Serotonin is a neurotransmitter or hormone that maintains mood and well-being. It helps regulate appetite, sleep, learning, memory and cognition.
Sounds like something we could all use more of, doesn’t it? You aren’t wrong. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression.
What can you do to increase your serotonin levels?
For one, you can exercise regularly. Anything you enjoy will do. From simply taking walks, to yoga, cycling or weight training. 30 minutes three times a week is a recommended minimum to see results for increased serotonin.
Second, a better diet can. Serotonin is created by the body from tryptophan which comes only from one’s diet. The body cannot produce it. Some common, high-tryptophan foods are: eggs, sa
Getting more light is a third thing you can do to help. You’ve probably heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is a type of seasonal depression caused primarily by lack of light. If you can’t make it out in the day time there are many sun lamps on the market. 20-30 minutes of from 2 feet away, not looking at the light directly, should help increase serotonin levels.
A fourth thing to try is getting a massage. Massages decrease cortisol, the alarm hormone (that causes the fight or flight response). Unreleased cortisol can cause anxiety by keeping you on “high alert” and increase your heart rate. Massages will lower cortisol and increase serotonin.