The scientific explanation of mood swings, depression or various mental disorders is found in the inadequate level of natural serotonin that the human body produces. Serotonin is a chemical that is produced in the brain and can regulate brain functions (e.g. mood, memory, appetite). Instead of taking medication to counteract serotonin imbalances, you can encourage serotonin production naturally.

Adopt a healthy diet

The way our body reacts has much to do with the food we eat. Tryptophan determines production of serotonin and can be found in fish, chicken, turkey and nuts. Vitamin B12 is considered a determinant for the increase in serotonin levels and can be taken from fish, chicken and lean meat. Last but not least, complex carbohydrates aid in serotonin production. Good food choices in this respect are whole-wheat bread, vegetables, fruit and brown rice.

Don’t forget to exercise

Exercise is not solely a good way to stay in shape and look good, but also a way to obtain a sense of general well-being. You should choose a physical activity you enjoy (aerobics, jogging or even a walk in the park) and include it in your daily routine. A 30 minute workout per day is enough to stay in a good mood. Natural serotonin production is also correlated with sunlight, explaining to a certain extent why people are in a better mood during summer than during winter. You should get out in the sunlight as much as possible to maintain an appropriate serotonin level.

Have a good night sleep

Serotonin levels are replenished during sleep. It is important to go early to bed and wake up early to avoid stressing your immune system. To start with, you could try to get to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 7 or 8 am. It is also important to ensure a sound sleep by avoiding heavy meals right before sleep.

Surround yourself with love

Serotonin is the “feel good hormone” and natural serotonin production is associated with love, intimacy and laughter. Try to engage in love and friendship relationships that offer you inner peace and keep you in a healthy state.

Decrease sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake

These addictive stimulants are not substitutes for serotonin and give you only a temporary feel-good sensation.

You can obtain well being by adopting small lifestyle changes to produce natural serotonin, instead of reaching for chemical drugs.