It's not unusual to experience feelings of anxiety and depression in today's stressful world. Unfortunately, your job, school, family, friends, and illness can unintentionally cause you a great deal of stress. However, while we can't always change our environment, we can change how we interact and respond to our environment.
There are four simple, natural things you can do right now to help eliminate feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. You might feel the positive mood-boosting effects right away, while others may take a few days to kick in. In any case, if you begin right now, you're likely to see positive changes in your mood and life over a short period of time.
Improve Your Diet
It's all too common to pick up fast food or snack on junk food when you're in a rush. While eating sweets can temporarily pick up your energy and mood, studies show that in the long run, high sugar intake, especially in the form of high fructose corn syrups, makes depression worse. Likewise, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame also have a negative effect on mood. If you're on the run and need a snack, consider a pack of nuts and bottled water instead of a candy bar and diet soda.
Cooking fast, healthy meals at home is a great way to improve your diet and it’s easier than you think. Be sure to avoid zapping frozen dinners in the microwave. It may be convenient, but microwave meals damage nutrients in your food, and they are also loaded with sodium and other preservatives that may have adverse effects on your overall wellness.
A healthy meal should include plenty of fresh vegetables, protein, and a modest amount of carbs.
If you're unsure how to cook healthy food from scratch, there are plenty of fun videos online to help you. In fact, cooking can become a fun and relaxing hobby.
Natural Mood Boosting Supplements
A nutrient-dense diet gives your body all it needs to feel good, both physically and mentally. But, improving your diet can take some time. Fortunately, natural supplements can have a more immediate effect.
Key nutrients you need to improve your mood include B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, or “good fat”.
Vitamin D is also an important nutrient to improve mood. You can find this supplement at any health food store. But there’s one way to get this essential vitamin without spending any money. The sun can help! Take a moment out of each day to take in its warm glow and let your body produce its own vitamin D.
One of the newest mood-boosting supplements is full-spectrum CBD, derived from hemp. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is just one of the beneficial compounds found in hemp plants. Hemp is also rich in terpenes, cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN), all of which have been shown to help you feel more relaxed and centered when taken together.
A study by the New York University School of Medicine showed that full-spectrum CBD has the potential to ease anxiety and improve mood. This is because CBD connects with nerve receptors that regulate stress response and emotional health in the body. CBD specifically interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the central nervous system; these receptors influence how the brain interacts with serotonin, a key neurochemical for maintaining a positive outlook on life.
You can find a variety of full spectrum CBD products to help balance your mood, including CBD oil and softgel capsules which can be ingested orally. CBD oil can also be taken sublingually for fast absorption.
Another popular method for taking these hemp-based extracts is to blend them into your favorite tea or drink with CBD honey sticks. While excessive sugar consumption should be avoided, pure raw honey has anxiolytic benefits that have been shown in clinical studies to reduce anxiety and promote healthy mood balance.
Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude
Often, people can get depressed when things don't go their way. They'll dwell on the negative things happening in their life, rather than the positive. By shifting your focus from the negative to the positive, you'll profoundly shift your mood. For example, let's say your car has broken down, and you've had to call roadside assistance. Of course, this is a stressful situation that will end up costing you money. But for the moment, set that aside. Rather, focus on how helpful your roadside assistance has been. Also, express gratitude for your polite and helpful tow truck driver. This may sound silly, but it will shift your mood from negative to positive.
An attitude of gratitude has been the focus of scientific study. One study divided participants into two groups, either writing weekly on things they felt grateful for, or things that irritated them. After ten weeks, participants writing about gratitude felt happier and more optimistic. Moreover, they had fewer visits to their doctors, suggesting that an attitude of gratitude has positive physical effects as well.
Get Outside and Have Fun
Being physically active outdoors is a positive mood boost. For thousands of years, humans have been wired for outdoor, physical activity. Sitting at desks all day and riding around in cars is a new phenomenon the human body is not prepared for.
As we've mentioned before, sunshine can boost your body's store of mood-boosting vitamin D. Even mild physical activity boosts mood. Simply getting away from your desk and walking around the neighborhood can have a positive effect.
The human body and mind need to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine to function at their best. Hobbies such as gardening, camping, or sports also encourage positive interaction with other living beings. If you have a dog, he or she will probably love a trip to the park. Hiking in the woods allows you to interact with nature. Or, joining a sports team is an opportunity to not only exercise but to make new friends.
Begin these four natural ways to boost your mood right now. While changing your diet and developing an attitude of gratitude may take some time, adding exercise and mood-boosting supplements to your daily wellness regimen will have immediate positive effects.