If you suffer from depression or are just feeling down, here are ways to increase serotonin and dopamine in your brain to make yourself happy again.
Often when people are feeling down, they will try to raise their spirits the most convenient way they know how. Sometimes this includes binge-watching TV and eating copious amounts of junk food, and other times it includes mind-altering substances such as alcohol or drugs. No doubt, these methods are temporarily effective, but they usually leave you feeling even worse than you did before.
These methods are used so commonly because they are easy, they don’t require any concentration or effort from you.
What would you do if I told you there are ways to raise your spirits for much longer periods of time, maybe indefinitely? These ways do require a little more effort and concentration, however, their benefits far supersede a six-pack of beer.
What you need to feel happier is actually already there, in your brain.
Chemicals including endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine naturally occur in our brains and make us happy. However, sometimes we need to recharge the supply! If you’re ready to put down the remote and become a happier person, read on.
One way to activate your endorphins, while boosting your serotonin and dopamine levels, is to get your body moving.
Physical exercise is one of the fastest ways to feel happier and relieve stress. If working out at the gym isn’t your thing, that’s okay, there are so many other options. From organized team sports to skateboarding or rock climbing, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
When you move your body, the flow of oxygen to your brain increases which helps you to think. Artists often claim that going for a walk can help you to brainstorm or come up with creative ideas.
Getting creative is another great way to raise your dopamine levels.
When you focus on a project, whether it be a painting or writing a song, you give your mind a break from stressful thoughts and enter an almost meditative state.
The next step up from here would be to try out traditional, yet simple meditation. Meditation and mindfulness practices involve quieting the mind and the ego, which is often responsible for suffering and negativity.
These practices take a lot of focus at first but can eventually change your outlook on life and overall happiness.
One of the easiest ways to soothe the mind is with music.
No matter what kind of music you’re into, when you listen to songs that you love, you feel happier. Lately, scientists have been proving that music can even have positive effects on your body and physical health too!
One of the most difficult, yet effective ways to feel happier, in general, is to eat healthier food.
The gut may seem like a faraway part of the body that should have nothing to do with mental health, however, scientists have proven the exact opposite to be true.
If you often eat junk foods that upset your stomach, you are actually upsetting your mind as well. On the other hand, healthy foods can reverse damage and improve your gut, therefore improving your mental health.
Yogurt is a great example as it contains probiotics, which are good bacterias that directly affect the chemicals in your brain. Detoxing your body will greatly improve both your gut and mental health as well.
Abstaining from alcohol and or drugs, for the most part, is a great way to detox, however, if you need a drink every once in a while, that’s okay! Opt for red wine as it is actually loaded with antioxidants.
The key to boosting your serotonin and dopamine levels is not to attempt everything all at once.
Pick one major thing to focus on, such as eating healthier, first. While working towards this goal spend some time on the side listening to music or playing around with a low-pressure art project.
As you slowly transition to raising your brain’s happy hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, in a healthier way, you are sure to find yourself as a much happier person.
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This Post Has 51 Comments
Wonderful, I do agree.
Thanks that’s so nice
I agree .. ought to be tried .. and eat lots of bananas too 😀
Check your vitamin and mineral levels. Low vitamin d can cause SERIOUS depression and anxiety. I know because my current vitamin d level is at 34!!!!
I’m a 28
Praying for you baby… God bless you!
Gym n dope
nothing ive tried has worked. ive just accepted its who i am and something i have to live with.
It is an addiction to your self. You don’t have to live with it.
You can have a different life, don’t just accept this. Fight it instead.
been fighting it since i was 13 i just live with it now. people have also learned to accept me for how i am too.
Come be a wolf. We have no time for self pity. There are real struggles that you can help us with. If you are have nothing better to do then cry, get a bag and go pick up trash. Making the world better will crush the parasite that has stripped you of life.
i dont cry i havent cried in many years. but i dont feel joy either. i spend all my life battling crooks, i care for my disabled mother and i live a fairly off grid lifestyle away from people. ive never been one to feel joy, love, happiness and ive come to accept it as normal. i over think everything and i see more then most do. i dont fell self pity and i dont wallow i just dont live when there is little reason to get up each other
Tomm Boswell i agree, I was feeling really down and sorry for myself yesterday, and when I arrived home after a walk there was a beggar woman at my gate. I immediately realised her plight is much heavier than mine and geared up to help her instead of focusing on myself. What an anti-depressant
True enlightenment will always consider another’s journey not to be their own. It does not judge it or the individual. One may be moved to feed a starving child, or a mass of starving people. It may not move one at all. Either way, everything is in perfect balance. I’m not sure what normal is nor do I care to define it, but whatever you’re doing seems to be working for you in some way, Nadine Wolf. If there is3 little reason to get up, you’ve at least found one reason. Good for you! If you can’t be happy for you, I can be happy for you. I love the feel of cool grass on my feet, the beauty of nature and coffee in the morning. It makes me happy if even for a moment. I repeat if necessary to maintain my focus on what brings me joy. If I think real hard, I can find others things I like and enjoy too. For right here and now is all we have… Might as well try to find some enjoyment!
Get a dog !
Cheyenne Stewart. Couldn’t hurt
A very simple way to increase serotonin and dopamine levels is to exercise.
A lot of people who say things like this fail to understand the part of depression that makes you unable to exercise
First of all SMOKE WEED, and second go VERYYYYY HIGH with your music, and dance and three LOST YOUR MIND IN HAPPINESS AVOIDING ANY KIND OF INTRUDERS THOUGHTS ABOUT REALITY BECAUSE IT IS JUST A GAME…LEARN HOW TO PLAY WITH YOUR WONDERFUL MIND
Get a dog. Exercise, take vitamin D
just smoke a fatty… that will raise the dopamine
Monica Maria Ciobanu, they say music makes you happier!
Just cut grass once a week
A daily orgasm
Always helps xxxxxxxxxx
Yes it does xxxxxxxxxx
sex in general does
eat mushrooms , smoke weed and go for a walk in nature <3
Weed lots and lots of weed lol
research the work of Dr. Abrham Hoffer with Niacin etc. in Canada i think back in 1940’s ’50’s ??…..i know one person who stopped her depression and got off of her anti-depression “drugs” using niacinamide…..its cheap and harmless its worth checking into…
Weeeed….I rest my case….
Rub your nips that works too!
What if I want to be alive?
❤️thanks Chris.. how are you? Call me soon x
Yes I’ll call you soon honey xx
Katie some good points here related to your caregiving.
Music, meditation, movement, making my tools for feeling well
Depression doesn’t come anywhere near me cos each day before I go out for a walk with my favourite mantras on auto-repeat (gotta be walking if I want to listen to a walkman 😉 ), I make sure to enjoy a great invigorating start with my cold water shower, which turns out to be a smart way to beat the blues cos it invigirates your Vagus Nerve giving me a neurogenesis boost in the hippocampus, so no need to feel low about any of those low down moments in life like a bout of encephalitis.
it’s awesome being a dude
Cut your wrist
Smoke a blunt …
And also make sure you are not surrounded by arseholes. Boom. Cured.
Can think of one way they didn’t mention
Hehe tell me xx
You’ll know when you know
Psilocybin mushroom do the trick for me
Some of these comments are childish. I think not many of you have understood how I’ll depression can make someone. I totally agree with all the suggestions given in the article and know from experience that these will go a long way to making one’s mood and outlook better. I’m trying everyday, to get there. I will not give up. Please only leave positive comments here, help those who truly need it!