8 practical tips to improve your mood

June 13, 2024

If you are seeking ways to reduce stress, enhance alertness, or boost happiness…explore these 8 practical tips to improve your mood.

If you are ready to infuse your days with positivity, reduce stress, and elevate your well-being? Look no further!

faces with different emotions

In this month’s blog, we’ll dive into 8 simple yet effective strategies that can help transform your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.

Tip #1. Fuel Your Alertness

There’s a lot of science behind your breakfast choices impacting your alertness throughout the day.

To fuel your alertness, try adding a simple yet powerful brekky to your morning ritual—the Spinach Omelette.
The perfect duo of eggs and spinach both contain tyrosine, an amino acid that significantly improves reflexes and reaction times as soon as it’s digested.

Eggs are packed with tyrosine, an amino acid that plays a starring role in our brain chemistry. Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine—neurotransmitters that regulate mood, focus, and alertness. When you crack open that egg, you’re unleashing a burst of brain-boosting potential.

Spinach leafy greens aren’t just for your salad. Popeye knew what he was doing! Spinach is a tyrosine-rich powerhouse. It’s like a mini superhero cape for your neurons. When you sauté spinach into your omelette, you’re inviting mental clarity to the breakfast table.

Tip #2. Reduce stress hormones

If you are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders… fear not—there’s a delicious remedy that not only satisfies your taste buds but also eases your stress levels.

Say hello to dark chocolate! Dark chocolate contains a superhero compound called flavonoids.

These little warriors’ mission is to combat stress. When you indulge in those velvety squares, you’re inviting a dose of tranquility.

We all know that Cortisol—the notorious stress hormone—can wreak havoc on our well-being. But only some people know that eating dark chocolate helps to reduce cortisol levels, leaving you feeling calmer and more centered.

The 40g Ritual

A US study found that highly stressed individuals were handed a delightful prescription—40g of dark chocolate daily.

After just 14 days, of consuming 40g of dark chocolate their stress-hormone readings took a nosedive.

So, when stress knocks on your door, reach for that dark chocolate stash. It’s not just dessert; it’s your secret weapon against life’s storms. It’s like a taking mini vacation for your nervous system.

Remember, moderation is key. Dark chocolate is your ally, but don’t turn it into an all-day affair. A few squares—enough to spark joy—will do the trick and make sure you choose dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa content.

Tip # 3. Fight PMS-related mood swings

Ladies, listen up! If you’ve ever battled PMS mood swings, here’s a savory secret that might just be your ally: sun-dried tomatoes. Yes, those ruby-red gems hiding in your pantry hold a powerful punch.

Sun-dried tomatoes are like little iron warriors. They’re rich in non-haem iron, a form of iron found in plant-based foods. Why does this matter? Because iron plays a starring role in our hormonal balance.

According to US researchers, women who embrace a diet brimming with non-haem iron-rich foods—like our sun-dried tomatoes—slash their risk of PMS by up to 40%. It’s like arming your body with a shield against mood turbulence.

Remember, it’s not about devouring a tomato army. Moderation is our mantra. A few sun-dried tomatoes here and there—alongside a rainbow of other nutrients—will keep your mood ship sailing smoothly.

So, next time Aunt Flo knocks on your door, whip up that sun-dried tomato pasta. It’s not just a meal; it’s a mood-saving mission.

Ingredients:
o Sun-dried tomatoes (the chewy, flavour-packed kind)
o Your favourite pasta (whole-grain for extra goodness)
o A drizzle of olive oil
o Garlic (because garlic makes everything better)
o Fresh basil (for that fragrant twist)
Method:
o Boil your pasta until it’s al dente—just enough bite.
o In a pan, sauté minced garlic in olive oil until it perfumes your kitchen.
o Add those sun-dried tomatoes—let them dance with the garlic.
o Toss in your cooked pasta and a handful of torn basil leaves.
o Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a dash of red pepper flakes (if you’re feeling feisty).
Serve with a small side salad.

Tip #4: Nourish your relationships

Relationships are like delicate soufflés—they must be handled with care. 

Your secret weapon against relationship turbulence could be in eating slow-release carbs.

Enter the wholegrain English muffin. 

Here’s why:

• Quick Release: The initial surge of energy comes from the quick-release carbs—the muffin’s wholegrain goodness. It’s like a gentle nudge to your brain cells.

