Did you know that America is one of the “most stressed out” nations worldwide? The current stress level experienced by Americans is 20 percentage points higher than the global average.
Moreover, 55% of Americans are stressed on a daily basis and 94% of workers report experiencing chronic stress at their job.
Can Chronic Stress Impact Your Health?
Yes, according to the American Psychology Association, 77% of those surveyed reported experiencing physical symptoms of stress.
Short-term symptoms of stress include:
- Joint pain
- Headaches & migraines
- Memory loss/ brain fog
- Hair loss
- Weight gain or loss
- Digestive problems
- Adrenal dysfunction
Long-term symptoms of stress are mainly due to the inflammatory immune response that stress triggers. When inflammation is long-term and chronic, our health can be severely compromised. In fact, 50% of annual deaths are due to inflammatory conditions (all of which can be linked to, or exacerbated by, stress) such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary conditions, stroke, cancer, and more.
Given these potential stress-related issues, it is incredibly important that we all take time to not only relax, but boost and enhance our mood to be better equipt to handle stressors throughout the day.
How to Boost Your Mood
In addition to a diet of whole, fresh foods, there are plenty of mood-boosting supplements you can utilize to fill in the gaps in your diet and naturally enhance your energy:
NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and this molecule reacts with oxygen in every cell of the body, specifically in the mitochondria. As a cofactor, NAD is involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions, meaning it can help support a variety of bodily functions, namely energy production.
Given that we lose approximately 40% of our NAD supply by age 40, NAD+ supplementation is a great addition to anyone’s self-care routine, especially because numerous studies have linked NAD supplementation with improved mood, energy, and mental clarity.
People have reported having incredible mental energy and alleviated brain fog after treatment as well as enhanced physical energy that has allowed them to work out twice daily.
Learn more about the benefits of NAD here
Did you know that 90% of your serotonin is produced in the gut? That is why a high-quality probiotic is actually one of the best mood-enhancing supplements out there as it is key to fuel your gut microbiome with healthy bacteria to keep it balanced.
In fact, those who suffer from a bacterial imbalance in their gut often experience mood disturbances. For instance, there was a study of over 1,000 individuals experiencing depression or considered themselves to have a low quality of life. Results showed that depressed participants were more likely to be missing two specific types of bacteria in their guts: Coprococcus and Dialister. Therefore, imbalances of bacteria in the microbiome can potentially compromise your mood and ability to handle stress.
Looking for a high-quality, mood-boosting probiotic? Consider Holtraceuticals’ Ultrabiotic, a pharmaceutical-grade probiotic designed to support and enhance the health of your gut microbiome.
Learn more about the gut-brain connection here
Approximately 90% of Americans suffer from some form of a vitamin deficiency. Below are some of the top deficiencies that can be compromising your mood:
- Magnesium: Approximately half of Americans do not get enough magnesium daily, which blocks the activity of more stimulating neurotransmitters and binds to calming receptors, resulting in a more peaceful, resting state.
- Omega-3s: New research has found that over 68% of adults and 95% of children in the United States do not consume enough omega-3s to meet nutritional needs based on the US Dietary Guidelines. Omega-3s are important to mood stability as they travel through cell membranes and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve depression.
- Vitamin D: Approximately 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D yet this “sunshine vitamin” is critical in supporting healthy dopamine levels.
Exercise is just as integral to mental health as it is to physical health. Humans are not meant to be sedentary beings, yet the average office worker sits 15 hours a day.
Regular exercise is proven to elevate your mood as it is linked to a release in endorphins. Endorphins actually mimic the way in which morphine interacts with the body, providing mental and physical relief.
That is why studies have linked exercise to reduced anxiety, depression, and improved emotional stability by improving cognitive function.
At a minimum, aim to exercise 20-30 minutes at least three times a week, but four to five times a week is more effective according to experts.
Infrared Light Therapy
Infrared Light Therapy allows you to get all the benefits of sunlight without the exposure to harmful UV rays that cause pre-mature aging.
Light therapy has been widely used for mood elevation and is even one of the most common methods of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Those with SAD severe enough to impact their daily life frequently utilize a full-spectrum lightbox. It is suggested that the patient be exposed to this light daily for 15-30 minutes. It is essential to be consistent with treatment as symptoms can quickly return without regular exposure. The power of this treatment can be seen in its 60 to 80 percent success rate of improving SAD symptoms.
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt baths are a relaxing self-care technique that is an effective mood-booster. This is because research shows that Epsom salt helps stabilize mood, relieve stress, and combat anxiety. Moreover, Epsom salt baths release magnesium, which is linked to an increase in the production of serotonin and can elevate your mood in the ways described above.
So, after a stressful day, try a relaxing Epsom salt bath to decompress and take care of your health.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Sleep is essential when targeting any health goal, including mood stability. Sleep is critical for repairing and restoring the brain as well as processing emotions. Seven to eight hours of sleep per night (regularly) can enhance your overall mood.
This is because a loss of sleep has been associated with an increased risk of changes in mood and behavior such as increased irritability, anxiety, depression, and impulsivity.
Looking for More Ways to Boost Your Mood?
Start your journey with Holtorf Medical Group today and our experienced medical team will get to the root cause of your mood instability and empower you to feel like the best version of yourself.