8 simple ways to boost your mood

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

We all want to feel good. Unfortunately modern life can often get in the way. Stress, tension and low mood are more prevalent now than ever before. Far too many people wake up feeling emotionally drained and not knowing how they’ll find the strength to get through the day. A lot of different factors can affect a person’s mood. Employment, finances and relationship problems are major players. Not enough people realise that diet and lifestyle have a major bearing on mood. The healthier your body is, the better you will cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs.

Here are 8 tips to include in your life, for improved mood and better health.

1. Don’t consume too much caffeine

A small amount of caffeine can give you some energy and make your mental processes sharper, but overdoing it can leave you feeling like an anxious mess. If you are prone to anxiety or poor sleep, limit coffee to 2 cups a day and 4 cups of black tea a day. Green tea and some herbal tea have calming properties, so they may be a better choice. There is no place for caffeinated soda in a healthy diet, whether it is sugar free or not.

2. Obtain sufficient magnesium

Stressed and anxious people need more magnesium because it has a calming and relaxing effect on the nervous system, and may help encourage deeper sleep. Nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables are all good sources of magnesium. If you need a more powerful relaxing effect, try taking one teaspoon of Magnesium Ultra Potent powder with dinner.

3. Cut down on sugar or get rid of it from your diet altogether

Sugar and high carbohydrate foods can promote mood swings, anxiety or energy crashes. Basing your diet on vegetables, protein and natural fats will have the opposite effect. Unless you have ever removed all sugar from your diet, you will not know the relief from anxiety and tension it can bring.

4. If you suffer with depression, try avoiding all alcohol

Many depressed people turn to alcohol in an attempt to feel better. Unfortunately alcohol worsens depression. It can make you feel better then and there, but a lot worse the next morning.

5. Tyrosine supports healthy neurotransmitter production

Tyrosine is found in protein rich foods. If you would like to support a healthy mood, you may benefit from a tyrosine supplement.

6. Go out into the sun and get some movement

Regular exercise helps to ward off depression and anxiety, but sometimes it’s difficult to fit it into a busy day. Even a five minute walk down the street can lift your mood. Getting into the garden and pulling some weeds can also help. Doing something physical outdoors is a quick way to lift your mood and calm anxiety. Spending some time in the sun is a way to top up your vitamin D level. Vitamin D deficiency can worsen depression.

7. Try to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night

Good sleep is very necessary for a healthy and happy life. If you find it difficult to sleep well, a warm Epsom salt bath, a massage, meditation or yoga before bed may help. Magnesium may help relieve restlessness.

8. Vitamin B6 is important

Vitamin B6 is a critical co-factor in the production of many neurotransmitters. This vitamin is also particularly good for premenstrual mood disorders. Vitamin B6 is found in bananas, salmon, turkey, chicken and nuts.

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