Although we are only half way through Winter, it certainly feels icy cold, not to mention the piecing wind. Raincoats, puffer jackets, scarves, beanies and boots are out in full force in Melbourne. With more gloomy weather around, it can tend to have a direct effect on our mood. So keeping this in mind, we thought it best to remind people how to improve their mood modulating hormones and neurotransmitters.
On a side note, I have seen more patients turn to anti depressants over this past year than ever clinically before. Of course we all know the past two plus years have been challenging for almost everyone in the world and especially us Melbournites. In fact between July 2020 and June 2021, prescriptions of several common antidepressants, including escitalopram (Lexepro) and Sertraline (Zoloft), increased by at least 10 per cent. And, Australia has the second-highest per capita usage of antidepressants of all other countries, following Iceland!
Knowing this information we felt it was important to empower people to try some more natural methods of mood enhancement with less unwanted side effects and more noticeable desirable feelings.
When it comes to happiness the primary signalling chemicals are:
Serotonin – Balance mood and promote feelings of wellbeing
Dopamine – The feel good hormone, plays a role with happiness, motivation, pleasure and reward
Endorphins – The body’s natural painkiller that helps you overcome stress and discomfort
Oxytocin – Triggers love and protection, enhances relationship and social cues eg, trust, empathy and bonding
So how do we increase all these hormones/neurotransmitters to improve our mental health?
- Magnesium & Vitamin D (get some sun on your skin!)
- Nutritional Foods – including high Omegas 3, and low sugars
- Exercise – mild to moderate
- Mindfulness – catching your negative thoughts
- Meditation – even starting with 1-2 mins
- Music – crank it, all the favourites to sing along to. Have a dance and move stagnant energy
- Journalling – a paragraph a day can be very empowering
- Self Care – listening to body more
- Acupuncture – Down regulation of nervous system
- Herbal medicines – customised herbal formulas
- Cuddles from family, friends and pets
- Laughter is the best medicine! See a comedy show or catch up with a friend and have a giggle
Antidepressant medications can absolutely help individuals who are in need and are often a useful stepping-stone to mental wellness, we are simply suggesting to also try a natural route if that feels right for you.
If you are deciding wether to start antidepressant medication or would like assistance transitioning off them, or to a lower dosage, email email@example.com to book.