Have you been feeling down lately? We’re here to help! Check out this list of 7 natural mood boosters to help lift your spirits.
When you’re dealing with lots of stress and anxiety, it’s bound to have a negative impact on your mood. And your mood directly affects the health of your body, so it’s important to be aware and take action.
Research has shown that a bad mood can lead to higher blood pressure, weight gain, and aches and pains. While it’s easy to think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are ways to boost your mood, and some of them might already be in your refrigerator or pantry. If you’re looking for a natural way to change your outlook, keep reading to learn about 7 mood boosters you should try!
1. Avocados as Mood Boosters
Avocados taste great and provide mood-boosting capabilities. These pear-shaped fruits are rich in omega-3 acids and folates. Both of these things can help lift your mood when you’re feeling down.
The benefits of avocados don’t stop there. You’ll gain other nutrients like potassium and vitamin C from eating these powerful fruits. Avocados also contain tyrosine, which is said to help keep your mind more alert and less distracted by problems that can pull down your mood.
Their creamy texture and rich, buttery flavor make avocados an easy mood-boosting food to add to your diet. Chop them up and toss them in a salad or fajita, or mash them with some lime and tomatoes for a great guacamole dip. Whatever way you choose to prepare them, know that you’re helping to brighten your spirits and help your body!
2. Eat Leafy Greens
We know that eating vegetables can help keep our weight in check, but did you know that these same greens can make your mood better? It’s true! So there’s even more of a reason you should be adding a salad or some sauteed greens to your daily menu.
Reach for swiss chard, spinach, kale, or mustard greens to get a boost. The secret ingredient that makes these greens so effective? It’s magnesium, which studies show can start working in a matter of weeks.
Seeds, nuts, and fish are other magnesium-rich foods, so you build a tasty and well-rounded meal sure to help your mental health. If it’s summer, head to your local farmer’s market to find an abundance of dark leafy greens to get started.
Chop up some swiss chard and saute it with garlic and a little butter, or tear some fresh greens for the perfect salad. Your mind and waistline will thank you!
3. Try St. John’s Wort
Some studies suggest that St. John’s Wort can help alleviate stress and anxiety. This flowering plant is available as a natural supplement, which means you don’t need to get a prescription — just head to your local pharmacy.
You can take it in the form of tea, a capsule, or a liquid. Pay attention to dosage since different companies manufacture their products with different levels of potency. You want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it on a daily basis.
And the good news doesn’t stop there! St. John’s Wort may help you sleep better and even speed up the healing process if you have any cuts. One more bonus for the women in your life: it can help with menopausal and premenstrual symptoms, too.
Consider what other medications you may be taking or check with your doctor, as St. John’s Wort may not pair well with them. Also know that you’ll need to be patient — it takes time for this supplement to work. Adding St. John’s Wort to your daily regime might be the help you need.
4. Reach for Raw Honey
It’s a well-known fact that Americans eat too much sugar. Some reports suggest we might be taking in 57 pounds each year (and that’s for each person)! But there is a way to cut back on sugar and replace it with something that may help your mood: honey.
If you’re eager to cut out the sugar and processed foods while building stronger mental health, reach for raw honey. Aside from tasting great, honey contains tryptophan, which helps our bodies make serotonin. Serotonin helps manage your moods and your sleep, which makes you feel rested each day.
So, honey will help you feel and sleep better over time. This is a far cry from sugar, which kicks your blood glucose levels into high gear. You might get a momentary boost in energy — a sugar rush — but expect to feel pretty tired and lousy afterward.
Honey is the better choice for your mood. You’ll take in more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, too.
Just be careful with how much honey you use, as it does have a lot of calories. Add some to your next cup of tea, add some to your oatmeal, or use it in other baked goods when it’s an acceptable substitution for refined sugar.
5. Diffuse Some Lavender
Lavender is a beautiful plant that is easy to grow and adds flair to your landscaping. The good news is that is not only smells and looks good, but it can also help you relax any time of day!
Often times, anxiety or stress can inhibit your ability to sleep. If you take or smell lavender before going to bed each night, you may find yourself sleeping more deeply and with less interruption. And if you’ve ever wondered why you feel so relaxed after a massage, it’s probably because your massage therapist used lavender oils and creams.
There are many studies out there pointing to the benefits of aromatherapy as a way to promote relaxation, particularly with lavender. One of the easiest ways to reap the benefits of lavender is through using an essential oil diffuser. Adding just a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water in your diffuser (make sure to use distilled water, by the way) will create a wonderful lavender scent within minutes.
Another option is simply to smell some lavender before you go to bed. You’ll be relaxed in no time!
6. Look Into Kratom
Kratom, a tree found in Southeast Asia, is another option to look into for all-natural stress relievers. You can find kratom in the health section of a store, usually as an extract or capsule. You can also find it in powdered form to be used as a tea.
When taken in the right dosage, kratom can provide more energy and promote mental acuity. This helps you feel better and more alert. Many regular users of kratom sing its praises as a way to feel more relaxed.
Purchase kratom capsules to start seeing a difference in your mood. With so many people offering personal stories in favor of this plant, it might be the change you need.
7. Check Out Probiotics Like Yogurt
Looking for another way to help reduce your stress? Try probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria and yeast that do a number of good things for your body.
One of their best qualities is that they encourage your body to create serotonin, which will help you relax and sleep. Studies show that probiotics fight off stress by reducing brain inflammation.
You can find probiotics in the form of supplements but they also are found in many common foods at the grocery store. If you go the supplement route, aim to take one while your stomach is empty.
Yogurt is the best-known food containing probiotics, but it can be found in other foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and tempeh. There’s never been a better excuse to grill some brats and top them with some tangy (and healthy) sauerkraut!
Yogurt, the best source of probiotics, also is loaded with calcium. When you’re getting enough calcium in your diet, you feel more balanced. And, of course, calcium is great for building bone strength.
The next time you’re filling your cart at the store, stop by the dairy sections or canned foods aisle to grab some probiotics-rich foods!
The Bottom Line
With the typical American being more stressed than most people in the world, it’s important to take action to reduce the anxiety in your life. When asked, 55% of Americans say they felt stressed the previous day.
Mood boosters can be part of this process, and they are all around us in the foods we eat. Be intentional about building a diet rich in these foods and pair it with plenty of exercise, sunshine, and sleep. You’ll feel better and make those around you feel better, too.
When you’re ready to find other ways to get your life in shape, check back with us for more tips and ideas!