Whether it’s flying that drone, stargazing, or capturing the view, just being outdoors in nature is a sure way of boosting the natural mood enhancers in your body. There are four main mood enhancers and this article describes eight ways of freely getting a dose of these feel-better-natural chemicals.
Why natural mood enhancers?
Being able to feel good naturally just makes life easier.
In fact, Americans as a whole spend over $11 Billion a year in fighting stress and wanting to feel better.
How to lift your mood without breaking the bank? Spa retreats can cost anything from $100 for 60 mins to tens of thousands for a week. Read on.
Here’s why people spend so much in wanting to feel better:
- The top cause of stress in the U.S. is job pressure
- Physical symptoms occur in 78% of people affected
- 48% suffer negative effects in their personal and social lives
- And, the worst bit… Consumerism often becomes a coping mechanism for stress — with people cycling between spending, getting too far in debt, and this just worsens the stress
The ongoing stress can lead to deep-rooted depression and anxiety. What will suffer is your relationships, health, confidence, and quality of life. I know, because I’ve been there.
How do you feel better naturally?
For countering stress and the normal ups and downs, I like to use what nature provides. That includes nutritious food and exercise as well as getting outdoors in the sunshine, fresh air, and being able to feel the nature around me (and the wonders of the planets above me). Yep, I like to use the natural things to make me feel better.
The bonus… they are free.
Do things that connect you with awe-inspiring perspectives of being.
What are the feel good chemicals?
Your body is designed to produce natural mood boosters (those ‘feel-good chemicals’) to combat stress.
Four main chemicals that help improve your mood:
Dopamine helps you feel motivated
Most types of rewards boost dopamine. We feel bliss, pleasure, motivation, and euphoria through dopamine. If you’re lacking energy or zest for life, it could be you’re not feeling rewarded and… lacking in dopamine.
How to feel rewarded?
The ultimate is a rewarding job, but admittedly, this is rare. Getting paid for your effort may not cut it as far as activating dopamine for the multitude of those doing the 9 to 5.
Oxytocin helps in feeling accepted
- This is the bonding hormone
- A sign of an oxytocin deficiency is aggression
- A natural antidepressant from the social aspect
- It helps build trust and attachment between individuals
A downside — it fosters social behaviors like clickiness and arrogance (and bullying even). 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 free the anxiety and address our particular needs.
Serotonin helps you feel happy
Serotonin affects mood, the ability to learn, and memory.
It is important in how to fight depression and helps you feel confident.
As you scroll down you will find where I list more natural ways of boosting serotonin.
Endorphins help with pain-killing
This one is known as the ‘happy 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 upping your endorphins below.
8 Feel-Better-Natural Ways
Here are the free natural ways to boost what I call the ‘happy chemical’ quartet: Dopamine-Oxytocin-Serotonin-Endorphin (D O S E), which are our natural mood enhancers.
Combine and vary the items on the naturally free list for a regular stress-busting package. Make sure to cover all four brain messengers of D O S E. I’ve included relevant supplements that you may wish to consider for conveniently added boosts.
|1. Being social||Oxytocin – D O S E|
Get with a like-minded group of enthusiasts
|2. Eating nutritiously||Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins|
– D O S E
Take protein snacks on outings…
Protein-rich foods with L-Tyrosine for dopamine
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 – best: organic cacao, Capsaicin in chili, and Ginseng help boost endorphins
The process of eating stimulates release of oxytocin
95% Std Curcuminoids
| n-GMO |
with Black Pepper
Read more hereAll the B VitaminsRead more here
|3. In the flow||Dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin|
– D O S E
Helps with quality of Life, with mood & sleep
Spend time in the flow
|Serotonin support with Vitamin B+ and magnesium|
|4. Getting sunshine||Dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin|
– D O S E
Spend 7-20 mins in sunshine at least 3 days a week
Vitamin D3 5,000 IU in Cold-Pressed Organic Olive Oil, 1-year supply
|5. Reward||Dopamine – D O S E|
Set a series of small milestones followed by rewards on every completion
|Acknowledge Your Wins in a beautiful guided journal
|6. Connect with the wild outdoors||Serotonin – D O S E|
Try the forest, mountains, or head to the beach for negative air ions in nature
Go somewhere to capture sounds and scenes of landscapes, birds, waterfalls, lakes, beaches, etc.
