Read these 7 Mood Enhancement Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vitamin tips and hundreds of other topics.
Another all-nighter? No problem -- you'll just sleep on the weekend. Unfortunately, sleep doesn't work like that. Sleep debt, like credit card debt, is difficult to pay off -- and credit card debt is what you work to avoid. Your finances will suffer if you don't sleep. We recommend that you set a bedtime, stay off the computer, drink milk, and take a natural mood support sleep inducer. While you may get success from Lunesta, you might want to try valerian root and hops as natural mood enhancers that help you sleep. L-tryptophan in milk or in capsule form can help too -- it's that amino acid in turkey that makes you fall asleep on Thanksgiving. Speaking of amino acids, don't forget DL-phenylalnine. You may not be able to sleep because you're anxious. St. John's wort can help, as can increased serotonin production -- 5 HTP assists in serotonin production. When you're well rested, you'll be more efficient, and if you set a regular daily routine, you'll be financially healthy as well as physically and mentally healthy.
Do you feel sluggish? Feel nervous? Always on edge? Restless hands? You may need natural mood enhancers to soothe your nerves. Although proteins boost your mood, especially DL-phenylalanine, and neurotransmitters help regulate your mood when you take 5 HTP natural mood enhancers to help serotonin production, other vitamins and minerals help the nervous system. Don't take ginseng, ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, and valerian root without taking:
You feel like you're about to burst out of your pants--actually, you forgot to get them altered. That makes you more anxious. The big company dinner party is tonight. Before you jump in the car and succumb to anxiety that can turn to road rage, take some 5 HTP. (Don't take St. John's Wort unless you stop to talk to the doctor on the way to the tailor shop.) 5 HTP is a natural mood enhancer and the precursor to serotonin production. Speaking of serotonin, jogging will help your anxiety--exercise produces serotonin too. Do it so you don't yell at the tailor. If you feel too anxious to drive and you can jog to the tailor, put on your jogging shoes. 5 HTP can tone down your anxiety, especially by producing L-tryptophan if you don't get enough in your diet. L-tryptophan calms and cheers--just what you need when you're trying to impress your boss. Just remember that it can cause drowsiness, not good if you fall asleep from all that jogging in the middle of your boss's speech! You have no drug interactions (such as levodopa to treat Parkinson's Disease), your pants are crisp and tailored, and you look great. Your tailor is happy, your doctor is happy, and let's hope your boss is happy. You hope. But don't stress over it--just relax and enjoy dinner.
You'd like to take SAMe, but spending the money makes you more anxious, which defeats the purpose. Not to worry. Less expensive natural mood enhancers we like include:
We all know that food can raise your spirits, especially if you eat an all-natural diet and don't drink excess alcohol. Think of how, after you eat a protein-rich meal, you're happier. So why can't you get all natural mood enhancers from food? Certain mood support helpers such as St. John's Wort, 5 HTP and valerian root, obviously, don't come from food. But amino acids do, and DL-phenylalanine is an amino acid. Unfortunately, humans can't get it from food, so you need to take it in tablet or softgel form. Now that you've enhanced your amino acids, you can enjoy that delicious home-cooked dinner with family and friends--eating together is another natural mood support you can't get from food alone.
Your brain is full of to-do lists, concerns (why did I say that to him and cause fight), worries (did I pay my electric bill)...how do you get to sleep? You've heard that valerian works as well as Ambien for sleep aid. When you wake up refreshed, the problems don't go away, but your mood allows you to deal with conflicts, bills and picking up dry cleaning. But how does valerian work? Research shows that valerian binds itself to your brain cells and blocks certain chemicals or nerve impulses (the ones that cause you to toss and turn, fight or flight). With your brain temporarily powered down, you can sleep and let more meaningful brain activity -- problem solving dreams, for example -- take place. You might even supplement valerian root with DL-phenylalanine and other natural mood enhancers, since valerian doesn't have any serious interactions with those. Just don't take prescription sleep drugs -- although with valerian root and your new wisdom, you may not have to! Now you can remember that you paid the bill. You can apologize if it's necessary. And you can tackle your to-do list cheerfully.
Feeling blue? Anxious? Upset? That's just from your mom's advice that you shouldn't take antidepressants, even though you're going through a major job change or move. Your mom's concern is noted, but we don't think there's anything wrong with antidepressants if you need them--there are severe chemical imbalances, and if your blues persist, you may need to see a psycho-pharmacologist. However, sometimes you just need natural mood enhancers--especially since antidepressants can interfere with the St. John's Wort or valerian root tea supplements you got from your local health food store. Natural mood enhancers such as 5 HTP, DL-phenylalanine (an amino acid), and herbs need to be taken with some guidelines. We're not turning Tom Cruise here and attacking depression, even temporary depression. So if your mom continues to hammer at you, call her Tom--she never liked him anyway and she thinks Katie Holmes is way too young for him. Dealing with stressors is a terrific natural mood support.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|