Boost Your Mood Without Medications

Boost Your Mood without any Medications

The following recommendations are helpful for recovering from mild anxiety and/or depression. Use these diet and lifestyle approaches to improving your mood naturally.

1. EAT A NOURISHING DIET

• Ensure adequate intake of calories, protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals

• Prioritise whole foods at each meal, including meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, etc. • Use caution if avoiding a single macronutrient like carbohydrates or fat

• Work with your practitioner to identify any gaps in your current diet

2. AVOID INFLAMMATORY AND/OR “JUNK” FOODS

• Sugar, omega-6 fats, refined grains, chemicals, and preservatives are common in packaged and prepared foods

• Minimise or completely avoid these ingredients and stick to whole foods with little to no additives

• Cook from scratch as much as possible for more control over what you eat

3. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

• Poor sleep is significantly associated with depression and anxiety

• Make seven to nine hours of sleep nightly a top priority

4. EXERCISE APPROPRIATELY

• Exercise is known to improve brain functioning and boost mood

• Aim for 30 minutes of daily physical activity

• Avoid “overtraining,” which can cause mental disturbances

5. ASSESS YOUR LIGHT EXPOSURE

• Not enough natural light during the day and too much artificial light can have a major impact on your mood

• Get outside as often as possible during daylight hours

• Minimise light exposure after dark and avoid the use of backlit electronics before bed

6. SUPPORT YOUR GUT

• Consume probiotic-rich fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc., for increased beneficial gut flora

• Eat a wide variety of prebiotic, fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and starchy tubers to feed your beneficial flora

• Work with your practitioner to treat any existing gut infections

7. MANAGE YOUR STRESS

• Use daily stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to retrain your brain to respond differently to stress

• Try deep breathing to deactivate your “fight or flight” response

8. PRIORITIZE YOUR SOCIAL LIFE

• Work on building social support with new friends or improve current relationships

• Consider getting a pet that allows for companionship, social interaction, and physical touch

• Try volunteering or joining a faith-based community to increase your sense of purpose

9. TAKE TIME TO PLAY

• Unstructured “play” time can help reduce anxiety and depression

• Options for play include music, games, sports, dance, art, etc.

10. AVOID TOXINS

• Pathogens like mould or bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals in cleaning and cosmetic products expose us to toxins that disrupt our cognitive function

• Switch to natural cleaners and toxin-free cosmetics

• Check your home for mould if mould exposure is suspected

• Consider installing a high-quality air filter to reduce airborne toxins and pathogens

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