Are you needing a natural boost? Life’s chaotic at times and you may feel like you need a recharge. Here are some ideas to boost your body’s ‘happy chemicals’ to help you re-energize.
Table of Contents
- Why Natural Is Better
- What are Natural Mood Enhancers
- Why Use Natural Supplements
- 8 Ways to Get Free Feel-Better Doses
- The Wellness Through Wildness Benefit
- Information Sources on Mood Enhancing Chemicals
Why Natural Is Better
Three reasons why natural is better:
- Natural ways save you money
- Natural ways save the environment
- They complement the design of our bodies
People spend enormous amounts of hard earned money on trying to feel better!
In fact, Americans as a whole spend over $11 Billion a year on just this.
Addictions can be a symptom of people dealing with stress. The problem is they often worsen the situation due to spending and debt worries among other unwanted side-effects. Dealing with stress this way can be toxic.
By the way, this doesn’t just relate to illicit drugs, alcohol, or smoking. Shopping can be an addiction that damages, not just your wallet, but also the environment through the waste of resources. While it gives a quick ‘feel good’ dose of well-being, that mood boost doesn’t last and needs to be repeated at a larger scale (and cost) to get the next fix. This is how addictions work.
Consumerism comes to mind as a modern symptom of a stressed society.
So, dealing with life pressures naturally is important.
Feeling rundown with ongoing stress needs attention
It’s not just bad for your physical health. It can sabotage your confidence, quality of life, and relationships!
And, natural non toxic ways of lifting your body’s ‘happy’ chemicals makes sense.
What are the Natural Mood Enhancers?
Your body is designed to produce chemicals (those ‘happy chemicals’) to combat the stresses of living.
There are four main ones listed here, along with how they make you feel.
Dopamine for Motivation
Dopamine helps you feel: bliss, pleasure, motivation, and euphoria.
It plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior.
Feeling rewarded helps boost your dopamine levels.
So, if you’re lacking energy or zest for life, give yourself a treat as a reward for an achievement.
It doesn’t have to bust your budget.
How to feel rewarded?
The ultimate is a rewarding job. But, that doesn’t always cut it.
So, a hobby or interest that fires you up can be more satisfying and rewarding. I’ve listed more ways below in the ‘8 Ways to Get a free DOSE’ to feel better.
Oxytocin for Feeling Loved
Oxytocin is the love or bonding hormone. A sign of an oxytocin deficiency is aggression. This natural mood enhancer is a natural antidepressant also. It helps build trust and attachment between individuals
A downside of oxytocin is that it can foster social behaviors, like when groups are ‘clicky’ or there’s an air of arrogance about them (and bullying also).
Being on the ‘outer’ of any clicky circle makes me feel I don’t belong and of being awkwardly ‘different’. This is opposite to what most of us want.
So, oxytocin is complicated and has a dark side, but knowing so helps. We all want to free the anxiety in our lives, right?
Serotonin for Confidence
Yep, it is important in helping you feel confident.
Also…How to fight depression? Answer: Boost your serotonin levels.
How? I’ve listed some natural ways below in the ‘8 Ways to Get a free DOSE’ to feel better
As well as your mood, this feel good chemical improves your ability to learn and recall.
Endorphins for Dealing With Pain
This natural mood enhancer is sometimes referred to as the ‘happiness drug’.
Endorphins are opioid neuropeptides. They allow us to operate at high levels in extremes.
If you’re feeling emotionally sensitive and suffering chronic pain, you could be low on endorphins.
I’ve included ways of naturally boosting your endorphins below.
Getting These as Natural Supplements
Sometimes for various reasons, we need more help with getting these feel good chemicals.
Taking supplements can support this.
Why Use Natural Supplements
Why take ‘feel good’ supplements?
You may be thinking if we have natural ways of boosting our feel-good chemicals, why take supplements?
Well. Supplements are a convenient way of getting your natural mood boosters when, for one reason or another, you need that extra dose.
