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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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Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

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Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

Multiple studies have indicated that a large percentage of people are unhappy with their jobs. Research carried out by Microsoft in 2021, showed that 41% of the workforce are considering leaving their employer. Sometimes, this dissatisfaction comes from working long hours. Other times, it is about not making enough money.

On occasion, however, the source of unhappiness is the person that you work for. Working for a tyrant boss is draining and stressful. It can have a negative impact on nearly every area of your life, because the stress that it causes makes it hard to “let go” of your workday even when you are at home.

So, how do you know if you are working for a tyrant boss? And if you are, what can you do about it?

A Boss That Is Never Wrong

You have heard of the phrase “the customer is always right,” but do you work for someone who never seems to think that you are ever right?

A tyrant in the workplace is often a dictator. This means that they don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion or ideas, and if they do, they are instantly shut down. A tyrant boss can “never be wrong,” and they have the final authority on everything.

Unfortunately, they are often the ones who will suffer in the end. No one is perfect, no matter how much your boss thinks that they are. If they do not take other people’s input into consideration, they are going to burn out and end up making poor choices, which will impact the business in the long run.

Help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right. Ken Blanchard

They Expect Carbon Copies Of Themselves

Does your boss seem to gravitate toward employees who are just like them?

Narcissistic people tend to be kinder to those who have the same characteristics. The problem with that? It takes a diverse group of people with different skill sets to make a great team.

If your boss favors people just like them and expects everyone to conform to certain unreasonable expectations, you should see this as a huge red flag.

Additionally, pay attention to how your boss’ personality changes around certain people. If they tend to play favorites, it might be another sign that they are running a tyrannical operation. Everyone in a business should be treated equally. Favoritism doesn’t belong in a professional setting.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. Henry Ford

They Don’t Respect Your Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has become an important topic of conversation over the last year. With more people working remotely, it has been harder for some to strike a healthy balance between their work life and their home life.

While, in many cases, you can find ways to manage this balance, some bosses simply won’t allow it.

For example, does your boss frequently call you on your day off? Do they email you or message you after working hours, or first thing in the morning?

If your boss cannot respect that you have a life and that you deserve some free time, they are running their business like a dictatorship. Good employers know how important it is for their employees to have free time, whether it is for self-care or socialization. When a worker constantly feels like they are “on the clock,” they are more likely to get burnt out quickly, and their performance will suffer.

They Are Master Micro-Managers

Does your boss lurk over you more often than not? Do you find it hard to get anything done in a day because they are micromanaging everything that you do?

Micro-managers want a play-by-play of everything that you are doing throughout the day. They will try to take charge of your projects and overlook everything so you can’t be as productive as you could be.

You can work to diffuse a micro-managing boss by giving them more information than they ask for. Beat them at their own game by giving them detailed information about what you are working on. If they feel like they are not able to be “on top” of you anymore, they will likely give up and let you work in peace.

Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people. Steve Jobs

They Want All Of The Credit

Typically, when a business sees any kind of success, it is a good sign of a strong, dynamic team. One person cannot hold up an entire company on their own.

But, if your boss tends to take the credit for everything and loves being in the spotlight, it can often feel like your efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. There are children’s books about people doing all the work and someone else taking all of the credit. Some adults just never seem to learn the “moral of the story”.

What Can You Do About It?

So, what can you do if you are working for a tyrant boss? Aside from resigning, which is sometimes the only option, there are a few ways that you can manage things on a daily basis.

First, try not to let your boss’ behavior affect you. Yes, they can be frustrating. They will get to you, at times. It is important for you to take the high road and be the bigger person. No matter where you work, everything that you do is a reflection of who you are – your personal brand. Don’t give in to your frustrations, and don’t fuel your boss’ attitude by snapping back at them. If you do, chances are, their behaviors will become even more exaggerated.

Your overall well-being should be your top priority. If you don’t see any signs of a changing environment, you don’t need to stay in a toxic workplace. Understand some of these signs, and trust your gut when it comes to how you should respond. Many of us have had bad experiences with tyrant bosses in the past, I know I have. In my experience, tyrant bosses very rarely change. They have either moved on or I have.

