Family is gathering, money may or may not be tight and for some of us there is a good chance that stress relief is in dire need. But, how to relive stress correctly is a tricky feat, particularly if you are continuously surrounded by a situation that stresses you out. During the holiday season it is important to remember a few things; first and foremost attempt to be conscious and pick your battles. To pick your battles means to decide every moment, is it worth it? Do I really want to fight this one to the death? Secondly, have you ever noticed that you feel a little heavier, maybe a little depressed during the winter months? While artificial light keeps you awake, it does not help with the melatonin production in your body which helps you get a good night’s sleep. My suggestion to you is to take a vitamin D supplement, make sure you get outside every day and then to really consider your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a naturally forming chemical in your brain, that gives you the sensation and feeling of being happy. With a serotonin deficiency your happiness factor is going to lack. With the added stress of the Holiday season your serotonin may just be under attack.
The idea here is to Increase serotonin. Increasing serotonin equals more feeling happy. We want to decrease stress, or find stress relief. By doing so, we increase serotonin. We also know that we can find stress relief by simply relaxing.
Recommended Relaxation Techniques:
- Nadi Suddhi: Yogic Breathing
- Guided Meditation
- Take A Nap! (For those of you with small children, my deepest apologies)
- Warm bath or shower
- Focus on an object, perhaps a fireplace (with fire!) for 10-15 minutes, escaping from all other thought. (That would be meditation!)
- Yoga – Yin Style
- Read a short story
- Journaling, writing, reliving happy times
These methods will reduce stress and increase serotonin levels. However, what if you are not stressed but still feel that you have a serotonin deficiency? Not to worry, there are other ways you can increase your levels.
Natural Ways to Increase Serotonin Levels:
- Yoga – Yang Style
- Push Ups
- Walking (any kind of minimal effort to get the blood flowing)
- Take the Stairs!
- Walk the Dog
- Any moderate exercise you can do will begin to increase levels of good stuff in your body. That’s a fact.
Increase Serotonin Through Food:
- White Foods (White Rice, Regular Potatoes, White bread)
- “Normal” Pasta
- Cake, candy, Sugar.
- NO CAFFEINE
- Brown Foods (Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Wheat Bread)
- Vegetable Pasta/Whole Grain Pasta
- Starchy Vegetable
- Legumes and Beans
The Holidays are among us and at times it can be stressful. Knowing how to relieve stress is a helpful friend to have in the moment! I hope you have a wonderful season and be sure to get those serotonin levels raised up high friends!