Depression! A simple word that umbrellas a plethora of low feelings.  If you find yourself getting into a negative mind set and in consequence your mood becoming low, here are a few ways to boost your mood naturally, without turning to your doctor for a pill that could cause you not very nice side effects.

First things first! Serotonin! What is serotonin? And how is it responsible for boosting mood?  Well, serotonin is a chemical known as a neurotransmitter which is sometimes known as the happy chemical. 

So here are 5 ways you can incorporate into your lives to boost that happy chemical into your body.  

A good night’s sleep

Often people who suffer from depression either have too little or too less sleep.  Finding that balance to help you gain that quality night of sleep is essential in increasing serotonin.  You should aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Don’t owe yourself any hours by making up for it the next day or on the weekend.  Keep it consistent. Other ways to improve the quality of your sleep is by having good sleep hygiene.  

Sunny Vitamin D

Many studies have suggested that low vitamin d is connected with depression and other mental health issues.  So therefore vitamin d can actually boost serotonin to improve low moods. It might be worth seeing your doctor to see if you are vitamin d deficient and if supplements are a good idea for you.  Other ways to increase Vitamin D is by going out in the sunshine. Sunshine is linked to boosting vitamin d levels. You may notice many people suffer from mental health more readily in the winter months.  This is due to low sun rays in the atmosphere. Other ways to gain more vitamin d is in your diet. Foods such as salmon (oily fish), cod liver oil, tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms and many fortified cereals (read the labels), all contain high levels of Vitamin D which inturn can increase serotonin therefore vanquishing low moods.  

Changing up your diet

Your diet is extremely important in terms of boosting low mood.  Studies have shown that certain vitamins and minerals deficiencies can actually lead to a depletion of serotonin which inturn will reduce mood.  Eating well can help benefit your body as well as your mind. The Nhs have suggested the medetarian diet is extremely beneficial because is contains high levels of vitamin b12, zing magnesium, iron and omega 3 fatty acids.  

Exercise

You knew this one was coming.  And it can go hand in hand with going out in the sunshine.  Many studies have suggested that regular cardio exercise around 30 mins daily can boost serotonin levels.  Cardio exercises include running, jumping jacks, cycling, swimming. Anything that gets your heart pumping.  Remember to avoid exercise 2 hours before going to sleep.  

Meditation

Now we’re not suggesting you join your local temple.  But in fact meditation can be done at home. Find a peaceful spot, either in your home or garden or anywhere you feel comfortable and practise your breathing.  Be conscious of your breath going in and coming out, breathing in through your nose and then breathing out of your mouth. Picturing peaceful places or lovely memories can help you relax and make you concentrate on your breathing more.  Meditation can lower stress and can also lower a chemical in the body known as cortisol.  

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