February: unless you're a lover of romance and over-priced greetings cards, there's not much in the way of celebration this month.
It's bitterly cold, it's dark, the festivities of Christmas are long over, the excitement of a brand new year has abated and we're edging once more towards that biscuit tin.
According to experts, there are a number of effective ways to cheer ourselves up this winter without eating inordinate amounts of sugary treats.
Zoë Copsey, head of nutrition at Lomax Bespoke Fitness, Nutrition and Wellbeing, believes diet is the key to happiness in winter: ‘Serotonin is commonly known as the happy hormone,’ she said. 'It is produced to control our mood, emotions and sleep and, with the right foods and nutrients, you can help with the production of it'.
Serotonin is created from an amino acid known as acid L-tryptophan, which cannot be produced by the body. This means it needs to be absorbed from external sources, i.e. the food we eat. Ms Copsey recommends eating lots of shellfish, milk, egg, poultry and yoghurt to boost the production of serotonin.
Experts believe that another important component determining happiness levels is a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is associated with social bonding, calmness and happiness. It is released when mothers give birth to their babies, and also when humans interact with their pets.
Stroking an animal you feel close to can, according to a study, help reduce blood pressure and heart rate in humans.
Oxytocin is also the chemical released during orgasm, which can boost the feeling of attachment to a sexual partner and make you feel happier.
There are many scientifically-proven ways to boost your mood, from exercising, to sitting in the sun, to eating the right foods. If you know how you want to change your life, a life coach can help you to achieve and maintain these goals.
To find out more about how life coaching could improve certain aspects of your life this winter, please visit Life Coaching Areas and browse our selection of information pages.
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