It’s that time of year when you start hearing about ‘seasonal affective disorder.’ That’s the condition where people get depressed during the winter months. Mainly because you don’t get enough sunlight, and your serotonin levels drop.
Obviously the best way to prevent it is to spend more time outside. But if you can’t stand the cold or there IS no sun, here are three other things that can help.
1. Exercise. A study at Princeton University found that exercise boosts your serotonin levels for HOURS, not just while you’re working out or right afterward.
2. Laughing. According to researchers at the University of Montreal, just a few seconds of laughter can prompt your body to start making more serotonin. And other studies have found that even FAKING a laugh can do the same thing.
3. Getting a massage. A study at the University of Miami showed that massages up your serotonin levels too.
And a separate study in Taiwan found you’re SIGNIFICANTLY less likely to feel depressed after you’ve had one. Obviously a professional massage is best. But even a quick backrub helps!