We are going to talk about each happiness hormone separately, describing their properties, features, how they affect your body and what you can do to increase their levels. Let’s continue with the second one: Serotonin.
Opposite to the dopamine which is closely related to euphoria, serotonin is a type of happiness hormone that manifests itself with calmness, peacefulness, and brightness, which gives you a continuous and balanced feeling of happiness and joy.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a nervotransmitter, an element in the brain that helps to transmit signals between the various parts of the brain. An average adult has between 5 and 10 milligrams of serotonin in the body. This substances turns into a hormone when it enters the blood. Although produced in the brain, to which its primary functions relate, about 90% of the serotonin supplies are in the digestive tract, muscles, blood platelets and the cardiovascular system.
It is thought that serotonin affects many psychological and other body functions. The impact on brain cells is associated with mood, sexual desire, appetite, dreams, memory, learning ability and some types of social behavior. When it comes to the body functions, serotonin affects the functioning of the heart, muscles and various elements of the endocrine system. Scientists have found that serotonin plays a role in breast milk production.
Here are some effective ways to increase this happiness hormone in your body:
The simplest and most accessible way is to be as much as possible in the natural light, under strong sunlight. The sun is the best natural source of vitamin D, which helps the secretion of serotonin in your body. Which is why it’s important to intake the sun rays as much as possible. Make sure your home has a proper exposure to sunlight as well.
Proper body posture
Another way to increase serotonin in your body is to improve your body posture. A bad holding of your body affects the spinal cord which causes a decrease in serotonin levels. Proper posture causes an increased level of serotonin, increases self-esteem and mood.
The third way to increase the level of serotonin is to consume food that will produce serotonin in your diet. Interestingly, serotonin as cannot be found in any food. Which is why it is important to consume food which contains the amino acid tryptophan, which your organism uses to produce serotonin. Foods that are rich in tryptophan are: white cheese, meat, eggs, liver, mushrooms, and beans.
Also, if you have a low level of serotonin in your body, you need vitamin B complex. They are found in liver, oats, beans and lettuce. You also need food that contains magnesium (also stimulates the production of serotonin). These are: rice, dried prunes, dried apricots, algae. To raise the level of serotonin, eat bananas, melons, figs, pumpkins, oranges.
Physical activity and sleep
To increase serotonin levels, physical activity is very important. Take at least 20 minutes a day to practice any sport (running, swimming, dancing, etc.), and soon you will get in a better mood and you will feel better. A simple walk can have the similar effect as well. For maximum increas of serotonin levels physical activity complemented by a good sleep is the magic combination.