Dealing with mood disorders on a day-to-day basis is something what affects many of us. Disorders such as depression and anxiety are increasingly prevalent in our fast-paced society – as are the number and type of drugs available to treat them.
There are a number of drugs to help with these conditions but if you’re not keen on the potential side effects and you’re looking for some natural solutions that are scientifically backed – you may want to try these!
Exercise has long been proven to have physical benefits such as improving fitness and helping our bodies to fight disease, but did you know that it can also help to bolster your mental health and reduce stress levels?  Numerous studies have shown that it is incredibly effective in reducing fatigue, increasing alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function.
This is largely due to the endorphins produced when you exert yourself. These chemicals act as natural painkillers.
Regular participation has been shown to decrease overall tension, stabilise and elevate mood, and increase self-esteem, with just five minutes of aerobic exercise being enough to stimulate positive psychological effects. This explains why physically active people are 25% less likely to develop anxiety or depression.
Sleep and mood are closely connected, which means that not getting enough of the former can impact the latter.  Indeed, poor sleep can dramatically exacerbate depression, with just a few good nights of solid shut-eye enough to significantly improve how an afflicted individual feels.
So, it’s little surprise that people who live with severe insomnia are four times more likely to suffer with depression, and 20 times more likely to develop a panic disorder. There is increased evidence to suggest that poor sleep can actually lead to mental health issues in the future, which is why it’s important to address such habits in order to bring about a possible natural solution.
The easiest way to achieve this is by either doing your own research online and seeing what tips and tricks work best for you, or else talking to a GP or qualified health professional.
Depression can also be linked to diet. According to the World Health Organisation, the two might well correlate, with certain nutritional imbalances making some individuals more prone to depression. By remedying these, it may be possible to reverse the effects and bring about a natural resolution. Common food issues include:
• Low serotonin levels, due to insufficient amino acid intake. • An unhealthy blood sugar balance. • Insufficient vitamin D.
In addressing these issues you may find that you can bolster your mood without resorting to anti-depressants.
4. 5-HTP for low mood
In the section above, you’ll notice that we referred to low serotonin levels, and using nutrition to increase these. One way to do this is through trying a 5-HTP supplement. 5-htp is an isolated nutrient and ours is extracted from the Griffonia seed. It’s also a naturally occurring chemical made in the body and, it’s the building block of your happy chemical messenger; serotonin (5-ht). The body is actually quite poor at making serotonin from a more common nutrient in foods called tryptophan. It’s available in small quantities in most of the major food groups such as red meats, nuts and some leafy greens but it can’t cross the blood brain barrier without a transporter molecule and, it completes poorly with other amino acids for these transporter molecules.
 Meeusen, R. (2014). Exercise, Nutrition and the Brain. Sports Medicine, [online] Volume 44(1), pgs. 47-56. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40279-014-0150-5. [Accessed 21 July 2017]. Baum, K et al. (2013). Sleep restriction worsens mood and emotion regulation in adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, [online] Volume 55(2), pgs. 180-190. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12125/abstract. [Accessed 21 July 2017].