Q: What can I do about mood swings to in general be happier?
A bad mood not only gives you a gloomy outlook, it also lowers your immune function, leading the way to illness. Here are some suggestions to lift your mood, spirit, and health.
1. A Laughing Matter
"Laugh Therapy," pioneered by Norman Cousins, has turned out to have real substance. Research has discovered that laughter and joy boost immune functions, especially the production of the natural killer cells that help defend the body from illness and cancer.
Laughter also increases the release of endorphins -- compounds that give you a sense of well-being -- in your brain. Without a doubt, joyful people liver longer and healthier lives. So read your favorite comics, watch your favorite comedies, and laugh it up!
2. Amino Acid for Restored Mindset
When an imbalance or deficiency is creating a bad mood, the Europeans use supplements of a natural compound found in human cells to regulate mood and restore a healthy mindset. SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is produced from methionine, an amino acid that plays a role in the production of uplifting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
One study indicated that SAMe worked on patients who had unsuccessful results with conventional antidepressants. To get a boost from SAMe, take a supplement combining it with vitamins B6 and B12.
3. Hands-On Healing
Human touch increases the production of endorphins, growth hormone, and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. Studies have found that patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched. So give someone a hug and feel both of your moods improve.
4. Boost Your "Youth Hormones"
You don't need pills to flood your body with a rejuvenating flood of growth hormones. Research has found that doing squats and leg presses will greatly increase your natural production of the "youth hormone". Increased growth hormone translates to an elevated mood, among other physical benefits. Keep it up with weight training, knee bends, push-ups, and rowing.
5. Take a Bracing Breath
Breathing correctly is important for dispelling the toxins and wastes from your body; in fact, it is estimated that we expel only about 30 percent of toxins in our bodies through the bowels and bladder-the rest is all respiratory. Breathing is also a great way to clear your mind, boost your energy, and improve your mood. Practice deep, slow, rhythmic, breathing daily with mind-body disciplines such as tai chi, yoga, qigong, and meditation.
6. Smell the Joy
Research has shown that smell has a definite impact on our bodies and minds. When you stimulate the olfactory nerves inside your nose, you activate the limbic system of your brain, which is associated with moods and memory. This concept is instrumental to aromatherapy, a natural health tradition that makes use of the healing powers of plants with strong scents.
Aromatherapy recommends treating depression with jasmine, eucalyptus for exhilaration, and grapefruit to increase alertness and joy. Just put a dab of the essential oils from these plants on your temples, back of your neck, or acupressure points. Another option? Boil the herb in water and inhale the steam through your nose.
7. Feel Fine with Flowers
There is a reason that flowers are the traditional get-well gesture. Colorful flowers have a powerful influence on moods; they can uplift a patient's mood and even combat stress. One study found that during a five-minute typing assignment, people sitting next to a flowering bouquet were more relaxed than those who sat near foliage-only plants.
These tips will help the good feelings flow! Visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me. Live long, live strong, and live happy! - Dr. Maoshing Ni