Mental health is an integral component of well-being as it is intrinsically linked to how we look and feel. However, mental health is often not valued in our modern-day society as many of us prioritize work, errands, relationship issues, and other stressors over our physiological well-being.
This does not go without consequence as approximately 75% of Americans exhibit emotional and/or physical symptoms of chronic stress such as hair loss, insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, weight gain, and more.
One of the best ways to combat and alleviate symptoms of chronic stress is to boost your levels of “feel-good” hormones such as serotonin.
Serotonin, nicknamed the “happiness hormone” is a chemical messenger and is described as the body’s housekeeping molecule as it is responsible for overall maintenance and well-being. Additionally, serotonin aids in regulating appetite, temperature, energy balance, platelet coagulation, bone remodeling, sleep cycles, libido, and more.
We have all heard that exercise helps us release endorphins, which in turn boost our mood and overall well-being. This is, in part, because exercise triggers the release of tryptophan into your blood. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin, elevating your overall mood.
As a result, exercise is linked with a decreased rate of depression, anxiety, and improved mood stability and mental cognition.
Research shows that aerobic exercise is most effective when specifically looking to increase serotonin. Aerobic exercises include: swimming, biking, walking, jogging, and light hiking.
Tryptophan levels can also be elevated through your diet. Tryptophan is primarily found in protein-rich foods such as turkey and salmon. In fact, it is a common misconception that tryptophan is the compound in turkey that leads us to feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. However, tryptophan promotes feelings of calmness, not sleepiness, and this post-feast lethargy is actually due to the amount of carbs eaten.
Other foods high in tryptophan include: milk, canned tuna, chicken, oats, cheese, beef, tofu, eggs, and more.
It is also well-documented that eating foods high in omega-3s benefits brain health as omega-3s are linked to a decrease in depression symptoms, improved mood stability, and slowed age-related mental decline. Shrimp is one of the best foods to eat for obtaining omega-3s because they are low in mercury, which unfortunately cannot be said for all fish.
Other foods high in omega-3s include: avocado, oysters, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, extra virgin olive oil, and more.
Approximately 90% of Americans suffer from at least one vitamin deficiency. Therefore, to ensure your brain is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to support healthy serotonin levels, it is best to incorporate supplementation into your self-care routine:
As approximately 90% of your serotonin is made in the gut, it is incredibly important to nurture the health of your gut microbiome with a high-quality probiotic.
A probiotic fuels the healthy bacteria in your gut that produce serotonin, regulate immune function, promote healthy cholesterol levels, and combat “bad” bacteria that can compromise your health.
Consider Probiotic G.I. by Pure Encapsulations as this shelf-stable blend helps maintain healthy cellular activity in the gut, boosts the health of the gut lining, and supports overall function.
CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) is the only fat-soluble antioxidant the body makes. This antioxidant is found in every cell in the body and is necessary for combating oxidative stress and cellular damage. Oxidative stress leads to inflammation that can compromise brain health and lead to a decrease in overall mood stability, energy, and more.
By supplementing with CoQ10, you can enhance mental cognition, improve memory, support circulatory health, and more.
St. John’s Wort
A flowering plant that has been used in traditional European medicine for hundreds of years, St. John’s Wort has been shown to be beneficial for those suffering from depression symptoms and seasonal affective disorder. In addition to elevating mood, St. John’s Wort is linked to improving insomnia, PMS, and eczema.
To shop more brain-boosting supplements, visit Next Health’s Brain Health protocol on FullScript, a trusted online dispensing platform that delivers high-quality supplements straight to your front door.
Cold therapy such as ice baths, cold showers, and especially Cryotherapy triggers the body to release feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Experts hypothesize that this is because the cold stimulates receptors on the skin that then activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is associated with a range of processes that help the body deal with the cold. Blood vessels constrict (vasoconstriction), blood moves from the limbs towards the major organs, and endorphins are released all to essentially help the body withstand the stress of the cold.
Cryotherapy is nicknamed a “3-Minute Mood-Boost” because as an advanced cold therapy, this treatment exposes you to temperatures as low as -150 degrees Fahrenheit in order to trigger bodily mechanisms that combat inflammation, boost immunity, enhance energy, reduce recovery, improve collagen production, and elevate your mood.
LED Therapy was originally used to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD refers to seasonal depression because for people living in regions that receive little sunlight in the winter, the lack of light leads to changes in the brain that decrease overall mood and mental health.
LED Therapy at Next Health provides near and far infrared lights with over 13,000 high-intensity red, blue, and infrared LEDs. This healing treatment activates ATP (energy within body tissues), stimulates white blood cells to repair damaged tissues, and increases collagen production. LED Therapy also triggers the release of endorphins, which provide relief for chronic and acute pain and of course, enhance overall mood and minimize depression symptoms.
Last but not least, getting outside is essential to your mental health. Did you know our cortisol levels (the stress hormone) drop by 20% just by being in nature?
Spending too much time in urban areas can negatively impact our well-being and experts recommend immersing yourself in nature to boost mental health and combat symptoms of chronic stress. This practice is a Japanese concept called forest bathing and is considered a type of nature therapy designed to improve immune function, prevent disease, and promote relaxation.
Given that, on average, we spend 90% of our time indoors, taking some time on your lunch break or after work to step outside, get some fresh air and sunlight, and enjoy the benefits of letting nature enhance your mental and physical well-being.
Next Health has pioneered a variety of luxury wellness services that can enhance the way you feel, mentally and physically, such as Cryotherapy, Infrared LED Therapy, NAD+ Therapy, and more.
To find out which service is right for you and your unique situation, call or text us today at: (310) 295-2075