• Jackson Ward

The positive effects of "happy" brain chemicals

In March, the world will have reached the one year point of the pandemic. For some, it feels as though the time flew by faster than anticipated. Teens and students, however, are noticeably affected on a deeper level. On Twitter, not a day goes by that the timeline does not have input from a teen who is struggling. Throughout the course of this unfortunate journey that society has gone through, mental health grew to be a large topic of conversation.

Everyone is different, but solutions to help and find deeper emotions can be branched upon similar roots.

Exercise is a relatively common and shared way to improve mental wellbeing as well as

physical wellbeing. Exercising regularly can increase levels of serotonin and endorphins in the brain. Increasing both of these chemicals can be vital to having a good day, week, or even month.

“When I push myself to do something hard in the gym, it gives me the mentality to push myself harder in other things like school or work,” senior Tagehn Stanley said. “If I’ve got a lot on my mind and going to the gym just helps clear my head for a little while.”

Getting up and finding motivation to go to the gym can be difficult for some people, which is perfectly normal. One of the most simple and accessible alternatives to let go of some stress and relax is listening to music.

“It [music] drowns out problems and helps me focus on things. It can also affect the mindset I am in. When I listen to something hype before a race, I get in the mindset that I can go win or when I listen to lo-fi music my efficiency is boosted by like 120 percent,” freshman Jackson Lee said.

According to a study conducted by the University of Central

Florida, music can tap into primal fear, reduce anxiety, and activate multiple parts of the brain at the same time. In retrospect, incorporating music into workouts is a near-perfect example of a way to boost your mental health and brain power. However, there are other great alternatives like eating a great meal, spending quality time with peers, taking care of yourself and even meditation.

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