Your nutrition and periodic lifestyle habits might be contributing to your mental health. According to Julia Ross, author of “The Mood Cure”; what your body absorbs through your internal and external environment greatly contributes to how you respond physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Deficiencies in Vitamin D can cause “SAD”; Seasonal Affective Disorder. Thus, lack of sunshine can severely impact a persons mood and energy. Not to mention this inhibits absorption of other nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. This causes anxiety, depression, insomnia, anger, and chronic fatigue.
Exposure to pollution, smoking, exhaust fumes, and city factories exposes our body’s, minds and spirits to heavy metals, depleting our bodies of vital nutrients needed to support healthy brain chemistry.
Our society runs on “fight or flight” response, due to our heavy demand to work a 9-5 government sitting job; lacking activity, sleep, maintaining social status, and home life. This contributing to chronic stress and depleting our bodies of more vitamins and minerals, important for brain stability. No surprise that we cannot find time to see the happiness and joy that is all around us.
Much of these exposures to environmental toxins contribute to our society having at least one of these four types of mood “types”, potentially being the main trigger to the high rise in our Mental Health illnesses today.
Do you often feel worried or anxious? Perhaps seeing the glass half empty, as opposed to half full? Do you find yourself with low self-esteem, self-confidence? Do you experience emotions of irritability, anger, impatience, restlessness, obsessive or have repetitive thought patterns? Can these thought patterns contribute to your inability to sleep at night, craving sweets and starches? Does the winter come and you instantly feel a low blow. As if your whole world has flipped upside down, and you have no energy or motivation to go about your regular routines. If you find relief in the above symptoms through exercise or have been abusing antidepressant drugs, you may be experiencing a deficiency in serotonin.
Serotonin is our happy chemical that keeps our emotions stable. Allowing us to feel content, generous and at peace within. It’s recommended to balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut and body with a high potency probiotic, as 95% of serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. Copious studies show the correlation between healthy gut bacteria and mood. It’s recommended to increase your foods high in serotonin including; eggs, turkey, pineapples, tofu, countless nuts, and seeds.
Are you low on physical and mental energy? Do you often feel tired, lack motivation, enthusiasm and find that even the thought of you getting in your car to drive yourself to the gym is too much of a mountain to climb. Perhaps, even completing the slightest task seems daunting as you find yourself nodding off not being able to focus or concentrate. Do you need more than 8 hours of sleep? Even when you do sleep 10 hours you still have trouble getting up in the morning? Perhaps you often feel chilled, cold and you need to stimulate yourself with caffeine, or other “users”; chocolate, diet pills or cocaine. These are common symptoms of numberless “fight or flight” individuals who have overburdened adrenal glands. They have run their thyroids to the ground with over circulation of stimulating hormone adrenalin. The thyroid has given up, unable to produce hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. This contributes to proper thermogenesis and energy in the body.
I worked with assorted individuals with addictions and mental health imbalances. I suggested a reduction or eliminating coffee/ caffeine, sugar and/or all stimulants. These are the main factors in restoring the balance of the thyroid gland. These stimulants exclude a natural conversion that the brain produces. From amino acid L- tyrosine to L-dopamine to Catecholamines (Nor-adrenalin and Adrenaline). It gives the brain an instant shot of adrenaline, depleting the body of much-needed L-tyrosine for future stress responses. In that sense, the cycle begins. The more L-tyrosine we deplete through instant gratifying adrenaline stimulants, the more we need those stimulants to act in our regular routines. Nonetheless, this contributes to more factors, such as blood sugar imbalances, hypertension, and pre-hormonal changes.
Do you often feel overworked, pressured, uptight, tense or stiff? Do you have trouble relaxing and find your self in need of a message more often than regular. Are you frustrated, agitated under stress? Do you feel weak, or perhaps overwhelmed and burdened, you cannot seem to get everything done. Your brain is in fact not producing enough GABA, due to lack of amino acid, Taurine and Glycine in the body. GABA is a brain neurotransmitter responsible for reducing stress and allowing us to feel calm, still and relaxed. It’s our natural tranquilizer. It increases with the increase of melatonin, in which induces sleepy feeling at nightfall.
Taurine is an amino acid that converts to neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. This amino acid can be discovered in certain foods, which can affect individuals with a strict vegan or vegetarian diet. This amino acid; contributes to muscle function, bile salt formation and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s located solely in animal foods. These foods include fish, seafood, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Individuals who practice veganism, and vegetarianism, should include Taurine supplementation. This will not increase the risk of further imbalances in the future. Be mindful and choose organic, antibiotic-free animal products. This reduces the development of carcinogens in the body and reduces the impact on the environment.
Do you consider your self, or do others consider you to be sensitive? Do you find your self-tearing up readily, during movies, TV commercials and you cannot seem to express your emotions without tearing up in an instant? Do you avoid dealing with painful issues, and in fact block your emotions or allow love to come through. Perhaps you find your self-struggling to let go and move on from losses. Do you struggle with separation, and situations that need grieving? Have you been through a great deal of pain, where you have suffered, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual trauma? Do you crave pleasure, comfort, reward, enjoyment, or numbing from treats like chocolate, bread, wine, romance novels, marijuana, tobacco, or lattes?
You may be lacking some much-needed endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that are released by the pituitary gland to relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure and euphoria. There are ways to increase naturally boosting endorphins in the body. Keep your brain happy under balance with these tips below:
The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford
STRESS AND HEALTH: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants by Neil Schneiderman, Gail Ironson, and Scott D. Siegel
The Effects of Stress on Physical Activity and Exercise by Matthew A. Stults-Kolehmainen and Rajita Sinha