Your MOOD isn’t just determined by your emotions and experiences. There are PHYSIOLOGICAL reasons you may be feeling sad or depressed. Your neurotransmitters and hormones have A LOT to do with the way we feel. So why not do all we can to support these happy-giving molecules every single day?
EATING FOR YOUR MOOD
It all starts with how we eat. If you want to feel full of life, then you need to eat foods that are FULL OF LIFE, like sprouts and fresh fruits and veggies. We can’t help but feel more BALANCED and HAPPY when we are eating organic, plant-based whole foods rich in micronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Our MICRONUTRIENTS are the vitamins and minerals our body soaks up when we eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. To the create neurotransmitters and hormones in our body that make us feel oh so good, we NEED micronutrients and lots of them! Furthermore, our body breaks down the PROTEIN we eat into amino acids, which are the building blocks to neurotransmitter synthesis, like norepinephrine and serotonin, which both make us feel happy and energized. And the HEALTHY FATS we eat can be used to create our steroid/sex hormones, which gives up our libido and makes us feel happy, energized, and at peace.
DRINK UP, BUTTER CUP
Our brain is made up of 75% water. It makes sense that in order for your mental health to be supported, you need to be PLENISHING your brain with water! Not only that, but every cell throughout our entire body requires water to perform its appropriate functions. For example, our brain needs water to create SEROTONIN, which is a neurotransmitter that submits signals throughout our entire body of BALANCE and HAPPINESS. We also need water to create energy in our body and who doesn’t feel like they are in a better mood when they have more ENERGY?!
Sleep is crucial for our mood! Just like water, our whole body functions better when we get a good night’s sleep. The examples are literally endless of how sleep helps our mood! Here is one for you: Your body turns serotonin into melatonin using a process called METHYLATION. Among other things, we are better methylators when we are sleeping and eating our dark, leafy greens. It’s a beautiful CYCLE; the more sleep we get, the more melatonin we create and the more melatonin we create, the better sleep we get.
Did you know having REGULAR bowel movements can make us happier? Having a bowel movement helps to remove hormones that our liver just metabolized for us. Two commonly talked about hormones are estrogen and progesterone. They should be in balance, but frequently estrogen is in excess (making us feel irritable and sad) and progesterone is deficient (making us feel anxious and tired). By having a bowel movement everyday, more excess estrogen can leave the body which allows progesterone to have a greater voice in how you feel, giving you feelings of CALMNESS and HAPPINESS. You can support your body in having bowel movements every day by drinking plenty of water, having an active lifestyle, eating fiber and magnesium rich foods, and engaging in deep breathing exercises.
Along with having regular bowel movements, our liver must METABOLIZE those excess hormones and put them into our gut. We can show our liver some love by drinking water, eating dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, drinking dandelion tea, not drinking alcohol, eating organic, moving our body every day, and the list goes on and on.
BREATH, PAUSE, and DE-STRESS
When we are stressed, we are spending our energy on the stressor which takes away energy from the creation or metabolism of neurotransmitters and hormones creating imbalances. Stress puts our nervous system into a sympathetic sate and when we are in a sympathetic state, we don’t digest well, our muscles tighten, our breathing becomes shallower, our blood doesn’t flow as well, and we certainly aren’t in as good of mood as we could be because we aren’t able to perform the necessary reactions that balance our neurotransmitters and hormones. Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to manage stress. The most fundamental way to help us cope with the stressors in our life is to take a pause and BREATHE DEEPLY.