Life is too short to be stressed out by your boss. Thankfully there are plenty of great bosses out there too who will respect and value you and they are a real joy to work with.

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

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How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

We live in a world where other people’s triumphs, successes, and even their vanity are constantly in our faces. Digital influencers and social media make it seem easy to look perfect and feel amazing all of the time. Even your friends and family members might appear to having more success, happiness and fun.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably list off a handful of people you have compared yourself to in the past last week. Maybe a co-worker got a promotion at work, or maybe your friend has just flown off on vacation. Maybe someone you have not seen in years posted a photo online that made you envious of their lifestyle. When you start comparing yourself to others, it is easy to lose your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. If you let your guard down, you can fall into the trap of chasing after other people’s lives and not appreciating who you are and what you have achieved.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. How true those words remain today – perhaps even more so!

How can you stop the endless scrolling, or looking at the lives of people you know and feeling like you’re somehow less important?

Let’s look at a few tips and techniques that can help you to stop comparing yourself to others.

Know Your Triggers

Maybe a co-worker getting a promotion doesn’t affect you, but a friend getting married does. You might be single or recently divorced. Or, maybe you have been in a relationship for a while but your partner doesn’t want to get married. As a result, you start comparing yourself and the things you want to what someone else has. The things that cause you to compare are your “triggers”. Sometimes, you might not care whether someone has more than you, but other times it can really sting and make you feel low.

Understanding your triggers and accepting them will make it easier to stop making those comparisons. First, you can avoid triggers as much as possible until they do not impact you as much. Maybe cut down on your social media usage. Do you pick up your phone out of habit and constantly refresh your Instagram feed? Perhaps get into the habit of keeping your phone out of reach and taking a social media fast from time to time. As you work on that, try to think about why comparing yourself in those specific situations is a waste of time. Once you convince yourself that it is “no big deal,” you are less likely to be triggered.

Remind Yourself That It May Not Be Real

Because of the social media-saturated world that we live in, it is easy for everyone to make their lives seem better than they are. No one is going to post a photo that doesn’t paint them in a positive light. Even in the real world, everything is not always what it seems. Your friend getting married? Maybe they are struggling with something else, like a health condition or money troubles. That co-worker that seems to get all the credit? Maybe they are going through relationship issues at home.

Most of the time, you will only see what people want you to see. You never really know what is going on beneath the surface and behind closed doors. So, when you start comparing yourself to someone else, pause for a moment and remind yourself that no one’s life is perfect. You don’t know what other people are going through, and you may actually be doing better than they are in other areas of life.

Practice Gratitude

When you compare yourself to others, you lose sight of everything you have and everything you can do. Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to stop making comparisons. Think of at least five things you are grateful for every morning to start your day on a positive note.

Alternatively, carry a small notebook around with you and write down something that you are thankful for every time you think of it throughout the day. The best part about this method is being able to look back on your gratitude moments, especially if you are feeling down. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the wonderful things in your life.

Use it as a Motivational Tool

Sometimes, comparison can be a healthy thing. If the thing that you “want” is something that you can work towards, you can let your comparison motivate you to get it. For example, if someone in your life is incredibly kind and charitable, why let their generosity make you feel less important? You do not have to be extremely wealthy to give back. Try volunteering, or donate what you can. If someone at work seems to be getting all the glory, use that as a motivational tool to work harder and get your achievements noticed too.

When you start to work toward the things that make you admire others, it becomes less about comparison and more about who you really want to be. When done “correctly,” comparison can actually push you to be the best possible version of yourself.

So, don’t waste anymore time scrolling through social media and wishing for a different life. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you think you will never have as much. When you use comparison in a negative way, it will make you feel negative and envious. Instead of comparing yourself to others, let certain people inspire you to do more, be more and achieve more.

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

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5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.

If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.

So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.

1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions

You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.

 

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.Robert Tew

 

2. Question Your “Shoulds”

When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.

Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.

 

Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. Dean Graziosi

 

3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others

It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.

It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.

4. Let Yourself Off The Hook

Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.

You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.

5. Look at Your Gifts

If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!

Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.

By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.

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