Don’t skip sleep
Too little shut-eye puts extra stress on your body and your ability to cope. It can also lower levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your body it’s full, and raise levels of ghrelin, which triggers hunger signals. Follow a calming wind-down bedtime routine, advises hormone medic Dr Sohère Roked (drsohereroked.co.uk). ‘Supplements like magnesium before bed can help relax you for sleep.’
Eat for happiness
Certain foods activate your body’s natural happy hormones. Spicy foods trigger a release of soothing endorphins, and eating eggs, beans, yogurt and low-fat meats are thought to raise dopamine levels. Serotonin boosters include cheese, turkey, chicken, tuna, nuts and seeds.
Whether you keep a gratitude journal or simply list three good things each day, a positive outlook has been shown to raise levels of serotonin. This mood-boosting hormone is activated by achievement and a sense of purpose. ‘Keep a list of goals and review them weekly if not daily,’ advises Dr Roked. ‘Feeling like you’re progressing generates energy due to purpose.’ Conversely, feeling like we’re not fulfilling our potential drains energy.
STROKE A DOG
Or cuddle your cat, or give someone a hug. It triggers the release of the ‘bonding’ hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel contented and calm.
Research suggests that a cup of green tea can raise levels of the two happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
Have regular meals
Include plenty of wholegrain carbohydrates and protein in your diet, as these foods are best at suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin, which sends signals to your brain to make you eat more.
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