• Slow Release: Honey, a slow-release carb help sustain that energy boost, preventing the dreaded crash.

When your blood sugar levels are stable, you’re less likely to morph into a fire-breathing dragon during disagreements. 

Studies show low blood sugar levels are like tiny alarm bells for increased aggression. So, let’s keep those alarms snoozing.

Ingredients:

    • Wholegrain English muffin (lightly toasted)

    • A drizzle of golden honey (nature’s elixir)

    • A sprinkle of cinnamon (for extra warmth.

Method:

    • Toast your muffin until it’s golden and inviting.

    • Drizzle honey over it like a sweet promise.

    • Dust with cinnamon—it’s like a cozy hug for your taste buds.

Enjoy: Savor each bite. Imagine it diffusing calmness through your veins.

Remember: Never engage in difficult discussions on an empty stomach. It’s like trying to build a sandcastle during a storm. Instead, nibble on your honeyed muffin, let your blood sugar settle, and then tackle those conversations with grace.

Tip # 5. To fight fatigue

To boost your energy levels try adding kiwi fruit into your daily routine. These little green powerhouses provide an impressive 146% more vitamin C than the recommended daily requirement.

In a 6-week study conducted in New Zealand, participants who consumed two kiwi fruits per day reported reduced fatigue and increased vitality. The secret lies in vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in activating enzymes related to both energy production and brain neurochemical function.

So, next time you’re feeling drained, reach for those juicy kiwis and let their natural goodness revitalize you! 

Tip #6. For better concentration

To enhance your concentration, add some Blueberries to your salads or smoothies.

These tiny berries pack a powerful punch when it comes to brain health. Adding them daily into your diet will help widen blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow to the brain. 

This surge of oxygen and nutrients helps enhance cognitive performance, especially in the crucial hours after consumption.

• a vital role in reducing oxidative DNA damage. By protecting your cells, they contribute to overall health and may even help prevent age-related memory loss.

• the vibrant berries work behind the scenes, safeguarding your brain cells, as regular berry consumption has been linked o a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Concentration Boost: Imagine starting your day with a 200g blueberry smoothie. The result? A potential 20% increase in concentration throughout the day. That’s like giving your brain a turbo boost!

 

Tip #7: To calm your nerves

When it comes to soothing those frazzled nerves, consider indulging in a juicy piece of grass-fed steak.

Grass-fed beef is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a crucial role in brain health. These essential fats are like a soothing balm for your nervous system. Omega-3s enhance neurotransmitter function, regulate mood, and even reduce inflammation in the brain—key factors for maintaining mental equilibrium.

Unlike grain-fed beef, grass-finished beef typically boasts a more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Why does this matter? Well, a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids (commonly found in processed foods) and low in omega-3s has been linked to increased inflammation and a higher risk of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. By choosing grass-fed steak, you’re helping restore that delicate balance.

Tip # 8. To ditch negative thinking

When it comes to nourishing your mental well-being, salmon takes center stage because it is a treasure trove of omega-3 fatty acids—those magical molecules that work wonders for your mood.

These omega-3s don their superhero capes and venture into your brain cells, where they interact with mood-related molecules. Their mission?

To promote tranquility and emotional balance, Omega-3s effortlessly glide through your brain cell membranes, influencing neurotransmitters and signalling pathways. They’re like architects, subtly enhancing the structural components of brain regions directly linked to mood and emotion regulation. Think of them as the blueprint for a serene mind.

Research has validated the antidepressant effects of these fatty acids as well as provide an anti-inflammatory shield within your brain.

By taming inflammation, they create a serene environment where dopamine and serotonin can thrive.

Want to whip up a mood-boosting salmon feast? Try this simple recipe:

Grilled Omega-3 Salmon:

Ingredients:

  • Fresh salmon fillet
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh herbs (dill or parsley)
  • Olive oil

Instructions: 

  1. Brush the salmon with olive oil.

  2. Sprinkle lemon zest and fresh herbs.

  3. Grill until perfectly flaky.

Instructions: 

Serve with a side of green beans and zucchini cooked in lemon juice!

Salmon isn’t just an ally against depression. It’s also a defender of overall mental health. From reducing anxiety to supporting brain development, these omega-3s wear many hats.

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