This time of year winter seems to linger overhead like a bad hangover, the days appear to get darker sooner and even shorter, PLUS the work shows no sign of getting easier… the pressure, the StReSs, and the depleted frame of mind begins to take control. This is when my natural mood enhancing tricks are most appropriate and very important. Instead of reaching for that glass of wine– even if it has served me well so far, driving through the local coffee shop, or crawling into bed to binge another Netflix series, I’ve been trying to raise my spirits in healthier way.
Go outside and “Get some vitamin D”
Fresh Air and Natural Light can…
- Lowers cortisol hormone levels
- Normalizes your sleep schedule
- maximize calcium absorption which
- Boost Serotonin levels
Eat Fermented Food
GUT health has really had its day in the spotlight. Fermented foods have high levels of probiotics and increased amounts of probiotics, minerals will be better regulated and elicit happier mood responses. Fermented foods increase the good microbiomes and decrease the amounts inflammatory responses that cause bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
Next time you are at the grocery store, grab…
- oolong, black tea and Kombucha
- sauerkraut, Kimchi
- (if you aren’t a vegan, cottage cheese, yogurt and kefir are also great options)
Stop and Smell the Roses
Diffuse rose oil or buy fresh roses to place near your office space as the smell of them promotes relaxation. Other flowers, like lavender and jasmine can also lower anxiety and up your mood.
Drinking enough water has been scientifically proven to enhance mood and even lower feelings of depression/sluggishness. Water decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body and increases serotonin in the brain. It is also been researched and proven to clear the ‘foggy’ feeling that increases in the brain when feeling low.
Eat energy boosting foods
Diet can reek havoc on a mood. According to Ayurveda, India’s classic medical science, food has a prominent role in achieving balanced body-mind-soul consciousness. If you are eating a diet full of meat, egg, chicken, and fish, it stimulates aggression, passion, fire, imbalance of the emotion, energy, alters the consciousness, and creates depression. The idea- You are what you eat– plays a huge role in this concept. Animals that are stressed during their lives tend to produce high levels of cortisol which is in the food that you consume.
A more Sattvic diet which is filled with freshly cooked and simple, nourishing vegetarian diet increases the energy of the mind and produces cheerfulness, serenity and mental clarity. Sattvic food is highly conducive to good health.
Next time you are at the grocery store…
- Nuts – brain power and omega 3s
- Bananas – raises serotonin
- Cayenne pepper – soothes nerves and fights depression
- chocolate – fermented and mood enhancer
- Eat the Rainbow
I recently read an article about cutting sugar, alcohol and other cravings by using L-Glutamine. In times of stress and disease, your body needs large amounts of this amino acid- more than it is able to produce. L-glutamine converts into glucose for the brain without spiking insulin levels. Breaking open a capsule and letting it dissolve under your tongue during a craving can prevent the roller coaster ride of hypoglycemia.
- improves brain function
- Reduces depression, anxiety, and insomnia
- Boosts the immune system
- Repairs cells in the gut
* test your tolerance levels before taking large doses (over 2,000mg a day)
Next time you are feeling as if your mood meter is dripping with sweat; energy is sluggish, mood is low— try one of the above tricks.