Feeling stressed, weak, and tired can happen more so as we age. We may often feel a lack of vitality. And because our bodies lose the ability to absorb natural goodness as easily as when we were younger, supplements are a way to overcome this.
Other reasons to include supplements relate to genes, location, or immediate situation.
So, if you can’t get the best that you need from natural processes you may look to incorporate supplements.
Feeling Lonely? Unloved?
If you are deficient in serotonin you may feel an unhealthy desire to seek attention. Serotonin flows when we are feeling appreciated and feel a belonging.
Try reflecting on past accomplishments as this can activate serotonin.
Serotonin regulates your appetite. And, like other biochemicals, your body synthesizes serotonin when you are asleep. Hence, the importance of a sound night’s sleep. But then, if you are low on serotonin, you’re likely having trouble sleeping, right? Yeah, it’s a catch 22.
Vitamin D Can Help
A dose of Vitamin D3 is known to increase serotonin levels in our brain¹.
It’s also said to benefit our sleeping habits. Some sunshine in the morning supports your biological clock …so you get a good night’s sleep.
If you have trouble getting some sunlight or because of age, consider taking Vitamin D as a supplement.
Did you know that as we age our skin loses its ability to take in the goodness of Vitamin D from sunlight?
The amino acid tryptophan can also help with serotonin production. Our bodies can’t manufacture tryptophan and hence it is essential to our diets.
This natural mood booster, tryptophan is found in flaxseed oil, bananas, pineapples, plums, turkey, and milk. Combining carbohydrates with these foods in meals enhances the uptake of tryptophan. Adding flaxseed oil to your diet every day can help improve your mood.
Tryptophan is also available in supplement form — see the range available on Amazon.
Wanting to feel energized?
How to reduce fatigue? How to feel energetic? What helps with fatigue?
Try Curcumin – A Popular Choice
If you are looking for natural remedies for fatigue, try curcumin.4
Science studies show that curcumin does “possess antidepressant activity by modulating the release of serotonin and dopamine.”³ So, not only does it answer how to get rid of fatigue but also serves as one of the natural ways to help depression.
Curcumin supplements are often sold for the relief of arthritis and joint inflammation and these often coincide with neurological factors.³
Feeling run down with age?
As we age we face the psychological changes and challenges of getting older. Like, getting a decent night’s sleep becomes more elusive with age. Anxiety can also rise similar to how depression plagues teenagers. Daily exercise can help alleviate some of these.
Keeping active is vital because it helps us gain a restful and sound sleep at night, and in turn, will help boost your energy levels.
Joining gyms and fitness training programs is popular and a way of boosting our natural endorphins.
In the case of older people, natural endorphin production tends to decline with age, contributing to inertia. This means we are less inclined to get moving as we age. So it takes a conscious effort to achieve this and sometimes supplements help.
How to improve mood and energy?
We get Vitamin D3 from UVB rays hitting our skin when we are outside in the sunshine and this naturally increases serotonin.¹
The effectiveness of this process, however, declines as we mature because of our skin aging and having factors that undermine Vitamin D levels, like less of what converts the UVB light into the vitamin D precursor.
Then there are life situations and locations that might mean you can’t get the optimum benefit of sunshine. These are some of the reasons why Vitamin D supplements are important.
How to fight depression naturally?
When people wonder how to relieve depression the natural way, they often look to supplements.
Available supplements provide natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress that are the normal ups and downs — For anything more than mild, it is recommended to refer to a medical practitioner.
People might prefer taking supplements to beat depression. If it is mild, taking supplements to boost natural mood enhancers may help. See also the list below of natural ways for feeling better.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist where you may have concerns about taking supplements — for example if you are already taking prescription medication or have a particular medical condition.
For women – how to feel better?
If you are a woman, you might suffer mood and energy downers due to fluctuations in estrogen levels. The serotonin ups and downs can wreak havoc on your cognitive abilities and relationships.
