Often called the “feel good” neurotransmitter, along with dopamine and endorphin, serotonin functions as a calming agent, and also impacts appetite and mood. Too much serotonin can lead to feeling overly calm or sleepy; too little can lead to increased aggression and feelings of depression.Serotonin is also very useful and important in assisting with the transmitting of nerve impulses in the brain.
If you like the thought of your brain functioning smoothly, you can start to understand why it would be beneficial to maintain a “just right” balance of serotonin levels. There are a number of ways to naturally influence serotonin levels, and all of them will sound like “no–brainers” 😉 Positive feedback is one of the most effective ways to stimulate serotonin, followed by exercise (remember that “runner’s high” when Dopamine was discussed), smiling, listening to music, and singing. So sing along with serotonin and smile, smile, smile 🙂 For an interesting look at some of the neurotransmitters and how they both impact our lives and are impacted by our lives, check out Brain Chemicals and Modern Life on Teresa Gallagher’s Born to Explore site. An environmental scientist and mom, Teresa provides a slew of resources on the topic of ADD and ADHD.