Serotonin & why nature is important to happiness.

June 04, 2019

Time outdoors... Almost all of us could do with more of it, but do we really understand why?

I've been learneing recently about the timeline of serotonin and thought you might appreciate this bit of #IttyBittyInfo about happiness
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serotonin levels and time in nature. happiness

Serotonin is a molecule who's levels in the body dramatically effect mood (and more complex things like depression). Balanced serotonin levels equal healthier mood patterns. One way to help keep serotonin levels balanced in your body is to spend time outdoors, natural light is a big factor ☀️☁️ 

The timeline part comes into play when you compare serotonin to dopamine (another 'feel good' or 'happy hormone'. Dopamine is triggered by 'rewards' like being told 'well done', feeling proud of ourselves or more likely these days - a notification on your smartphone... The thing about dopamine is it only lasts a few seconds, so it leaves your brain searching for the next hit (the root of addiction). Serotonin lasts for days and even possibly weeks!

family time in nature

Imagine the difference on your longterm happiness is we shifted some of the focus from getting 'quick fix' happy hit from dopamine to the longer lasting, more impactful seretonin 💪🏼 

Side note, oxytocin is even longer lasting (but I'll save that for another blog post!) so for a double dose of happiness, take someone you love with you and have a hug 💜

I'm challenging you to, next time you'd like to lift your mood a little and you reach for your phone, remind yourself that dopamine only lasts seconds and try to plan in some time in nature instead
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