What is Serotonin?
A powerful neurotransmitter that plays a part in many processes, serotonin is a chemical responsible for a variety of physical and mental benefits. It has a stunning effect on our mood, it keeps our sex drive up, it has an effect on our appetite, learning, and memory among other stuff. It’s safe to say that it’s one of the most important neurotransmitters in the human body.
Many people associate serotonin with depression. Low levels of this chemical can certainly lead to depression, although most people just ignore the problem. Serotonin is the last thing on the minds of patients suffering from depression. Those who know that they lack the chemical opt to reproduce it with drugs that can have pretty nasty side-effects. What most people don’t know is that you can up the levels of the chemical in your brain naturally.
There are many simple ways to increase your serotonin levels and feel their effects immediately. From taking B vitamins to meditation, here are the best ways to raise its levels naturally.
Vitamins B6 and B12 have been known to treat symptoms of depression in many patients. Doctors usually prescribe vitamin B supplements to patients suffering from depressive symptoms as they can raise the levels of serotonin with ease.
The recommended daily intake is 50-100 mg. (depends on the person). If you’re depressed and you’re also experiencing fatigue, you can ‘boost’ the therapy with two daily 250 mg. doses of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
Although it sounds like a chemical found in cleaners, 5-HTP supplements may improve symptoms of depression. Short for 5-Hydroxytryptophan or oxitriptan, this naturally-occurring amino acid has a slew of benefits. One of those is better biosynthesis of serotonin. In layman’s terms, it can raise its levels by boosting the production.
Take 50-300 mg. of this supplement every day to make it happen. In just a short time, you should be feeling much better.
Enjoy the Sun
We’re not kidding – enjoying some time under the sun can increase your serotonin levels. A 15-20-minute walk in the sun every day can provide us with a kick of serotonin. Not only that, but such a walk has a slew of other positive physical and mental benefits. You’ll get a kick of serotonin, improve your mood, and lose weight in the process.
The physical and mental benefits of meditation are nothing short of amazing. Transcendental meditation, for example, can boost the levels of 5-HIAA AKA one of the building blocks of serotonin.
At the same time, meditation can also reduce your cortisol levels and help you relax. There are no side-effects to it, so you may want to give it a try.
Yes, a massage can help improve depressive symptoms and reduce your cortisol levels. As a matter of fact, a professional massage can reduce cortisol levels by 31%. With cortisol levels subdued, our brain will have more breathing room to produce serotonin instead. The higher your serotonin levels, the lower the chances of depression and feeling blue.