If feeling blue describes you, here is some advice and tips which may help brighten your mental state and put you in a better mood.
What Are Some Ways I Can Improve My Mood?
We know physical activity is good for our overall health, but exercising regularly can also help support our mental health and emotional wellness. The physiological benefits of exercise are well-established in the scientific literature, and research also supports the psychological benefit of exercise in support of a healthy lifestyle. One study showed a single bout of moderate-intense aerobic exercise can improve mood and the presence of positive thoughts in adults.
Exercising prompts the release of endorphins, which serve as your body's natural mood booster. One theory even suggests that exercise can potentially trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. In addition, a walking program was beneficial for both men and women with mild cognitive impairment as shown by improved memory and attention.
The type of exercise doesn't seem to matter. Engaging in either aerobic or anaerobic exercise seems to be an equally effective mood booster. The clear benefits for our mental health and mood should be emphasized equally, since the psychological benefit of exercise may be very relevant to the present life situations of some individuals.
It is important to obtain clearance from your healthcare provider before beginning a regular exercise program. Increasing your physical activity and regular exercise (for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week), is a positive way to get your body and mind on the road to better health, and a better mood.
Being around people can naturally lift our spirits and boost our endorphins. This is true at any age, but especially as we get older. Our stress level and response to stress may be put to the test more often the older we get.
Luckily, there are a variety of ways to reduce stress on a regular basis. Make a point to go out with friends, spend time with family, or join a group in the community such as a book or crafts club. You can reap double benefits by starting a walking club or hiking troop in your neighborhood! Doing so can allow you to socialize and exercise at the same time. Natural sunlight also serves as a natural mood booster, so gather your social group and get outside to soak up the sunshine. Also, keeping active and social may help keep your stress level to a minimum and help enhance an overall positive mood.
Diet and Nutritional Supplementation
It is always important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein (fish, poultry), and whole grains for optimal brain health. However, it may be difficult to eat well on a daily basis, and data shows that Americans in general, fall short with some key nutrients. In turn, our overall health as well as our physical and emotional balance may be affected by the food we eat. A poor diet (with lots of foods that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates and saturated fats, and low in fruits and vegetables) can affect energy levels, spike blood sugar levels , prompt mood swings, and trigger the body’s stress hormone.
To help support a healthy mood, consider some nutritional supplements such as vitamin B-complex and omega-3s EPA and DHA, or a mood support supplement, which may provide mood support benefits. Before starting a supplement regimen for better mood or emotional health, first speak to your healthcare practitioner to assess which vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements would best benefit your brain health.
SAM-e, or S-adenosylmethionine, is a compound naturally produced in the body that may increase levels of neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, responsible for mood support.†
Factors such as age, certain health conditions and poor diet can impact the amount of SAM-e found in the body. Consequently, those factors can also affect mood. When levels are low, a SAM-e supplement can help restore the body's supply of SAM-e.†
Vitamin B supplements may also help because they allow SAM-e to work effectively. Therefore, SAM-e is recommended to help support a healthy mood.† SAM-e has been shown to work in as little as 7 to 14 days when taken daily† as directed, however, if you are experiencing feelings associated with a low mood, see a physician for proper guidance on how to support your mood.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or a recommendation for any specific product. Consult your health care provider for more information.
† 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.
Fadillioglu MD, et al. Effects of Moderate exercise on mild depressive mood, antioxidants and lipid peroxidation. Bull Clin Psychopharmacol 2000;10:194-200.
Bartholomew JB et al. Effects of acute exercise on mood and well-being in patients with major depressive disorder. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2005;37:2032-2037
Baldessarini RJ. Neuropharmacology of S-adenosyl-L-methionine. Am J Med 1987;83:95-103.
Scully D, et al. Physical exercise and psychological well-being: a critical review. Br J Sports Med 1998;32:111-120.
Fulgoni et al. Food, Fortificants, and Supplements: Where Do Americans Get Their Nutrients? J Nutr. 2011; 141:1847-54.
6S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine for Treatment of Depression, Osteoarthritis, and Liver Disease. Summary, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 64. AHRQ Publication No. 02-E033, August 2002. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
Heijnen, S., Hommel, B., Kibele, A., & Colzato, L. S. (2016). Neuromodulation of Aerobic Exercise-A Review. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 1890. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01890
Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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