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Hello Sunshine!

Serotonin is an important chemical in the human body.  In a nutshell, it's a neurotransmitter that's involved in many body processes.  The current thinking on depression and anxiety (which often accompany chronic pain syndromes) is that there is an imbalance in the central nervous system mainly due to low levels of serotonin.  Many of the medications we use to treat depression belong to a class of drugs known as SSRIs, or Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors. These drugs help the body to make the most use of the serotonin a person has in their body by keeping it "active" as much as possible.






But this is not the only way serotonin levels can be boosted.  There are many natural phenomenon that help fulfill this purpose.  It's good to know that these practices can help to accomplish the same goals that these medications do.  If you are a person who does not wish to take these medications, I would like to share these ideas with you today!

So, without further ado, here are some ways to elevate serotonin levels naturally!

1) Limit or eliminate alcohol intake 
Alcohol has been shown to reduce serotonin levels within 45 minutes of consumption.  It also   has been known to disrupt sleep patterns, and increase tendency toward violent or aggressive behavior.

2) Improve serotonin levels by nurturing gut flora    
Serotonin is found in the gut as well as the brain.  As you might know, the human gut is occupied
by normal flora--a healthy bacterial colony that helps us to digest food, protect against unhealthy
bacterial invaders, and keep our moods in check. Nurturing our gut flora by consuming foods and   supplements, such as yogurt and probiotics,help keep  our systems in balance will help improve mood as well.      

3) Practice Meditation    
During meditation we learn to "let go" of our thoughts, empty our minds...Studies have shown that this practice can increase serotonin levels.  It's not uncommon to feel calm and serene following meditation.  Trying to incorporate this practice into our lives can do much for those willing to adopt the habit!

4) Let the Sun Shine In!
 It's long been known that exposure to light affects our moods. One example of this is a disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder-- a syndrome that develops especially in people who live in areas with limited daylight during winter months.  One method for treating this disorder is using a light box during these periods to enhance a person's exposure to the broad spectrum of light that is missing during these periods. This also helps to keep our vitamin D levels as well. That being said, there's nothing like taking advantage of the sun when it is present!  Go outside and enjoy some time in the sun, it will do much good on many levels!

5) Consume foods rich in Omega-3 oils
Research suggests that omega-3 oils, namely EPA and DHA directly increase serotonin levels and
influences the serotonin receptors in the human body.  The benefits of these oils go way beyond  their affect on serotonin--so it's prudent to include them in our diets.  Some good sources of these oils include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, nuts, and vegetable oils.

Source: SpiritScience.net; Google Search; Pixabay

   


      




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