There are a variety of things that can cause us to get the blues or feel a little down. If you feel like you may be suffering from a form of depression it is important to seek professional help, but if you are just feeling a little down in the dumps there are a few things you can do to help perk yourself up again. Things like getting the right blend of nutrients, exercise and listening to music can all help improve your mood.
Nutrients and Supplements
To get a wide spectrum of nutrients from your foods it is important to eat a variety of foods including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also choose whole grains instead of refined grains as they have more mood boosting nutrients. Some research suggests that a lack of certain nutrients can affect the way our bodies metabolize brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline which can have a direct impact on your mood.
Make sure you are getting enough B vitamins, particularly folate, B6 and B12. Vitamins D and C as well as zinc and magnesium are also important for emotional health. To make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins and minerals consider taking a multivitamin every day. But also remember too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing, so stick to recommended doses.
There are a few herbal supplements that have shown to help improve mood in a variety of people, particularly things like rhodiola rosea extract and St John's wart.
Some research suggest that an imbalance in certain fats, particularly omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, may create a higher risk of depression. Modern average diets are typically high in omega-6 fatty acids but low in omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids include meat, eggs and refined grains, so you may want to cut down on these types of foods. Foods high in mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, nuts and fish so you may want to add more of these to your regular diet to help improve your mood.
Getting regular exercise can help your body produce brain chemicals that improve mood. You don't even need to participate in an intense exercise, a brisk 20 minute walk should be enough to help your body produce these feel-good chemicals. Find an exercise that you enjoy and will do regularly to help elevate your mood on a regular basis. Not only will it help your mood but it will also improve your overall health, which is another thing to feel good about.
For most people listening to music is a natural mood booster. Find music you enjoy and play it while you are commuting, working around the house or exercising.