We've all had those days where nothing seems to go right. You start out stubbing your toe on the bed and it goes downhill from there. But, what if I told you that I had a secret magic trick to turn it all around? It's a simple trick, but not always easy to do.
Serotonin - The Master Mood-Booster
First, a mini science lesson. We have hormones in our body that regulate our mood. Serotonin is one of the main mood-boosting neurotransmitters known as the "feel good" hormone that is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. Serotonin helps us feel happy, calm, and confident. When serotonin flows freely, we feel good about ourselves — and the opposite is true when this hormone is absent. Low levels can cause sleep disorders and lead to obesity.
So, how do we get more of this serotonin stuff so we feel good? We create it out of thin air...poof! Told you it was a magic trick. Actually, our body creates serotonin when we do something to "level up." We receive good news, get a job promotion, accept an award. The secret of serotonin, which is really really cool is that it works like a domino effect. When you trigger it, our brains seek to create more of it. All you have to do is grit your teeth and push over the first domino. This sounds ridiculously easy, but not always the case.
It's easy to keep the momentum of the current mood, which goes along with Newton's rules of motion. It's difficult to stop anything once it gets going, but if you learn how to do this one thing, you can DEFY PHYSICS!
Think of the last time you were in a bad mood spiral. If someone looked at you and told you to smile, how would you respond? Me...probably tell them to bleep off. Buuuut, if we can grit our teeth and DECIDE to be in a better mood, genuinely laugh at a joke, find things to be grateful for, or hug a loved one for 20 seconds, this is like throwing a flotation device to our mood before it sinks to the bottom. From there, it gradually increases because you are creating more and more serotonin, and it builds until you feel happy again.
It Starts with Good Nutrition
If you find it difficult to create happiness within yourself, you may be low in the nutrients it takes to make serotonin in your body. The main nutrients you need are Tryptophan, Vitamins B6/B12 with folate, and complex carbs. Make a smoothie with spinach, chia seeds, a banana and blueberries and you have what you need to trigger the good-mood cycle.
In summary, my secret weapon to break my bad moods are smoothies and hugs, can't get any simpler than that!