Learn what you can do now to improve your mood and feel more inspired. There are several things you can naturally do to boost your happy hormones and make yourself feel happier throughout the day.
April 6, 2023
There are many different ways to naturally increase your happy hormones and feel better. Some of these tips will help improve your overall mood while others give you a burst of energy when you're feeling sluggish—so no matter what kind of day you’re having, there's something that can pick up your spirits!
You'll learn how to boost your mood naturally by boosting serotonin, dopamine and endorphin levels in the brain—and eating foods that contain these natural chemicals.
Here’s everything you need to know…
A brain chemical that helps us feel calm
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, sleep and appetite. It's an important chemical in the body and is produced by a part of the brain called the raphe nuclei. It's also found in the lining of your blood vessels, intestines and platelets. Serotonin is also made in the gut, where it helps to regulate digestion and the passage of food through your intestines.
If you're feeling depressed or anxious, it may be because your serotonin levels are low. Here are some things you can do to help boost your serotonin levels:
How to Increase Serotonin Naturally
Eat Serotonin boosting food and take 5HTP
Serotonin can be made from the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is found in protein-rich foods like meat, fish and dairy products. However, the body can also make serotonin from another amino acid called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). This is why some people take 5-HTP supplements to boost their levels of serotonin. 5-HTP is usually taken as a supplement, but it can also be found in some foods.
Some foods that contain 5-HTP include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pine nuts
Note: try add these foods into your morning smoothie
- Avoid Processed food: Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables and seeds. Avoid processed food products that contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Laugh: Laughter can help boost your mood and reduce stress.
- Get Into a Consistent Workout Routine: Get at least 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week. Try walking, running or cycling to get started.
- Socialize: Spend time with friends or family members who make you feel good. Try to avoid people who make you feel bad.
- Take a warm bath or use aromatherapy oils: such as lavender or chamomile to ease stress and promote relaxation.
- Stick to your sleeping routine: try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends and get enough sleep
Relieve Pain & Improve Mood
Endorphins are the hormones that make us feel good. They relieve pain, improve mood and boost energy levels. In addition to boosting your mood, endorphins are also responsible for the feeling of euphoria you get from a good workout. This is how you get “runner’s high” and why many people like to exercise in the morning. If you don’t have time for an intense gym session or a whole 5k run, even small movements like walking around your neighborhood can help. While you’re out there, make sure to soak up some sun! The sunlight can help boost your endorphin levels, which in turn will make you feel better about yourself. If you want an even bigger mood boost, try going on a vacation!
A vacation is the perfect way to take a break from your everyday life. Whether it’s an exotic trip around the world or a weekend getaway in another state, getting away from your regular schedule can help you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on everything again!
You can also boost your endorphin levels by smiling or laughing – even fake smiles will do!
Another good way to get your endorphin boost is by eating spicy foods. This works because the capsaicin found in peppers stimulates the release of endorphins.
How to Increase Endorphins naturally?
- Sensory stimulation: (e.g., warm whirlpools, hot tubs) Warm water stimulates blood flow to the skin, which increases endorphins and reduces pain.
- Meditate: A study found that meditation helped patients with chronic pain manage their symptoms better than those who didn’t meditate.
- Hobbies: Having a hobby can help you relieve stress, which can also help with pain and improve your mood.
- Play with your pet: Research has shown that having a pet can help relieve stress and improve pain management.
- Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing helps relax and calm your mind, which can help relieve stress.
Oxytocin: nicknamed the “love hormone” because of its role in social bonding, oxytocin can increase your ability to focus on a task at hand, which can help you achieve goals. The hormone is produced by the hypothalamus, stored in the pituitary gland and released into the bloodstream. Research has shown that when you touch someone on a regular basis, oxytocin levels rise. This is why hugging and cuddling are so important. When you give someone a hug, it’s not just that you’re showing them love; it’s also increasing your own levels of oxytocin.
