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Unfortunately we're living in an epidemic of depression and various mood disorders. Too many of us are wake up tired, moody and feeling low about life. Most health practitioners will tell you that mood disorders are the most prevalent condition in their practices, with a staggering number of clients on anti-depressants. Here are a few natural mood busters that may really help you before you make the choice to use medication.
1. Cut caffeine (coffee, sodas, energy drinks). The adrenaline from caffeine will effect your moods. If you're stressed or feeling low, this can have drastic effects.
2. Cut processed and packaged foods. They are inflammatory in the body, which will inevitably have a negative effect on your moods, not to mention some devastating long-term health effects.
3. Cut artificial sweeteners. Evidence shows that aspartame is linked to mood disorders.
4. Add a portion of protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates to your plate. These macronutrients help to keep our blood sugar levels stable. When our blood sugar levels drop, so does our mood! Good fats and complex carbs also help to make hormones and neurotransmitters in the body that help make you feel good- serotonin!
5. Reduce alcohol intake. Alcohol is associated with mood disorders. Oh yes it is!
6. Cleanse. When our gut and liver are clogged from excess drinking, sugar, and an overall toxic load, our body struggles to make the feel-good hormones such as serotonin. Serotonin is actually made in the gut. So reduce your toxic load and give your body a break from the nasty chemicals with a seasonal cleanse.
7. Drink more water! Dehydration can cause fatigue and agitation.
8. Exercise is a natural mood lifter! Move your body in your favorite ways!
9. Schedule some downtime. When we're stressed and overwhelmed, our moods tend to be low. Dedicate a few minutes a day to you and REST. This will really lift you up!
10. Sleep 8 hours. Sleep = repair. When we feel rested, we're happier people.
11. Acupuncture has been used to treat mood disorder. This may help!
12. Forgive. It's not for the other person, forgiveness will benefit YOU!
13. Gratitude. Write down 5 things you're grateful for everyday. When we remember what we DO have rather than what we don’t have, we instantly feel better.
14. Laugh more! Yes there is science behind this. Laughing is the easiest way to feel good.
15. Go for the B! Research shows these Bs—folate, B6, and B12—can assist with mood.
16. Vitamin D. Low vitamin D is correlated with depression. Most of the population is deficient in this essential micronutrient. All you need is15 minutes a day of sunshine or supplement with Vitamin D (200 iu). For tips on how to shop for healthy supplements, read this.
17. Fish oil. Opt for 2 to 3g a day
18. Get your daily probiotic. This will ensure healthy gut flora.
19. Go the herbal route! Consider SAMEe/Rhodiola. With assistance from your naturopath, these can have mood elevating effects.