Are you feeling down in the dumps? Are you battling to bounce out of bed in the morning? Don’t have the get-up-and-go to get to the office, the gym or, worst of all, a new client meeting? What you may need is a quick boost, something that can raise your energy and help adjust your motivation in an instant.
Mood booster: Breathing Boost
Time till mood boost: Immediate to several minutes
Feeling down? Take a breath. A deep one! Deep breathing is one of the fastest tension busters around, lowering levels of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Try the 4-7-8 technique. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat five times.
Mood booster: Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Time till mood boost: 15 minutes.
Starting your day with a balanced breakfast will not only boost your energy, it will most definitely lift your mood too, and no, a balanced breakfast would not be a cup of coffee in each hand. A balanced breakfast is one that provides some fibre and also some protein. The fibre from fruit or cereals generally comes along with vitamins and minerals and the protein from dairy, eggs, or fish will help keep your blood sugar steady meaning you won’t launch into that pre-lunch irritability in the middle of a meeting with your client or the boss.
Whiz together this mood boosting smoothie in a blender: One banana, add a handful of frozen or fresh berries, a handful each of almonds and oats, some vanilla yoghurt, milk and ice cubes.
If you want to eat your way to happiness the key is to follow a diet that keeps your blood sugar level and provides plenty of tryptophan and omega-3 fats.
In practical terms this means:
For tryptophan: Have a serving of chicken, turkey, tofu, cottage cheese, bananas, dates or beans each day as these foods contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid used by the brain produce serotonin, a chemical that is instrumental in regulating mood. You could also benefit from taking a 5 HTP supplement.
For your omega dose: Have at least 3 servings of fish high in omega 3 each week e.g. salmon, pilchards, sardines, herring, trout, tuna or take an omega 3 fish oil, providing the equivalent of 500-1000mg of EPA and DHA daily.
Food for thought: While there is simply no denying that food and mood are connected, diet may be just one piece of the puzzle. Therefore, it’s important that you seek professional medical help if you are feeling down for a long period of time or before taking supplements.
An integral part of managing your mood is managing your molecules of emotion, your hormones.
So you are in a great mood but you’re feeling tired and sluggish. Whenever your energy engine is running on fumes, try the following for some high-octane mood juice.