|Organic Ashwagandha Root, a natural mood booster
|7. Playfulness||Dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin|
– D O S E
Share funny stories of your last outing
|Get a comical look at life
|8. Being active||Endorphins – D O S E|
Check out the stars at night
Helps maintain cheerful mood and physical comfort
There are many to choose from that help in fighting depression naturally.
If you have concerns about supplements, talk to your doctor. Most times, people with known disorders and/or who are taking medication would need to speak with their health provider before taking supplements.
Why add ‘feel good’ supplements?
If we have natural ways of boosting our feel-good chemicals, why take supplements?
As we age, our bodies lose the ability to absorb natural goodness as easily and we often feel a lack of energy. Feeling weak and tired can come with getting older. If you can’t get the best that you need from natural processes you may look to incorporate supplements. Other reasons to include supplements relate to genes, location, or immediate situation.
You might be looking for ways to beat depression and if it is mild, taking natural ‘feel good’ supplements can be one way of treating depression without medication. In these cases, natural mood enhancers in supplements can help with the ‘how to relieve depression?’ — ‘how to fight depression naturally?’. Available supplements provide natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress that are the normal ups and downs — For anything more than mild, refer to a medical practitioner.
Feeling lonely? Unloved?
You could be deficient in serotonin. You may feel an unhealthy desire to seek attention. Serotonin flows when we are feeling appreciated and have a sense of 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. A catch 22?
You should really get a dose of Vitamin D3, which is known to increase serotonin levels in our brain¹. A dose of sunshine in the morning helps set your biological clock for a good night’s sleep.
Then there is the amino acid tryptophan, which helps with serotonin production. Our bodies can’t manufacture tryptophan and hence it is essential in our diets. It 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 available in supplement form as well, see the range available here.
How to feel energized?
How to reduce fatigue? How to feel energetic? What helps with fatigue?
If you are looking for natural remedies for fatigue, try curcumin.4 Science studies show that curcumin does “possess antidepressant activity through 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 Click here to see the latest prices for curcumin supplements.
Feeling run down with age?
Indications are that endorphin production declines with age and this may contribute to inertia. Joining gyms and fitness training programs are a way of boosting your natural endorphins. For some people, extreme sports fit the bill. Daily exercise can help you also. These help in gaining a resting and sound sleep at night, which helps boost energy levels.
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 less of the substance that converts the UVB light into the vitamin D precursor. Then there are life situations and location that might mean you can’t get the optimum benefit of sunshine. These are some of the reasons why Vitamin D supplements are important. Click here to see find the best sellers in the range of Vitamin D3.
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. If you are at the menopausal stage of life, you might be looking for ways to overcome depression.² Along with Vitamin D, other serotonin boosting supplements can help ease the problems and make life livable again for many. Click here to see the range and latest prices.
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. Click here to see reviews on L-DOPA Another is L-tyrosine. See reviews on tyrosine.
The wildness benefit
“Researchers found that patients who were able to walk around a natural environment using the technology experienced reduced levels of anxiety.”
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.
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.
“For all the people of the earth, the Creator has planted a Sacred Tree under which they may gather, and there find healing, power, wisdom and security.”
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 caffeine and alcohol. 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 these fixes 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 about Feel-Better-Naturals?
Feel free to comment below.
- 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, a believer in wellness through wildness. This is about connecting with the nature within and the nature around us. I enjoy researching and writing about natural things that keep us healthy in mind, body, and soul. You can read my blog at https://wellnessthroughwildness.com.