When your levels of oxytocin are high, you’ll feel more connected to others and less stressed about the tasks at hand. This helps you focus on what needs to be done without worrying about how long it might take or how hard it will be.
Touching also has another benefit: it boosts the immune system. Touching can increase blood flow to the brain, which helps us think more clearly. It also improves our immune systems by reducing inflammation, increasing pain tolerance (which means you’ll feel less stressed), and boosting your energy levels with more oxygen-rich blood.
How to Increase Oxytocin Naturally?
- Hug someone: A study found that people who received a hug within 24 hours before taking an intelligence test performed better than those who didn’t receive any hugs.
- Take a walk: A study showed that taking a walk for 60 minutes or longer can increase your focus, which will help you get things done.
- Stretch: A study showed that people who stretched before sitting down to work had less trouble focusing on a task at hand.
- Listen to music: Studies showed that listening to classical music or other types of music with a steady rhythm helped people focus better.
7 Minute Stretching Routine For Anytime Of The Day
If you're anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time sitting down at a desk. And if you're like most people, you probably know that sitting for long periods of time can lead to some serious health problems. But did you know that it also makes it harder to focus and be productive?
A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that people who stretched before sitting down to work had less trouble focusing on a task at hand than people who didn't stretch. The researchers also found that stretching helped reduce stress levels and fatigue—which can also make it hard to focus. The study's authors suggest that stretching can help you focus because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), which is responsible for “rest-and-digest” functions. When this system is activated, blood flow increases to your brain, helping you stay alert and relaxed. If you're someone who tends to get distracted by stressors like an overflowing email inbox or an overpacked schedule, try taking a few minutes out of your day to stretch before tackling any challenging tasks.
So how do you stretch?
- bend over and touch your toes (or as far as you can)
- raise your arms above your head and bring them back down again (like an airplane)
- clasp your hands behind your back and pull them away from each other (this one's called the "criss cross")
- slowly roll up your shoulders like you're trying to touch them with your ears (this one's called "shrugging")
- turn your head from side to side and back (this one's called "side bending")
- stretch out your arms in front of you and then reach up above your head (like Superman)
"Feel good" hormone
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating your pleasure and reward centers. It’s responsible for the “feel good” chemicals in your body, and it’s also important to focus and concentration. When you do something that feels good (like eating chocolate), it triggers dopamine release in your brain’s reward center.
If you have low levels of dopamine in your brain, it could mean that it’s difficult for you to experience feelings of pleasure or satisfaction from everyday activities like eating or sex.
How to Increase Dopamine Naturally?
- Get enough sleep: A lack of sleep can lead to depression and anxiety. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
- Get outside: Getting outside is a great way to increase dopamine levels. Studies show that being in nature can improve mood and reduce stress.
Eat food rich in omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins and tryptophan: These nutrients help increase dopamine levels.
- Eat less sugar: Sugar suppresses dopamine levels, so try to avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta.
- Take up a hobby: Hobbies are a great way to reduce stress, which also boosts dopamine levels.
- Get enough sleep: Studies show that lack of sleep can increase stress and lower your dopamine levels.
- Write down your goals: Writing down your goals has been shown to improve motivation, which also boosts dopamine levels.
- Turn off your phone: A study found that people who allowed their phones to interrupt them once every hour had more trouble focusing and remembering information than those who didn’t receive any interruptions.
- Hold yourself accountable: Studies show that keeping a journal can improve your memory, which boosts dopamine levels.
- Meditate: A study showed that meditating for just 30 minutes a day can increase your attention span by 20% and boost dopamine levels.
Your diet is one of the greatest tools you have to naturally increase your happy hormones. By choosing foods that contain serotonin, dopamine and endorphin—you can boost your mood and reap the health benefits that come with it! But if you’re having trouble doing so, consider speaking with a nutritionist or even a psychologist for guidance.
The 90-serving subscription gets you 30 servings for $60; $2 per serving