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Brain Health - Serotonin

Serotonin is a Neurotransmitter in the body that passes messages from one part of the body to another. Serotonin lives in the gut and brain primarily.  Serotonin is sometimes called the "happy chemical" because it contributes to happiness and well being. Serotonin plays a key role in encouraging our motivation, energy, resiliency, and balanced mood. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression, anxiety, low self esteem, attention deficits, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome,and migraines, among other things. People who have the right amount of serotonin in their bodies will feel calm, happy, focused, and emotionally stable. Ways to increase serotonin levels includes: Sunlight Sunlight increases serotonin and sunlight that is absorbed through the skin produces vitamin D. Vitamin D from the sun plays many roles in your body, which includes the increase of serotonin. Therefore, try to get some sun exposure daily as it does your body good.

Exercise Exercise is a serotonin intervention that has been shown by multiple studies to improve serotonin and mood levels as effectively as medication. Aerobic exercises, like running, swimming, and biking are the most likely to boost serotonin, however, walking, and yoga can also positively impact serotonin levels in your brain. Make exercise an essential part of your routine.

Diet One quick way to boost serotonin levels is by eating a healthy diet. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is important for the production of serotonin in the body. It also plays a role with healthy sleep and it is the key to brain functioning. Unfortunately, people cannot make tryptophan in their bodies, so they must obtain it from their diet. Foods such as salmon, poultry, eggs, seeds, spinach, soy products and nuts are ways to increase tryptophan that produces the serotonin that your body needs to boost your mood. Essential Oils Essential oils play a role in reducing anxiety and stress. Add a few drops of lavender and almond oil in a diffuser and breathe in the fumes deeply and relax. Perform this task daily to benefit from the serotonin-boosting properties of these essential oils.

Psychotherapy Studies show that individuals who engage in psychotherapy for a period of four months experience a significant increase in serotonin levels. If you’re feeling low, reach out for professional help and restore your serotonin through therapy. Massage Therapy If you’re feeling low and stressed out, one of the best things you can do to improve your mental state is to have a massage. Studies show that those individuals who engage in massage therapy experience a release of dopamine and endorphins that excite the pleasure centers in the brain. Each person has the ability to increase their serotonin level and increase their mood naturally.

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