They say gut feelings are guardian angels, but they don’t say gut cells create 80-90% of our serotonin. They say 5-hydroxytryptamine, but they don’t say that the second result that comes up when you Google serotonin is “how to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs.” Like, what’s the deal with that?
Have you ever been asked, “What’s the secret to happiness”? I’m sure you have. Well, now you know, it’s serotonin, notoriously known as 5-hydroxytryptamine.
If you needed an excuse to text an old fling, there you have it. If you need a sign, this is it. What is a rapper’s favorite candy? Eminems! That riddle is *another* completely reasonable, not at all creepy reason to text someone.
Did you know there’s a connection between depression and digestive issues? Because there is.
What do anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and insomnia all have in common?
- If your answer is “The letter I!”, you’re right.
- If your answer is “Low serotonin is linked to all of them.”, you’re also right. 4+5=9, but so does 6+3, you know?
Serotonin, depending on where it’s released, affects memory, mood, or cognition.
Shawty got low, low, low, and when I say shawty, I mean serotonin.
Low serotonin levels can be caused by:
- Anger issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- A poor diet
- Lack of sunlight
- Lack of exercise
It’s a “which came first” of sorts. Stress can produce low serotonin levels, just as low serotonin levels can be a source of stress per se.
How to increase serotonin naturally
- Regular meals,
- Good sleep,
- Natural sunlight.
I know you’ve heard this all your life, but they’re all so important.
A rant about holistic approaches for people struggling with mental health issues
This is your reminder that 30 minutes of moving your body three times a week reaps all the necessary mental and physical benefits. You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym or run five days a week, you don’t need anything but a body.
Good physical health gets portrayed as something you can achieve only in extreme ways. To add insult to injury, those extreme methods are portrayed as normal and easily achievable for the average Joe.
Six intense workouts a week, sometimes a run included too, ONE rest day? Food you don’t enjoy stripped of color, salt, oil, carbs, LIFE! Maybe it has something to do with the industries making a profit out of this?
How to Increase Serotonin in the Human Brain With Drugs
As much as an advocate for holistic healing (Like if you cringed a little) and a believer that the biggest drug cartel on the planet is the pharmaceutical industry I am, I’m aware that SSRIs are crucial to those with low serotonin levels or other mental health problems. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) are bae.
Medications help a loooot of people, and the shame surrounding their use for mental conditions makes 0 sense.
The narrative that people who need medication to produce more serotonin and feel okay, are not trying their best because if they were, they wouldn’t need pills, is extremely harmful. We should be grateful medicine has advanced so greatly that it can help us with all sorts of issues, not question helping ourselves by taking something our bodies need.
Imagine telling someone suffering from diabetes they should just be positive. You wouldn’t.
Back pain, chest pain, joint pain usually coexist with depression or other mood disorders. In his book, David Perlmutter MD stated that 52% of people with gluten intolerances suffer from depression. The long-term study of 115,071 subjects showed an association of MDD (Major Depression Disorder) and various neurological, respiratory, and gastrointestinal conditions.
How to Increase Serotonin on the Brain- if You’ve Tried It All
Please don’t feel guilty if you’ve explored holistic treatments and they haven’t done anything for you. Lack of serotonin, the happiness producing neurotransmitter, can make you not want to exercise, you know? At this point, studies about exercise being just as effective as medication don’t matter. The numbers don’t matter, you do.
When you can’t find the strength to get out of bed, you can’t do a strength workout.
“If you say ’mental illness’ 3 times in the mirror, someone with a live laugh love tshirt will appear behind you and ask if you tried going outside.“Chryslin D. Robinson on Facebook
Don’t be that person. Most importantly, why do you own a live laugh love shirt? Come on, have some self respect.
What I Wish For
In a recent episode from one of my favorite podcasts, Julien Solomita, one of the hosts, read his childhood letters. In one of them, he’d wished for an Xbox and world peace. How sweet is that?! I said I wanted to end each article with a lesson I learned or was trying to teach (Like if you cringed again) but let’s say I changed my mind.
I changed my mind. There, I said it.
Did you say it? I thought we were on this together?
In other(s) words, here’s what I wish for:
“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
Everything might not be ok soon, or ever, but every time we give these fights our all, we’re helping to make that small, quiet room cozier. Better. Safer. Kinda… okay.
What do I wish for? That today, you kindly observe in a new light how some aspects of your life are related to one another.
I wish your brain produces a lot of 5-hydroxytryptamine. If not, I wish you find the things that work for you, and that the small, quiet room is one you enjoy staying in.
And world peace, of course.
Disclaimer and an update
I take my research seriously, as well as try to be as helpful/informative as possible with the experience and knowledge I’ve gathered throughout the years. However, this information may not be suitable for your specific situation, it is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and shouldn’t be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.
UPDATE: A previous version of this article said “Low levels of serotonin are believed to be a leading cause of depression”. I removed it after further research, like this one: “removing the stuff in the brain that creates serotonin ((More technically, mice lacking the gene for TPH2 are genetically depleted of brain 5HT serotonin. So the researchers bred mice that lacked the TPH2 gene to test their theory.)) did not create a bunch of depressed mice.” (emphasis mine).