet can do a lot to help increase your natural levels of happiness.
When you exercise, you actually release tryptophan into your blood. This creates a better environment for the production of serotonin within your body.
Try adopting some aerobic exercise options like brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, or swimming.
Getting up and moving your body is another great way to increase the production of this vital hormone—but it can also help you to generate endorphins that will further help you to feel your best.
3. Get Outside
Some of the research on serotonin suggests that getting out into the sunlight may actually have quite an impact on your natural levels of happiness.
In fact, doctors recommend that you spend at least 15 minutes outside each day to get the absolute minimum amount of sunlight needed to help produce healthy levels of serotonin.
With that being said, the more time you spend outside, the more likely it is that your body will actually produce the serotonin you need.
If you live in a rainy climate, or if you’re stuck inside for the winter, consider getting a light therapy box to act as a substitute in the interim.