…to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:77-79
I am not a neurobiologist, but I do understand that serotonin is a “feel good chemical” produced by our brain. There are several things that help us to produce serotonin, including diet, exercise, sunlight, food, and medications. The typical prescription antidepressant medications do not necessarily produce serotonin as much as they just help keep it around in our brain.
Carbohydrates, for example, are precursors for serotonin. In the Fall and Winter we tend to eat more carbohydrates to replace the amount of serotonin that is being lost with the decreasing amount of sunlight available in the northern hemisphere. Hence the emphasis at Thanksgiving and Christmas on the heavy load of carbs, and tryptophan-producing turkey- another serotonin precursor. Those foods help us to replenish decreasing serotonin levels lost during our journey away from longer periods of sunlight during those months.
In the northern hemisphere, we are now in the month of May, where sunlight hours are continuing to increase. What a mental health blessing that is! So, for the next several months, we are being treated to free serotonin stimulants!
Exercising in the sunlight is absolutely the best serotonin therapy you can find, and you don’t even need to eat a bunch of carbohydrates to achieve it. So, for my fellow northern hemisphere friends, enjoy the serotonin boost you can get by being in the sun and exercising. You will have a better mood, sleep better, and have a better outlook the more you avail yourself of the free serotonin lift that nature is providing.
Prayer: Lord, you have given us all the means to have a full and joyous life, just in the nature of your creation. Thank you for that plan, Amen