Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain from one area to another. Serotonin is among the most important neurotransmitter because it affects many bodily functions such as sexual desire, appetite, temperature regulation, memory, behavioral changes, learning and sleep.
The lack of this neurotransmitter is believed to be causing depression, however not many people know about the other functions of serotonin. Some believe that this chemical can be produced when taking prescription drugs but this could have dangerous side effects.
Other causes for serotonin levels reduction could be various chronic and acute diseases. Fortunately there is a healthy way to increase the levels of this neurotransmitter thus enhance the physical and mental health.
These are 5 of the best ways:
- Taking B vitamins
The function and production of serotonin can be significantly improved by taking vitamin B6. People who are prone to stress are advised to take B complex supplements in order to avoid the adverse effects of stress on the body.
Depression and other conditions similar to it can be relieved by taking B vitamins, especially B6 and B12. Besides relieving the symptoms of the conditions, these vitamins also prevent erratic neutral brain activity.
People who suffer from chronic stress, fatigue and exhaustion should take pantothenic acid every day as well as 250 mg of vitamin B5, and the recommended daily dose of B-complex is 50-100 milligrams.
- Take 5-Hydroxytryptophan
This substance is particularly effective for treating insomnia, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia and anxiety since it stimulates serotonin production. It is also very useful for promoting weight loss since it suppresses the appetite. This was concluded in a study where women who consumed this compound lost 10 pounds of weight in just 2 weeks.
This supplement should be taken a few times throughout the day in doses of 100 to 400 mg. The effects will be noticeable after just 4-6 weeks.
- Enjoy the sunlight
People are usually in a better mood on a sunny day, even if it is cold outside.
You can significantly improve your health by spending at least 15-20 minutes outside enjoying the sun. However, it would be perfect if you could spend that time walking because that way you will burn more calories while improving your mood.
Numerous studies have already proven the health benefits of meditation. The most effective meditation method for stimulating serotonin production is the Transcendental Meditation. According to experts this method increases the 5-HIAA levels which are very important for serotonin production.
Meditation also helps your brain relax by reducing cortisol levels in the brain which causes stress.
Another meditation practice that raises serotonin levels is mindfulness-based stress reduction. It is interesting to know that this technique is used to reduce Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.
Massages have numerous health benefits for the overall health and they also affect serotonin levels. Cortisol levels, a hormone which obstructs serotonin production, can be reduced by massages up to 31%.
Dopamine production, which is a chemical in the brain that gives the feeling of reward and pleasure, can also be promoted by massages.
Guided massage therapies are a very efficient and safe way to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain as well as provide many other health benefits.
So, grab any chance that you get to enjoy a nice, relaxing massage. And if you are constantly stressed, visit a licensed massage therapist.