Being a mum ‘juggling it all’, you might be looking for something to calm the chaos.
Or, if you are at the menopausal stage of life, you might be looking for ways to overcome depression.²
Serotonin Boosting Supplements
Along with Vitamin D, other serotonin boosting supplements can help ease the problems and make life livable again for many.
Remedies for tiredness and stress. How to relieve tiredness?
What are the natural ways to overcome feeling tired all the time, no energy, and no motivation?
Dopamine helps with feeling energized. Certain foods and supplements help produce dopamine, like protein-rich foods with L-Tyrosine and curcumin found in turmeric.
Dopamine itself cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and so, supplements are based on precursor forms such as L-DOPA.
Another is L-tyrosine.
Below, you’ll find my list of ways to naturally feel better…How to boost your body’s natural mood enhancers, supplement-free.
8 Easy Ways to Get a Free Feel-Better Dose
There are free natural ways to boost the ‘happy chemical’ quartet: Dopamine-Oxytocin-Serotonin-Endorphin (D O S E). See my list below.
Combine and vary these for an easy to get a stress-busting package.
For some, this may mean a few lifestyle changes and possibly, the forming of new daily habits, which may take practice. But keep at it and you’ll reap the rewards.
Make sure to cover all four brain messengers of D O S E.
1. Give and Receive
Most people will say that receiving a gift or some niceness makes them feel better.
The same applies to the act of giving.
What this does is boost your Oxytocin levels – D O S E.
Here are examples of how to get a boost of this mood enhancer:
- Enjoy a massage or rub
- Cuddle, hold hands
- Do random acts of kindness
Remember, oxytocin enhances mood, relieves anxiety, and is about building trust and attachment.
2. Eat Feel Better Food
This will help boost your Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins – D O S E.
For this, include in your diet these foods:
- Enjoy protein-rich foods which contain L-Tyrosine for dopamine
- Broad beans (Vicia faba) and Mucuna pruriens (velvet beans) for L-DOPA, a precursor to dopamine
- Teas for L-theanine, which increases dopamine and serotonin
- Curcumin, in turmeric
- Magnesium rich foods, such as spinach, almonds, and black beans
- Food with Vitamin B6, 9, & 12
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil and fish
- Pineapples, eggs, salmon, turkey, and other foods rich in tryptophan. Mixing high-tryptophan foods with carbs is thought to give you a serotonin boost.
- Dark chocolate (organic cacao is best), capsaicin in chili, and ginseng help boost endorphins
Hence, it is important to eat the right food as it will help with mental alertness, learning, attention, concentration, and confidence even.
The process of eating alone stimulates the release of oxytocin, which enhances mood, relieves anxiety, builds trust and attachment.
3. Relax and Reflect to Feel Better
This will help boost your Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins – D O S E
Here’s a list of ways.
- Spend time reflecting on past achievements
- Find a cozy cushion and meditate
- Practice yoga stretches
- Daily gratitude journaling
- Sit in nature, the park or your garden and watch the wildlife (includes the tiniest)
- Lie on your back and watch the clouds in the sky
These all help with quality of life, with mood and best of all, sleep.
4. Get Some Sun Daily to Boost Your Mood
Also for upping your Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins – D O S E
Here are a few tips on how to do this:
- Spend 7-20 mins in the sunshine having coffee or lunch at least 3 days a week
- Duration should be pre-sunburn, varying with skin type and UV*
- Get outdoors for a walk in the sunshine (but avoid the hot midday sun during harsh conditions and beware of the risks of too much sun exposure)
5. Feel Rewarded to Feel Better
This is primes your Dopamine – D O S E.
How to do this? Try these:
- Set a series of small milestones followed by rewards on every completion
- Draft a to-do list and cross off tasks as they are completed
- Journal each day and make a note of even the smallest accomplishment – use guided journals that feature supportive prompts, lists, questions, and exercises to encourage you to write about matters of the heart
6. Get Outdoors for Nature’s Happy Chemicals
This will help boost Serotonin levels – D O S E.
