Happy Pill or Not?
Do I need a happy pill?
Are you wondering if that proverbial pill will make you happy?
Is it really the easy way out / or not?
Before 1988 when the drug Prozac hit the market the American people did not understand the word serotonin.
serotonin |ˌsɛrəˈtəʊnɪn| noun Biochemistry
a compound present in blood platelets and serum, which constricts the blood vessels and acts as a neurotransmitter.
It was not long, only two years in fact, that the drug became the most prescribed medication in the US. The introduction of Prozac was the upstart of a new age of antidepressants called SSRI's, which simply means they are Selective Serotonin uptake inhibitors.
Suddenly depression was becoming a household term and people began talking openly about it. This is how serotonin got the nickname: “feel-good hormone”.
For many people the fact that they began taking a serotonin enhancer made them cope better and their lives became more manageable. The problem is this: for others, the side effects outweigh the feel good!
There are many ways of boosting serotonin levels and this should be looked into before taking a happy pill. Just eating correctly and Exercising can do so much more for you than any pill. Learning to use the correct life tools to cope with the stresses in life will help in many ways. Getting rid of negativity, whether it is personal or professional could change the way you feel. My advice to you as a professional life coach is “look for alternative solutions before using chemicals to do it for you”.
Imbalances of serotonin can cause a range of issues both in behaviours and organ function. Here are just a few examples:
- Hormone imbalance
- Muscle tightness
- Emotional ups and downs
- Sleep patterns
So here are 10 ways I, personally, use to boost my serotonin levels to feel good!
Get good food into your system.
You know what is good for you. So do it and you will see and feel the benefits soon enough.
Avoid sugar wherever possible. That I know is easier said than done. Sugar, unfortunately, is an instant, but temporary lift of serotonin. This only sounds good because it is quick but sugar also does many bad things, like messing up the bacteria in your stomach which can also destroy your serotonin.
Exercise is the way to go. Moving your body in any way is good for you. It boosts your serotonin and other endorphins for sure. Having that ‘runners high’ after you get moving will elevate your mood.
Then there is that beautiful sunshine we should all get, obviously in moderation. The sun is one of the best serotonin boosters available to us. A small amount is also better than nothing.
Meditation and yoga
Meditation and yoga are one of the best ways of ridding yourself of the stress that our daily lives seem to bring. When your mind is calm and you can think clearly, then your decision making becomes easier and your stresses will be alleviated. Having a good mind-body relationship also helps in knowing when your serotonin needs a pickup.
Sleep is essential. Rather go for quality than quantity here. You know when you need your sleep, so get into the good habit of not messing up your routine too often. When you have had quality sleep you have given your body time to rebalance and repair.
Massage is said to increase serotonin and dopamine. It allows for you to regain focus which in turn allows you to lower stress levels. While you are feeling the effects of the dopamine it will greatly decrease stress hormones and cortisol in your system.
Quality Time with Quality People.
This is a sure thing to feed your soul and raise your spirits... Being with people who make you feel good and have no negative emotions towards will boost your feel GREAT hormone’s. Don’t forget to laugh that is a magic recipe to elevate your mood. There is even a Laugh Coaching therapy workshop available to you.
I am a firm believer in paying it forward. When you go out there and do something for someone else, it is incredible just how good it can make you feel. When you see the help you have given others come to fruition, there really are no words, just good feelings.
Last but not least: Gratitude is a wonderful way of feeling great. Remembering your very reason for what makes your world turn will get that feel good hormone working. Working on the things we do have rather than what we don’t have will keep you focused in the now. Being present in your own life is what you need as a prescription.
These 10 tips are not foolproof. For the people who have been diagnosed with depression, you can use them to help your situation, but it is not a cure. Everyone on anti-depressants can work with their doctors if they are wanting to reduce or come off their medication. This should not be done alone as there can be implications and major side effects involved.
So it is time to become your own happy pill. Be full of life and inspiring to others instead of waiting for someone to come and inspire you. You have what it takes to feel good about yourself and your life. Find the smallest thing and start by being grateful for that. You will see how being positive makes you feel.
Start working on the essence of you and you will find yourself thinking and feeling better.
Depression is not a choice but a condition.
The choice you do have is happiness, so choose it!