Our mental health is just as essential to our wellbeing as our physical health. Jam-packed schedules, looming deadlines and everyday responsibilities can contribute to intense stress. If this sounds like your life, you're not alone. Don’t fret! We’ve found the most recent research on maintaining your mental and cognitive health.* Read on to get helpful tips for a healthy mood.
How Environment Influences Your Mood
When looking to improve your overall mood, your environment can play a big part. Our brains are complex organs that constantly take in visual information. These visual cues may seem insignificant but they can influence how we feel.
One study showed that individuals who spent time in homes described as “cluttered” or “unfinished” showed higher levels of cortisol and increased feelings of low mood compared to those who spent time in homes described as “restorative.” While you may not feel like adding another item to your to do list, it seems a little decluttering could lead to a better mood, plus it’s a great reason to give your space a bit of a makeover. Our minds experience a mental boost and sense of accomplishment when we cross something off our to do list as well. When creating your restorative space, there is one particular item that you should include no matter what your personal style– plants. Plants can improve our body’s stress response in a number of ways, one of which is promoting healthy blood pressure levels (within normal range*) and a feeling of calm. Check out this blog for more wellness tips for mental calm.
Exercise and Mood Health
We know exercise is a great way to boost our feel-good hormones like endorphins, but did you know that it doesn’t take much exercise to boost your mood? Recent research shows as little as 15 minutes of sustained vigorous activity, such as running, is all it takes to reap the mental benefits of exercise. Even if you can’t put in a long workout, exercise is a powerful mood booster. Need more energy to fuel your workout? Read our blog on tips to boost energy naturally.*
Self Care for a Busy Lifestyle
If you have a busy schedule, you can still squeeze in short moments of self care that can help you relax and feel less stressed. Going outside and getting a little sun is proven to trigger the brain’s release of serotonin, increasing feelings of calmness and positive mood. The next time you have a break at work, step outside and enjoy a few minutes of sunlight.
Another way to improve your mental health and mood is by journaling. A specific type of journaling called positive affect journaling where you focus on positive aspects of your life has been shown to improve low mood. Participants journaled three times a week for 15 minutes. This is a quick and simple way to relax your mind and clear your thoughts after a long day.
Nutrition's Link to Mood
When we are feeling low, it may be easier to reach for a sugary treat for mood improvement, but there are other foods that will do a better job of supporting a positive mood without the additional empty calories. Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats that are needed for brain health as well as the amino acid tryptophan which is needed to create serotonin, your body’s feel-good hormone. Chia and flax seeds are great sources of tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. Another fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids would be fatty fish like tuna and salmon. B-vitamins are important for energy and a healthy mood. Bananas have an abundant amount of vitamin B-6 which supports the brain’s neurotransmitters and is involved in countless other bodily processes.
Supplements to Support Mood
You can enhance your own tryptophan stores with a supplement like Nature's Lab 5-HTP Plus.* It contains 5-HTP, a precursor to serotonin, and other healthy mood ingredients* such as vitamin B-6 and L-tryptophan.
Adaptogenic herbs are also helpful supplements for mood and wellness.* Adaptogens are believed to help the body adjust to external stress.* The latest research on the herb Rhodiola Rosea shows that it can help support energy, mood, and stamina.* Rhodiola Rosea contains plant compounds called rosavins and salidrosides which possess anti-inflammatory benefits and other exciting properties.* Studies have shown that Rhodiola Rosea, while not a sleep supplement, may promote a deeper and more restful sleep which is of paramount importance for increased energy.* Its bioactive plant compounds have shown evidence in some studies of supporting the body’s cellular repair process, combating brain fog or mental fatigue and also boosting the immune response.*
You can find the multi-benefit adaptogen Rhodiola Rosea here at Nature’s Lab along with Ginkgo Biloba, Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil with EPA and DHA, and other supplements that help support a healthy mood.*
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Ishaque, S., Shamseer, L., Bukutu, C., Vohra, S. (2012, May 29). Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: A systematic review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541197/
More evidence that exercise can boost mood. Harvard Health. (2019, May 1). Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/more-evidence-that-exercise-can-boost-mood
Lambert GW, Reid C , Kaye DM, Jennings GL, & Esler MD. (2012, May 29). Effect of sunlight and season on serotonin turnover in the brain. Lancet (London, England). Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12480364/
Davidson, K. (2020, February 5). Mood food: 9 foods that can really boost your spirits. Healthline. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mood-food#6.-Berries
Smyth, J. M., Johnson, J. A., Auer, B. J., Lehman, E., Talamo, G., Sciamanna, C. N. (2018, December 10). Online positive affect journaling in the improvement of mental distress and well-being in general medical patients with elevated anxiety symptoms: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. JMIR mental health. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6305886/