Mindfulness Monday

Mindfulness Monday: Step Up Your Serotonin

Do you find yourself feeling low during the dark winter months?  Are you cranky when you don’t get enough movement in your day?  Does low fiber junk food leave you feeling down and depleted?  If you answered yes to any of these questions….you may be human.

As humans, the various chemical messengers dancing in our bodies are constantly interacting and effecting how we feel, think, and behave.  In particular, serotonin seems to play a large role in mental well-being.  Low levels of serotonin are linked to both anxiety and depression.  Answering yes to the aforementioned questions may mean you’ve experienced the natural decrease in serotonin that happens when healthy lifestyle measures get off track.  The following healthy habits can help you increase serotonin levels:

Move more: If I had a dollar for every time I bullet pointed that little tidbit of information…it turns out, aside from tons of other benefits, exercise boosts serotonin levels.

Get some sun: We may indeed be solar powered.  A lack of sunlight seems to lower serotonin, while an increase in sun exposure raises it.  Try going for a walk in the sunlight for a double whammy of serotonin secretion.

Eat your beans: Or other fiber containing foods.  A high fiber diet nourishes healthy gut bacteria, promoting healthy serotonin levels in the gut brain axis.  Fermented veggies may pack even more of a probiotic punch.

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Stroller walks, good exercise for mama and some sunlight for T!