Endorphins are the happiness chemicals. We produce them with physical activity and by focusing on happy thoughts. Low levels of endorphins leave us feeling worn out, easily stressed, sensing real or imagined pain, and depressed. Serotonin is a natural anti-depressant responsible for willpower and delayed gratification. Low levels of it can cause a person to be weepy, to struggle to meet deadlines, to find it hard to follow through on plans, and to come up with creative ideas. People with low serotonin seem to lose a sense of ‘Me.” Let’s consider some simple coping tips and solutions to the “low levels of endorphins and serotonin” problem and even to clinical depression. Clinical depression is a long-lasting sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, restlessness, and/or agitation caused by a dysfunctional sense of perspective rather than a temporary chemical depletion.
Human bodies create endorphins during happy moments. Enjoy the laughs as you realize that mental health professionals recommend eating chocolate. Its chemical properties help your brain, spinal cord and the rest of your body to produce endorphins as do drinking and eating favorite items, laughing, learning new skills, sex, and thinking happy thoughts. Pull out the photo albums or mementoes that bring a smile to your face and spend time cheering up with them. Read a book or watch a video, maybe a movie that gets you laughing, singing or dancing alone or with a loved one. There’s a reason that youngsters do those things naturally. They’re not impeded by work schedules and other responsibilities. Mimic their sweetness and enjoy the fun on many levels. Adults tend to take themselves too seriously and pay depressing prices for that mistake.
We produce serotonin with exercise, the satisfying sensation of touch, letting sunshine touch our skin and looking at it, and thinking happy thoughts. If you’ve ever suffered from or heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), then you know that it is common in wintertime, when there is less sunshine. Cures for SAD that don’t involve medicine include diet, exercise, an exposure to bright light, plus self-induced changes in mood. As a matter of fact, a wholesome diet without processed, packaged foods, increased exercise and pro-active behavior (the phrase itself is a giveaway to why it works) can greatly minimize, if not prevent, many forms of depression and other mood disorders.
Put on some quality sneakers and get moving. Ride a bike, hike, run up and down stairs, dance, or hit the gym. Stay with the activity that appeals to you. Shop for and prepare foods that nourish you inside and out. Partner with someone who makes it more fun. When you wonder if the cost of home-made meals is worth the expense, compare it with the price of drugs and their side effects. You might build more motivation to simplify your recovery from depression.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.