5 Ways to Feel Happier Naturally

Happiness is close by!

Three smiling friends enjoy a hug.

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Feeling joyful is the ultimate emotion. The good news is that happiness can be produced in sweet, simple ways. During the cold, dark winter months ahead, squirrel away some happiness reserves. When you load up on happiness, you will feel lighter, brighter, and more energized.

Joyfulness can be connected to hormones, reports MSN, particularly serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine. When you activate these hormones, you may feel good, naturally. Here are five incredibly simple ways to get through the winter feeling positive and upbeat – and these ideas do not require going outside!

Eat more tryptophan

What’s for dinner? Tryptophan! This amino acid may help raise serotonin levels, according to Real Simple. Try out this happiness-boosting tryptophan-rich menu: oats topped with bananas and nuts for breakfast with eggs served on the side; salmon or tofu for lunch; and turkey for dinner!

A woman eats a bowl of oats with bananas and nuts, all rich in tryptophan.

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Go for the greens

You may say goodbye to the blues when you reach for the greens. Tryptophan aside, eating healthy food goes a long way moodwise. Real Simple suggests including lots of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet each day, as well as lean proteins.

A father and daughter enjoy making a tryptophan-rich salad together.

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Boost your endorphins

Aside from supporting your immune system, boosting your endorphins may improve your mood and your sleep, according to Healthline. Watch a comedy and laugh more, or listen to your favorite upbeat songs.

Another way to boost this neurotransmitter is to meditate. When you are mindful and present in the moment, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and bringing bliss.

A young girl is happy listening to upbeat music.

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Be it holding someone’s hand, stroking a pet, or enjoying a long, warm hug, happiness is on the way! These simple actions of connection activate the cuddle hormone called oxytocin, reports MSN. Helping others is another way to activate this good feeling.

A girl activates oxytocin by hugging her cat.

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Serve up tyrosine

Tyrosine is an amino acid that boosts dopamine levels and is found in some foods, according to Harvard Health Publishing. There is a link between dopamine deficiency and depression which may result in a lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.

Eating these foods may help you feel good, improve your concentration, and give you more stamina. Tyrosine is found in avocados, bananas, soy, plus sesame and pumpkin seeds. It is also in poultry, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

A selection of foods rich in tyrosine.

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