We all have days when we wake up in a bad mood, and find ourselves feeling more and more unhappy and unstable as the day goes by, yet most of us find that once we go to bed and have a good night’s sleep, we’ll wake up the next day in a much better mood. However, for some of us, getting ourselves out of a negative mental slump is extremely difficult and requires a great deal more than just one good night’s sleep. Psychological mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression, and all very common and sadly, they are all linked and can even function as precursors for one another. This basically means that you could initially suffer with heightened stress levels, yet if they were not addressed, things could get worse and worse and could potentially result in depression, or a similar condition. Whether you’re looking to battle the crippling effects of depression, or if you simply want to cheer yourself up slightly, there are a number of supplements out there that can help you do just that, some of which we’ll be taking a look at right now. If you are looking to naturally enhance your mood without relying on prescription drugs and medications, here are some fantastic supplements to consider.
5-HTP, or 5- Hydroxytryptophan, is a herbal supplement that also functions naturally as an amino acid. It is derived from herbal ingredients of African origin, where it is derived from the seeds of a plant. In terms of psychological benefits however, this supplement is ideal for a number of reasons. You see, it functions as a natural precursor for serotonin productions. Serotonin is a hormone which is produced by the brain, which helps to promote feelings of happiness, relaxation, and confidence. It also helps to promote a good night’s sleep as, when it gets dark, the supplement helps to convince us that we are feeling sleepy and should go to bed. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for so many reasons, especially psychological ones, so the more serotonin you can get your body producing, the better.
SAM – e, or S – Adenosyl – Methionine, is a compound which is found naturally within each and every single cell located within the human body, including the brain. It plays a vital role in over one hundred physiological and metabolic processes. Studies have found that SAM – e works incredibly well when used to help treat mental health issues such as stress and depression, as it helps to promote the synthesis and secretion of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, as well as other chemicals, hormones, and neurotransmitters that have been linked with improved mental health. It is so beneficial in fact, that in some parts of the world, this supplement is actually used as a prescription medication to battle depression.
Vitamin B6, and indeed other members of the B-complex family for that matter, are very, very beneficial for when it comes to mental health disorders. Say for example, you were using 5-HTP in order to help enhance your mood, in order to benefit fully, you would require adequate amounts of vitamin B6 in your body, as this vitamin is essential for the facilitation of 5-HTP to be converted into serotonin chemicals. This is why, if you read the ingredients labels of tryptophan supplements, many of them also contain this very vitamin. SAM – e, in order to function in the brain, also requires B vitamins for these very same reasons. B vitamins are also responsible for many metabolic processes and they help to enhance the metabolism and generate more energy. The more energy you have, the more active you will be, and the better you will feel as a result. Mental health issues often sap your physical and mental energy levels, so you can struggle to find the energy and motivation to perform even the most mundane of tasks. Exercise is a well known stress busting, depression fighting activity, but if you are tired and unmotivated, it can be virtually impossible to go and exercise. B vitamins however, help to address these issues and help to get you energized and moving.
During the colder winter months, when daylight fades and we see a great deal more darkness than light, people often find themselves suffering with SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which causes a form of depression. One of the main reasons for this is down to a lack of natural sunlight, which is responsible for the production and secretion of vitamin D within our own bodies, which is why vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D helps to convert tryptophan, and 5-HTP, into serotonin and dopamine, which as previously touched upon, helps to enhance our mental health and well-being. For times when you don’t get enough natural sunlight on your body, supplementing with vitamin D is essential. If you do live in a sunny part of the world, or if you simply get lucky with the weather, just 15 minutes of natural sunlight per day is enough to provide optimal amounts of vitamin D.
This trace mineral is renowned for its multiple health properties, including those relating to mental health and well-being. Zinc has a number of anti-depressant qualities and properties, especially in regards to brain health and function. Much of our natural zinc reserves are stored within our brains, which again, is important for the uptake and production of serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine. Studies have found that zinc supplementation can enhance serotonin uptakes within parts of the brain, where it can then provide a number of anti-depressant benefits. Studies have found that there is a distinct correlation between zinc deficiencies and depression, and what’s more, zinc deficiencies are sadly very common. As well as being available in supplement form, zinc is also present in a number of natural foods, especially shellfish and red meat.