It goes without saying that being depressed may lead to rash decisions that are almost always bad. Because of this, headlines on grief are frequently paired with images of empty Ben & Jerry’s boxes.
But does contentment result in weight loss? Do you believe that our decisions may be influenced by our level of happiness? University of Utah researchers concur.
Their research suggests that those with greater brain levels of serotonin, the “happy molecule,” may be less inclined to make hasty decisions.
Two trials were conducted to test this, with some individuals receiving meals high in tryptophan (tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin). The tryptophan group performed better in both studies than the non-tryptophan group in terms of resistance to following “gut” emotions and temptations.
The research revealed that tryptophan/serotonin acted as a moderator of both “impulsive decision” (the sudden desire to buy something without considering the repercussions) and “impulsive reaction” (being unable to resist, even if one is aware of the consequences).
Heaven knows that some of our unhealthy food choices are a result of both impulsive choice and impulsive response. Raise your hand if you have ever slammed your fist into a bag of cookies before you could blink or even turn your head to look at the nutrition information.
If you did pause to ponder the ingredients before eating half the bag like Cookie Monster, raise your hand once again.
Many individuals are aware that when it comes to eating, they occasionally feel “out of control.” Therefore, ingesting meals that change serotonin levels may aid in improving our ability to control our behaviour.
Numerous variables, in addition to impulsive personality characteristics, limit our capacity to make good dietary decisions.
Observe the ambiance in restaurants (e.g., huge plates and portions combined with freezing temperatures) or our propensity to binge watch TV while it’s on.
There is also “smellvertising” (yes, burger joints actually pump artificial scents into the air to tease your nostrils). A serotonin surge could be the cure for these covert saboteurs.
There is considerable debate surrounding this hypothesis, so think twice before you run out and devour turkey at every meal. The author of a thorough research on serotonin claims that meals containing serotonin don’t penetrate the blood-brain barrier. The article was published in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience.
Foods containing tryptophan do not raise brain serotonin, he claims, despite the fact that pure tryptophan does. “Unfortunately, it is untrue the concept that a high-protein diet like turkey can increase brain tryptophan and serotonin.
Serotonin could still be helpful for shedding pounds, though. Even if meals high in tryptophan don’t affect our serotonin levels in the brain, other factors — like exercise — could, according to the neuroscientists who conducted the study.
And whether or whether any of this influences our propensity for impulsivity, there is undeniable evidence linking happiness to making wise decisions.
When we make healthy conduct our standard operating procedure, it becomes so established in our thoughts that, if we do respond impulsively, those impulses are probably positive ones. Therefore, increasing your serotonin levels by exercising, eating foods high in tryptophan, or working on your identity can all help you feel happier.
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