These days, there are many clients who have a hard time with seasonal depression. In fact, it’s a standing comment I hear every year around this time. More than a warm spring or summer, fall and winter are very difficult seasons for depressed people. Serotonin is the answer to low mood.
The neurotransmitter called serotonin, known as the hormone of happiness, is a very important substance that helps us achieve a sense of happiness by directing and stabilizing emotions such as stress and anxiety that cannot be avoided in life. The reason why most antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs have the long name serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is because serotonin is absorbed too quickly into the cells and suppresses the mood depression from being out of control. However, even without medication, there are many ways to help release serotonin.
First, it’s sunlight. Since seasonal depression is caused by a lack of sunlight, sunlight is the answer. A decrease in sunlight leads directly to a decrease in serotonin secretion. Sunlight entering the retina is said to stimulate the brain and promote the secretion of serotonin. If that is not possible, let’s take vitamin D, which is synthesized in the skin when exposed to the sun! Many people do not know the importance of vitamin D, but if you choose one of the vitamins, many doctors say it is vitamin D. I also recommend taking vitamin D to my clients. It is also useful to place a vitamin D lamp in a room that is not exposed to sunlight.
The second thing that helps serotonin secretion is exercise. Our brain is made up of 85% water, so it is said to be like floating in water. Therefore, when we walk or move our body, the brain is also moved and the serotonin secretion is activated. According to research, serotonin secretion starts 5 minutes after walking and peaks after 15 minutes. The icing on the cake is if you can walk in the sunlight, and if you walk in nature that provides visual beauty, such as trees and water.
Finally, it’s a way of life. A friend’s blood test results are A plus every time. However, I eat healthier than I do when I take diabetes medication. Healthy eating habits are not only a healthy body, but also a great help in serotonin secretion. Reducing caffeine intake can also help. It is said that even when people say something positive, blood circulation in the brain improves and the brainstem is stimulated to promote the secretion of serotonin. Depression is contagious, anxiety is contagious. The more depressed you are, the more you meet positive people, read good books, and fill your mind with good thoughts.
What is the main culprit that reduces the ability to synthesize serotonin, which is so important for regulating our mood? it’s just stress To get rid of this stress, I recommend getting a pretty notebook and writing 10 gratitude captions every day. Because the natural enemy of stress is gratitude. The power of gratitude that everyone who has done it experiences, I hope we all have a Thanksgiving day with enough gratitude and no room for depression.
Seonjoo Kim / NJ Care Plus Psychotherapist