Mood is defined as a state or quality of feeling. It changes and varies from time to time. It can be jovial one minute and very depressed the next. This reaction may be triggered by hormonal changes, underlying health conditions, or simply brought by day-to-day successes and mishaps. If you’re just having one of those gloomy moments, good news may get you off the blues. This is the well-known mood medicine. However, did you know that the food you eat can also give the same cure?
Here are quick steps I believe will help to enhance your mood:
1) Getting Healthy Sleep – Lack of sleep results in feelings of irritability and body weakening. This is in proportion to how much you allowed your body to rest and heal itself overnight. Sleep deprivation raises risks of inability to concentrate and memory problems. Your sleep quantity and quality has direct relation to changes in the balance of major neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, nor epinephrine, dopamine, melatonin and others. Relearning good sleep habits accompanied by relaxation techniques comprise a good therapy for depression. Start by going to bed and getting up the same time each day. People who enjoy 7 or more hours of sleep per night are more likely to experience excellent mood the next day. 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours of sleep per night is recommended for both children and adults.
2) Increasing Omega-3 Fatty Acids Intake – Omega-3 fatty acids help to facilitate growth and maintenance of your brain cells, especially cell membranes. The human brain is 60 percent fat and its neurotransmitters move more easily through fat membranes composed of Omega-3 fats. Higher omega-3 content ensures optimal neurotransmitter communication. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish also elevate your Serotonin levels resulting in a relaxed state of mind. Studies of patients taking medication for major depression have found that 1 to 2 grams a day of omega-3 led to a measurable reduction in symptoms. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include nuts, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. At least 1 gram is recommended daily.
3) Increasing Vitamin B Intake – Vitamin B is required for proper neurotransmitter function. It stimulates brain action and help to regulate the nervous system and control mood swings. About one third of people with depression have folic acid (a type of Vitamin B) deficiency, leading to low serotonin levels in the brain. Vitamin B6 deficiency induces feelings of being depressed and anxious. Depression is also linked to deficiency in thiamin (Vitamin B1) and Vitamin B12, which when untreated can lead to irreversible nerve damage. Vitamin B can be found in liver, meat, poultry, fish, wheat, oatmeal, and whole brown rice.
4) Avoiding Simple Carbohydrates – Simple Carbs (carbohydrate food made from white sugar, white flour, white rice) rapidly increase insulin production which can lead to a depressed state of mind and irritability. Excessive intake of Simple Carbs can also cause weight gain, headaches, and feelings of guilt and sadness. They also exacerbate hormonal problems in women such as PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) and menopause, leading to more pronounced imbalances.
5) Avoiding Alcohol Intake – Alcohol and drugs can slow or prevent recovery from depression. They can even aggravate feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness, and other negative emotions. Alcohol lowers the serotonin and nor epinephrine levels in your brain, magnifies the effects of stress hormones, wipes out every vitamin in your system, and speeds the elimination of antioxidants in your blood.
6) Bananas contain mood-lifting power. It is packed with vitamins B6, A, C, fiber and many more.
7) Walnuts contain omega-3s, vitamin B6, tryptophan, protein, and folate that induce good mood.
8) Sunflower seeds contain a great source of folate and magnesium, which are two important nutrients for regulating and boosting mood.
9) Chocolates have the optimal combination of sweet flavor and creamy texture to cause a very effective release of endorphins, which are mood-elevating hormones. Cocoa and dark chocolates contain significant amount of antioxidant flavanols, which have been shown to improve blood flow in the brain.
10) Eggs contain folate, iron, protein, omega-3s and vitamin D, which have been shown to positively affect mood and help alleviate signs of depression.
You can also try the following recommendations to switch your bad mood into good:
Getting into a good mood quickly, when you are in a foul one, is just a few steps away. Here are some tricks you can follow to get into that good feeling.
1. Laugh it off. Read something funny, watch a funny TV show, or have your friend/partner tell you a random joke. This helps shift your mood upwards.
2. Acknowledge gratitude. Jot down five things that you are thankful for, and you will feel better before you complete your fifth sentence. Alternatively, write a thank you note to a person who has made life easier for you. Research proves that gratitude makes people happier.
3. Read quotes online. Go on, log on to the funny motivational quotes available online. You will be uplifted by the end of the first page. While you are at it, share the best quotes with at least 7 most important people in your life.
4. Exercise. Working your cardiovascular system helps elevate your mood. You will release all negativity while sweating it out. If you do not feel like heading to the gym, have a breather, take a brisk walk. Working out at a greater intensity for a shorter period of time releases endorphins that can make you feel better instantly.
5. Take a vacation. You don’t have to necessarily go travelling for days to find peace of mind. You can shut everything down by meditation. It relaxes your mind and well-being. Close your eyes and place yourself in a relaxing setting, it may be at the beach or the park while the sun sets.
Email Manali at [email protected] to try a Reiki or Lifestyle Tune-up session to experience complete relaxation and balance.
Manali is a Spiritual Wellness Coach with over 20 years of work experience and has helped many people establish the mind and body connection and balance in their lives.