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Evaluating the Eight Things that Naturally Increase Serotonin and Dopamine


I am evaluating how I am doing on the EIGHT things that increase serotonin and dopamine:

1)      Sunlight – I have taken EVERY opportunity to walk in the sunshine for at least fifteen minutes each day for my Vit D and sanity (but I also take 2500 IU Vit D every day!). Winter is more challenging though.
2)      Sleep – I have consistently fallen asleep an hour earlier than usual and slept six hours (my requirement) and forced myself to sleep for one hour more. So, seven hours is WAY more than I usually do. I love going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Sleep has been the BEST ever. Rare insomnia and none lately.
3)      Smile – I have thought about programming this on my phone because I forget to do it, but when I do, it SERIOUSLY elevates my pleasure center! So weird. I have also noticed I grimace a LOT (just like my mother used to do). I am trying to smile right now as I type.
4)      Sweat – I am in such good shape that it is really hard for me to work up a sweat unless I am indoors and have more clothes on. I think the issue is getting exercise, and I average 2 hours a day.
5)      Play – I need to do more of this. Even though I don’t have a “real” job, I do “work” by writing, counseling, discipling, etc. I do “play” by reading (need to make that more fun so I am discontinuing my early reviewing of books) and watching DVD’s with George. Stress is low though, and I think that is the goal of this thing. Maybe it should be PLAY or PRAY. PRAYER reduces my stress more than PLAY does!
6)      Routine – I have it.  I have a rhythm of writing, standing up and exercising, getting out for a walk and praying once it is light (I get up between 4:30 and 6:00 am), breaking, counseling mid-morning or going to campus, working out in the afternoon, etc. Doing really well on all that.
7)      Bonding – I meet with people all the time, but I want to bond with my peers. Making an effort to call friends and set up appointments. One of my friends works .7 of a mile away (the dietitian) , and I walk by her office all the time. We are going to meet for her lunch break more regularly now. Teala is at a sorority near campus, and I go there every Wednesday. So, I made an effort of going early to pray with her two weeks ago. I also try to have at least three face-to-face dinners with the family. Michael goes out Monday and Thursday, and George has meetings two times a month, and we eat with our Jesus Community one night a week.. So, I just need to have dinner ready EARLY on the nights they go to meetings. Dates with George have been great for bonding though. And we go on at least one family walk/hike a week.
8)      Beauty – I live in Oregon. Every walk fulfills this need. I also want to look at scenery pictures or Rick Steve’s DVD’s of Europe for rainy days. Spring will afford looking at beautiful flowers. Since I am not doing Carol365 (since photo processing involves too much sitting, and I need to be more active until I am done with the Bible Book Club), I need to be more conscious of looking at the beauty of my surroundings. 
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http://www.dunedin.elim.org.nz/uploads/1/2/7/8/12786940/frank_laubach_-_letters_by_a_modern_mystic.pdf

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