Stress is always given a bad name. Think about stress being good and production. Do you find it strange. Let us think this way. We stress at work - whether it is boss, workload or travel or a colleague but think about a moment when you don’t have that job at all. Does that make you more stressed? In Research, it is seen that a short term stress as it boosts our cells health. But stress is harmful when we have a high dose of chronic stress which has gone for years. Through a phenomenon called hormesis, short term cells can boost our cellular health. So, changing your mindset about stress is great but finding natural ways to increase happiness through your diet and lifestyle is even better. I am sharing ways to increase your happiness in this article.
Effective ways to boost happy hormones
There are 4 happy chemicals or hormones which are released Endorphins, Serotonin, Dopamine and Oxytocin. Listed below are 4 definitive ways to enhance these:
Image source: Timesofindia
Fasting improves a neurotransmitter called BDNF ( Brain derived neurotrophic factor which increases availability of both dopamine and serotonin hormones in the brain. BDNF controls the growth of the new cells in the brain. Just by consuming a plant based diet of fruits and vegetables or even spice turmeric, even 1 teaspoon we can increase BDNF by 50%. We hear so much that fasting can be good for our mind. Like how we fast on different occasions, it helps in rejuvenating our body- like cholesterol, sugars etc etc but it also improves our mood. Research shows that fasting-induced mood enhancement, decreased anxiety, depression, tiredness and your endorphin levels shoot up by 50% . One may feel crappy initially but our body goes through an adaptive mechanism and fasting can be a substitute for antidepressant drugs.
2# Including These Natural Foods
Some natural foods that help increase BDNF are plant foods like apples, berries, grapes, onions, green tea, and our Indian spices like cloves, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg. There is scientific evidence that shows eating plant based diets reduces depression. Eating more fruits and vegetables will make you happier, calmer, energetic and positive throughout the day.
3# Bask in The Sunshine
Have you heard of Seasonal Affective disorder we experience like monsoon rain or winters. We feel that seasonal low. This appears to happen in people who have low levels of vitamin D. Sunshine plays a vital role in uplifting our happy hormone Serotonin. It is worthwhile to check vitamin D levels and supplement it to uplift your mood.
4# Science behind sugar craving
Our happy hormones serotonin can’t pass through our blood brain barrier without carbohydrates. Tryptophan is an amino acid, necessary for the movement of serotonin in the brain. Even low levels of tryptophan can cause irritability, anger and depression. When we consume carbohydrates, it shunts the non-tryptophan amino acids out of the bloodstream and into the muscles and allows tryptophan to become more accessible to the brain. That is why during PMS cycles, women crave carbohydrates and sugars. A rich source of carbohydrate is essential for tryptophan access into the brain!! But good carbohydrates should be used, not processed carbs. Good sources of tryptophan are sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Even black coffee can be useful in reducing symptoms of low but not more than 6 cups a day.. Excess black coffee can increase risk of depression.
Swati’s Magic Trick To Release The Happy Hormones?
Now my magic trick if you want to release all the 4 happy hormones in your body then you need to just exercise. A research conducted at the Duke university found that men and women who performed regular aerobic exercise, within 4 months their improvements in mood were as better as anyone taking an antidepressant drug. This is because Exercise helps in conserving our telomeres - the base for DNA structure. A moderate aerobic exercise if performed 3 times a week for 45 minutes for 6 months increases telomerase enzyme, the enzyme which protects our DNA structure.
So, do HIIT Training, brisk walk, cycling because Resistance exercise does not show much effect on mood. Remember you need to exercise, when you do not want to. An hour of exercise can cause BDNF to rise 3 times more in people and there is no doubt exercise helps in dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin.. The biggest gift you can give yourself or someone is your time. The way we think, we manifest. So make sure you give time to yourself, so that you and your world around is a happy space.
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