Is winter making you feel a bit blegh?
Need a little natural HAPPY INJECTION?
You don’t need to pop happy pills to bring more happiness to your life.
Learn 4 natural ways to boost your happy hormones to help make the rest of winter more bearable.
February can be a bit of a blegh month. After the positivity, hope + motivation to kick off the New Year and January bringing all the hopes of new beginnings, a fresh start and smashing big goals, February can be a bit of a let down.
We often end up back in old habits, bad patterns & routines.
February is my birthday month so I love this month. Well I used to when I got excited about birthdays. Not so much these days as it just means getting another year older. But maybe wiser 😉
For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, this can also be the coldest month, which means we tend to hibernate a little more, we exercise less and we love to binge on carbs & comfort foods.
Spring arrived 1st February here in Barcelona and is here to stay. #globalwarming
But for many of you, it’s already been a long winter and I’m sure Spring can’t come fast enough. So what can you do to boost your mood and inject some happy vibes into your life?
Exercise produces the happy hormones serotonin and endorphins. Gyms & fitness classes are notoriously quiet in February. So use this excuse to have the gym almost to yourself and take your butt off to that fitness class to work-it and feel the happiness rush in.
All you need to do is some form of movement 3-4x/week for a minimum of 30 minutes.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are amazing for this it speeds the release of mood-boosting endorphins and you can get the same effect in 15-20 minutes!
2. GET OUTDOORS
Vitamin D directly impacts your mood. Vitamin D is required for the production of the brain chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine + acetylcholine.
The best way to get Vitamin D is through direct exposure to sunlight, so you can see why winter & hibernation leads to low moods and depression. Try to expose as much skin as possible for at least 15-25mins per day. Obviously if you live in Canada where I grew up you won’t be putting on T-shirts to go outside but at least try to get some sun on your face. If you live somewhere in the north where you don’t see much sun, then the best way is to buy one of those SAD lamps which also help to boost serotonin and the sleep hormone melatonin. These can really help to combat seasonal depression. Foods like oily fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks, and mushrooms are also great ways to get your vitamin D intake.
Meditation is good for EVERYTHING! If you don’t have a practice yet, I highly encourage you to get a little more Zen.
There is so much scientific research out there now on the amazing benefits of meditation and it’s been proven to stimulate endorphins, turn off stress hormones and reduce cortisol levels.
We’re living in chronically stressed societies with chronically high levels of stress hormones.
Meditation and deep breathing are some of the best and easiest ways to lower your physiological stress levels, and they’re free! Meditation also promotes relaxation, self-healing and overall well-being.
4. NUTRIENT-DENSE WHOLEFOODS
As with every physiological condition, food is top of the list of natural ways to bring your body back to balance.
Here’s a few foods to bring your HAPPY BACK:
(So many of these are my fave foods – you’d think I’d be the happiest person around! Ha ha)
• Green Leafy Vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, rocket, etc): Contain B vitamins, especially B6 which are depleted during stress. These B vitamins are directly involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters or as I like to call them – happy hormones – dopamine and serotonin.
• Brazil Nuts: My fave nuts contain selenium zinc & tyrosine which are all positively influence dopamine & serotonin levels. All you need is 3 nuts per day to get your daily intake!
• Egg Yolks: Contain tyrosine, tryptophan, B vitamins + Vitamin D which are all pre-cursors or influence products of feel good hormones
• Avocados: Another one of my faves! They have the nutrient choline which influence levels of dopamine serotonin as well as N-Acetyl Cysteine & B5 which help to increase energy levels and concentration giving you a natural high.
• Cacao: And another of my faves. Cacao – the raw form vs chocolate contains theobromine which is a mild, non-addictive stimulant that releases slowly so you get a natural high without the crazy manic style stimulation.
• Omega 3’s: Very important for brain chemical activity & neurotransmitters. You can find these in oily fish – salmon, mackerel, herring, cod liver oil, anchovies, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds + oil
• Beetroot – Love beetroot! These beautiful bright red-purple vegetables contain Betaine, an amino acid that acts as an anti-depressant. This powerful amino acid acts as a stimulant for the production of SAM-e (S-adenoslmethionine) which is directly related to the production of dopamine and serotonin.
• Capsaicin: Cap What?? This is a nutrient found in your spicy foods. Think paprika & chillies. It helps to boost endorphins. Ever get a high after eating a spicy curry? Or an addiction to wanting more?
Add some daily doses of the above and instead of moping around waiting for Spring to arrive, you’ll be singing “BECAUSE I’M HAPPY” out loud and everyone will be wishing they had some of what you have! ✌️?
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