Exercise will improve your mental health and that has never been more important than right now. Mental health concerns are on the rise. While the causes are not always known, a common component is trouble regulating serotonin (one of the key neurotransmitters involved in mood).
Therapy and medication can boost serotonin levels but what if you aren’t quite ready for that? Good news. There are natural ways to increase the body’s serotonin levels.
Boost Serotonin Levels Naturally
Regular exercise for at least 30 minutes each day can improve your overall mood. Research shows long-term cardiovascular exercise boosts serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin can lower hostility and symptoms of depression. It also encourages agreeableness.
2. Spend Time in Nature
Researchers have found as little as five minutes outdoors in a natural setting can improve mood, increase motivation, and boost self-esteem. Even a brief walk in the park can improve your well-being.
Your diet can also influence your mental health. A balanced diet that includes meat, fruits, and vegetables will provide amino acids and micronutrients to keep you feeling like your best self.
Meditation is the practice of relaxed and focused contemplation. It is often accompanied by breathing exercises. Evidence has shown that meditation increases the release of dopamine. It can relieve stress and create feelings of inner peace.
Scientific research has shown gratitude affects the brain’s reward system. It correlates with the release of dopamine and serotonin. Gratitude has been directly linked to increased happiness.
There have been many studies on a practice called the “three blessings exercise.” Every night for a week, you write down three things you are thankful for. People who complete this exercise tend to report more happiness and less depressive symptoms. Their improved mood can last up to six months.
Before going to the doctor for medication, give these 5 activities an honest try. If you want additional information on how to get started with any of these, reach out to one of the coaches at True North. We will help you every step of the way.
** Sources: US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health