Best Practices to Balance Your Mood
Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to do anything. We all have those days. While fluctuating moods and feelings are normal, it can be problematic when you have more “blah” days than happy or productive ones.
The restorative power of nutrition can be a helpful component in your quest towards emotional wellness. What are some ways you can become master over your mind so that mood changes don’t dictate your day?
The benefits of exercise have been proven in countless studies. But when it comes to improving mental health and balancing moods, you almost don’t need science to tell you how beneficial exercise is for you. Close your eyes and recall how you felt after that long run or swim. Feel the exhilaration? Physical exercise releases endorphins (feel good hormones) that do you a world of good. Besides, exercise helps keep you healthier, and when you feel better, you do better.1
2. Proper Nutrition
It’s not that we really think a pound of jelly beans can fix problems, but sometimes it’s easier to eat just one more piece than tackle life’s curveballs. Except that when you’re done with the junk, those problems will still stare you in the face and you won’t have the energy to deal with them.
It’s much better to focus on eating properly and maintaining a balanced diet (you can still sneak in a jelly bean or two along the way). Dr. Eva Selhub compares the brain to an expensive car that functions best on premium fuel.2
In this case, premium fuel is the high-quality food choices you make. That means lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats and low-fat dairy proteins, and unprocessed whole grains. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods as those can make it more difficult to balance your mood.
3. Nutritional Support
Sometimes it becomes difficult to remain hyper-focused on dietary intake. That’s why it can be beneficial to take supplements that help fill nutritional gaps in your diet. When you’re working on balancing mood and stress, look for these ingredients:
Vitamin B6, B12, Folate
B vitamins have long been known for their brain-balancing abilities.3
DMAE helps produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter, and can play a key role in brain functions like learning and memory.4
GABA can promote a sense of relaxation, improve mood and increase a sense of wellbeing.5
5-HTP is a byproduct of L-tryptophan and can be produced from the Griffonia simplicifolia plant. It is often used as a mood booster by building up serotonin levels.6
Ashwagandha leaf has many health benefits including reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. It may also help support a positive outlook on life.7
4. Regular Sleep Routine
Being in a bad mood is tiring even if the bad mood causes you to do nothing. Unfortunately sleeping all day to make up for sleep you lost at night doesn’t tend to work. Instead, try to go to bed at about the same time each night and aim to get eight hours of sleep if possible. Get up on time, even on the weekend. Since you might be in a better mood, you’ll want to get up and get started on you weekend plans anyway.8
It can also be helpful to take a 20-minute power nap during the day, although not too close to bedtime. Recharging in the middle of the day can help keep your engine going until bedtime, just remember to keep the nap short. A long snooze during daylight can disrupt your nighttime routine.
5. Spend Quality Time with Family & Friends
Being with the people you love can actually make your body produce more of the hormones you need to feel better. While you’re at it, play a game or watch something funny together. These positive activities can get you double benefits at the same time.
Friends and loved ones can also listen to you talk about your difficulties. They can offer advice, but even the listening ear they lend can help you feel better and sort out your emotions. Carve out time in your schedule for dates with your friends and other significant people in your life.9
6. Spend Quality Time Alone
Sometimes, you are your own best friend. While socializing is important, it’s also good to take some time for yourself. Engage in self-care and self-love. Take a walk by yourself. Listen to your heartbeat. Light a candle and read a book. Get some essential oils and make your space smell good. You’re worth it!
7. Keep a Journal
Writing down your thoughts and emotions is a powerful way to sort through them and can be very therapeutic.10 In addition, looking back at your journal can help you spot patterns and triggers. Once you see what sets you off, you can figure out how to fix it.
The interesting thing about mood changes is that inasmuch as they belong to the field of psychology and mental health, they are often rooted in your physical state of health. The seven tips above can be helpful on a physical and emotional level and help you achieve your goal of balancing your mood.
Always serving our customers,
Your friends at Swanson
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1 Exercise for Stress and Anxiety. ADAA adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
2 Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food. Harvard Health Publishing. health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626
3 Young, L. M., Pipingas, A., White, D. J., Gauci, S., & Scholey, A. (2019). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and "At-Risk" Individuals.Nutrients,11(9), 2232. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092232
4 DMAE: Should You Take It? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/senior-health/dmae
5 Jewett BE, Sharma S. Physiology, GABA. [Updated 2020 Aug 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513311/
6 5-Htp. WebMd. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-794/5-htp
7 9 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits
8 Mental Health and Sleep. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mental-health
9 Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860
10 Discover 8 Journaling Techniques for Better Mental Health. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/202001/discover-8-journaling-techniques-better-mental-health
Updated February 17, 2022