As someone who has battled anxiety, and depression for the last 25 years I know what it’s like to be in a negative state of mind.
Having taken different anti-depressants in the past without much success now I only look for natural ways to boost my mood.
Obviously if you feel you have a real problem with depression then it would be a good idea to seek professional help.
But if you’re looking for some ways you can boost your mood try a few of the options below.
- Exercise– Not only does exercising clear my mind but it, also, gives me a feeling of accomplishment regardless of the type of exercise I’m doing. “Exercise sparks the release of feel-good endorphins, but it also satisfies something more profound: the human need to perform and excel. Exercise helps you feel like the captain of your own ship,” explains Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, the author of The How of Happiness.”(1)
- Get some sun-“Serotonin (a chemical that helps regulate your mood) levels are low in people with depression and, at least one study has found, also in healthy people during the winter. Since serotonin levels rise in your brain on days with a lot of sunlight, bright light may boost your mood by activating neurons in your brain that contain serotonin, leading to increased levels of the chemical in your brain, researchers say.”(2)
- Be kind to others-“An American study found that gestures as small as washing your friend’s mug or buying a friend dinner, can actually improve your mood. The study found that people who performed the most acts of kinds throughout the week, were significantly more happy than those who helped less or did not help anyone at all.”(3)
- Connect with family, friends-“Research has shown that strong social support systems have a positive effect when you’re battling a disease, cut your risk for dementia and also alleviate depression. In addition to squashing your stress, your social relationships may also have a positive influence on your overall mood. Researchers have found that making new friends can lift your spirits through the release of oxytocin in the body.”(4) When you’re feeling anxious, or depressed having people you can lean on is important whether it be friends or family. I know I always feel better when I connect with friends and family.
- Practice Gratitude-“Studies show that consistent positive interactions, particularly ones that involve gratitude, increase happiness and decrease levels of depression.”(5) One thing I try to do each day is spend a few minutes thinking about what I am grateful for whether it be my family, or something as small as observing a beautiful sunset.
- Make sure you’re getting enough Omega 3’s in your diet-“Numerous studies worldwide have linked lack of omega-3 consumption — specifically DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) — with depression. For instance one study indicated that omega-3 fats may influence how your brain functions. Researchers found that in healthy individuals, low plasma concentrations of DHA predicted low concentrations of brain serotonin. This decreased amount of serotonin can be associated with depression and suicide.”(6) One brand I really like is Nordic Naturals. When choosing an Omega 3 supplement make sure you get a good, quality brand even if you have to pay a little more.
- Nourish your Gut Flora. Stay away from processed foods, and sugar as much as possible and include fermented, unpasteurized foods and/or a good, high-quality probiotic into your diet. “As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of poor mood, autism, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia and a whole host of other mental and behavioral disorders. With this in mind, it should be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important to support a positive mood.”(7)
Give these strategies a try next time you’re feeling down in the dumps and see if they help you.
Let me know in the comments below if you struggle with anxiety, and/or depression and if you do anything to help combat them.
- “10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood.” Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.
- “How Sunlight Can Improve Your Mental Health.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- “How to Improve Your Mood in 21 Ways.” How To Improve Your Mood In 21 Ways. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- Holmes, Lindsay. “5 Ways Your Friends Make You Happier, Healthier And An All-Around Better Person.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- “5 Reasons To Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude – Reset.me.” Resetme. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- “How Eating This Type of Fat Offers New Hope for Depression…” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
- “Can the Food You Eat Affect Your Mood?” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
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