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5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Serotonin Levels

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5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Serotonin Levels

 

Serotonin is a word that’s bandied around a lot these days. Although you probably know that it is a good thing to have more of, you might not be entirely sure what exactly it is, or how you can get more of it in your life.

Never fear, you have come to the right place.

What Is Serotonin?

In layman’s terms, serotonin is a chemical that nerve cells produce that sends signals between them. It has an incredible effect on the functioning of the whole body, including the brain. It impacts the most basic and vital things you do such as: sleeping, eating and digesting. Boosting serotonin levels within the body can have a whole myriad of positive effects including healing wounds more quickly, improve your memory and can even help to maintain bone health. However, the effect it is perhaps most well-known for, and the reason that people generally want to up their levels of serotonin, is that it helps regulate your mood naturally. With normal serotonin levels in your system you should feel happier, calmer, more focused, less anxious, and even more emotionally stable. I don’t know about you, but that all sounds pretty appealing to me!

So, How Can You Increase Your Serotonin Levels?

1. Exercise

Yep, along with all the other positive effects exercise has on your body, it can also boost your serotonin levels and have a huge impact on your mood. Did you ever hear of the expression ‘runner’s high’? It’s no myth! You don’t need to just run to feel the effects, though. Anything that gets your body moving and gets your blood pumping works! Bonus points if you do something that makes you smile and and have fun at the same time, as you will see below. Serotonin is one of several endorphins that are released when you start getting your heart rate up, along with norepinephrine and dopamine. Combined, these all make you feel energized and upbeat after a great workout.

5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Serotonin Levels

 

2. Get More Sunlight

Although you should be careful about the effects that catching too many rays can have on your skin, if you don’t get enough sunshine then your serotonin levels can take a dip, meaning your mood does too. Exposure to sunlight increases serotonin levels, keeping you alert, calm, and more focused. Conversely, at night, a lack of light means the brain produces melatonin, which is what makes you feel sleepy.

If you have depression caused by a lack of sunlight, it is known as SAD, seasonal affective disorder. You will normally suffer from it during the short days of winter, especially if you are going into and leaving work in the dark. To boost your levels, ensure you spend as much time outdoors as possible, and allow your bare skin to be exposed to sunlight for short periods of time, whilst always being conscious of sun safety. Try and get outside on your lunch break when you can, rather than spending all your time cooped up under artificial light. Some doctors will recommend light boxes, which are designed to simulate sunlight and stimulate serotonin production.

3. Treat Yourself To A Massage

You will be delighted to know that you now have an excuse to get that massage you’ve being dreaming about. If you’ve had one, you’ll know how calm your brain becomes and how relaxed your body feels after a massage. It is not just that your muscles have been manipulated. Your whole system has had a boost of serotonin. Treat yourself to regular massages to feel the benefits, or rope your partner into a serotonin boosting massage exchange.

5 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Serotonin Levels

 

4. Vitamin B6

Our diets have far more of an impact on our overall well-being than most of us are aware. Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in your brain’s ability to produce serotonin, and you get this vitamin through your diet. You can take a supplement to make sure that you are getting enough, but there is also plenty of B6 in spinach, garlic, cauliflower, celery, fish and poultry, so try and make sure that you are getting plenty of these into your diet.

5. Smile and Laugh More Often

Giving yourself more reasons to have a giggle stimulates serotonin production and gives you an instant boost. Whether it’s watching a comedy or getting together with people that will have you rolling on the floor laughing are sure fire ways of getting more serotonin coursing around your system. You don’t actually have to laugh, though. A true smile (one that reaches all the way up to your eyes) will mean your brain releases more serotonin, too. Whilst it might seem hard to really smile when you are feeling low, try looking at pictures that make you smile, or go and speak to someone that never fails to make you happy. Smile at everyone you come across, and the smiles you get back will make you feel good, too.

Boost Your Mood the Natural Way

If you are feeling low, trying the 5 serotonin-boosting tips above might just be the key to getting your mood back on track to where it should be. Get active, give yourself reasons to smile from ear to ear and keep the ones you love close, and you will be sure to notice a difference. Have we missed anything? How do you boost your mood? Please share in the comments below.

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.

Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.

Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.

1. You Are Not Alone

Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.

2. You Have Your Own Skills

A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.

Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

3. You Can’t Be Perfect

Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.

But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.

4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself

Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.

Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.

“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West

5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing

Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.

Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.

But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.

It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon

6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way

It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

What are existential questions?

Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.

They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.

The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.

Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.

I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.

50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

 

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. What makes something beautiful?

3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?

4. Who am I?

5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?

6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?

7. Are we given enough time?

8. Is privacy a right?

9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?

10. Are we alone in the universe?

11. What is love?

12. How would you define genius?

13. What do you think your purpose is?

14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?

15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?

16. Why do you think we are here?

17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?

19. What happens when I die?

20. What worries me the most about the future?

21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?

22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?

23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?

24. Does truth exist without evidence?

25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?

27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

28. Is it more important to love or be loved?

29. What would make the world a better place?

30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?

31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?

32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

33. What advice would you tell your younger self?

34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?

36. What is the most important goal every person should have?

37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?

38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?

39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?

40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?

41. Where do you think we go when we die?

42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?

44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?

45. Is one lifetime enough?

46. What matters most in my life?

47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?

48. What is the meaning of life?

49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?

50. What does it mean to live a good life?

I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

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30 Life Lessons That I Would Tell My Younger Self

I clearly remember when I was 18, then 25 and in then what seems like a flash, I have recently celebrated by 50th birthday. While some people might dread the thoughts of hitting such a milestone. (more…)

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