Some tips to get this mood booster:
- Try the forest, mountains, or head to the beach for negative air ions in nature
- Get outside and connect with the landscape for the phytoncides (aromatic compounds of trees and plants) and natural essential oils
- Listen to sounds and scenes of landscapes, birds, waterfalls, lakes, beaches, etc.
7. Laugh Out Loud to Feel Better
This will help boost Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins – D O S E.
Try these for a laugh:
- Share funny stories of your last outing
- Get creative with photos and video shots
- Subscribe to a daily email that makes you laugh
8. Exercise Regularly to Beat Stress
This ups the Endorphins – D O S E.
Here’s a list of things you can do, but there are many others I bet you can think of.
- Walk, run along nature trails or the beach
- Climb that mountain
- Cycle to the wider outdoors
- Go hiking
- Try yoga
- Stretch, yawn even
The Wellness Through Wildness Benefit
“Researchers found that patients who were able to walk around a natural environment using the technology experienced reduced levels of anxiety.”
Connecting with Nature Helps to Boost your Mood
So it helps to get among the dunes at the beach, head to the mountains, the valleys, be near running water or tree communities, even the nearby park or garden.
These are all feel-better-natural ways of boosting our mood and well-being.
Stress is basically a disconnection from the Earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down. ~Natalie Goldberg
In Blinded by Science Matthew Silverstone talks about vibrations and natural energies that help us feel better. See it here.
What Others Say About Naturally Feeling Better
People have been ruminating about vibrations and nature’s connection for some time:
- The Beach Boys’ hit song, Good Vibrations.
- Movies like Avatar: The Na’vi people at the Tree of Souls connected with their spiritual and guiding force, Eywa.
- J. Bopp and P. Morris story of the Sacred Tree reflects on the importance of the wild, trees in particular, in Native American Spirituality.
By the way…
Trees have been revered for eons because of their feel-better-natural power.
- The Bible mentions the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- Buddha reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree where he sat and meditated.
- The Druids and Pagans worshiped among sacred groves of trees.
Summing It Up
Stress depletes our reserves of feel-good chemicals, as does over-prescription of addictive practices. We need to be charged and energized for traversing what life has to offer.
The ultimate is to feel better naturally.
Start using natural remedies to reduce stress and apply or practice getting fixes of natural daily. It will save you heartache and dollars in the long run.
If you need to, consider using natural supplements to boost your mood and counter stress.
What are Your Thoughts On Boosting Natural Mood Enhancers?
Feel free to comment below.
- What are the Different Types of Meditation and Why Use Them?
- What’s the Best Diet Plan for You and the Planet?
- Humble, Mats B. (2010). Vitamin D, light and mental health, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, Volume 101, Issue 2, Pages 142-149, ISSN 1011-1344, https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2010.08.003. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1011134410001879)
- Epperson, C. N., Amin, Z., Ruparel, K., Gur, R., & Loughead, J. (2012). Interactive Effects of Estrogen and Serotonin On Brain Activation During Working Memory and Affective Processing in Menopausal Women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(3), 372–382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.07.007
- Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. An Overview of Curcumin in Neurological Disorders. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2010;72(2):149-154. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.65012.
- Huang W-C, Chiu W-C, Chuang H-L, et al. Effect of Curcumin Supplementation on Physiological Fatigue and Physical Performance in Mice. Nutrients. 2015;7(2):905-921. doi:10.3390/nu7020905.
Hi, this is Mary-Anne. I have a PhD in Earth Sciences and a whole heap of other life experiences. I am a believer in wellness through wildness. This is about connecting with the nature within and the nature around to keep fit and healthy in body, mind, and spirit. I enjoy researching and writing about natural things that support our wellbeing and then sharing the benefits I discover.