In a previous post on Healthy Ways To Boost Dopamine for Happiness, it was pointed out that each person experiences happiness differently. Positive emotional states are brought about by brain chemistry. When we are happy, it is usually from a mix of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin.
Each of these chemicals have an important part to play in happiness. A major regulator of happiness is serotonin. Medical News Today with James McIntosh and Dr Helen Webberley point out that “serotonin is thought to be especially active in constricting smooth muscles, transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulating cyclic body processes and contributing to wellbeing and happiness.” In other words, serotonin helps to keep our body running well by stabilizing body functions like mood and appetite. Serotonin is a main component in some antidepressants and eating disorder medication.
Also, Christopher Bergland in The Neurochemicals of Happiness calls serotonin “the confidence molecule” and talks about a “higher serotonin and a lack of rejection sensitivity allows people to put themselves in situations that will bolster self-esteem, increase feelings of worthiness.” Bergland goes on to say that as well as being “able to say ‘I did it!’ will produce a feedback loop that will reinforce behaviors that build self esteem and make you less insecure and create an upward spiral of more and more serotonin.” I am all about upward spirals of feeling good!
Now that you know a lot more about serotonin, how can you get more of it? In Why You Need More Serotonin and How to Get it, Emily Roberts suggests:
- Get tested to see if you are low on serotonin
- Take care of your gut as 80% or more of serotonin production come from your GI
- Get serious about managing your stress
So, as a happiness consultant, I recommend to eat healthy with lots of probiotics and go for a walk to allow yourself to feel pride in taking such great care of yourself and managing your stress. Also, before you go to bed, give yourself an ‘atta-boy/girl’ for cultivating more serotonin for your happiness. I like to close my day by putting a quick entry into my happywork Evernote journal so it is the last thing on my mind as I drift off to sleep. Give it a try and let me know how it works.
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