The Power Of Serotonin And Dopamine
Everything that happens in the human body is by design. Hormones and neurotransmitters control almost all processes, and one’s mood is no exception. Serotonin and dopamine are 2 essential chemicals that affect mental health and other bodily functions. The chemical serotonin impacts calm moods, peacefulness, sleep, concentration, and body temperature. Dopamine is often called the feel-good hormone. This chemical impacts motivation, vitality, desire, alertness, and blood flow. Having healthy levels of these neurotransmitters is essential for a vibrant life.
A dopamine and serotonin check
Having low levels of dopamine and serotonin manifests in diverse ways. Dopamine is the gateway to energy and vitality. Some people will notice difficulty waking up, concentrating, and restlessness. Others struggle to achieve goals and have a low interest in sex, projects, and hobbies. On the other hand, low serotonin levels can manifest as irritability, agitation, and trouble staying calm. Most struggle to fall asleep and even get frequent migraines. Thankfully, there are 4 natural ways to refill these chemical stores.
1. Time to get moving
Exercise is one of the best ways to increase both dopamine and serotonin. A simple walk, jog, or weightlifting for 30 minutes boosts these chemicals. Studies show that aerobic exercise boosts dopamine and serotonin in specific parts of the brain.
2. Increase your protein intake
Diet plays a critical role in weight management and overall health. Research also shows that some foods can directly impact serotonin and dopamine levels. Eating the wrong foods can quickly spike dopamine and serotonin levels, followed by a steep decline. Eating a high protein diet can provide a consistent release of both chemicals. Studies show that protein contains amino acids that help regulate mood and concentration.
3. Step up your sleep
People are spending less time sleeping. Sleep has become a nuisance with high demands at work and excess screen time. Yet, sleep is essential for healthy serotonin and dopamine levels. When people are sleep-deprived, dopamine levels drop significantly in the morning. Serotonin, along with melatonin, helps with a good night’s sleep. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep help manage both chemicals.
4. Try meditation
Neurotransmitters are linked to one’s emotional state of mind. With the stress of today’s world, meditation and mindfulness can help our moods. Meditation can be done anywhere and helps bring a relaxed, focused mind. The practice also increases gratitude, which is linked to happiness.
Try these supplements
Besides these lifestyle changes, there is some value in using supplements to increase dopamine and serotonin. For instance, l-tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin production. This supplement can help with balancing mood and increasing these chemicals. Mucuna, known as the velvet bean plant, contains L-dopa, another essential amino acid. Like l-tryptophan, mucuna supplements increase dopamine which can decrease depression. Other helpful supplements include magnesium, Rhodiola Rosea, and St. John’s Wort.
A better mood
Healthy dopamine and serotonin levels can improve mood, help with sleep, and improve the quality of life. People with controlled levels will have a more fulfilled life achieving goals, projects, and engaging with others. If there are signs of low neurotransmitters, exercise, proper sleep, and diet can help. As an added boost, speak with a pharmacist or doctor to add some helpful supplements.