There are moments in our lives where we can feel out of sorts, a bit blah or in a wee funk. It’s quite common and happens to us all, what’s not good however, is staying in that funk. In this week’s Self Love Quicky we look at three powerful neurotransmitters that contribute to our happiness and wellbeing and some quick tips to give each of them a boost along with my favourite essential oils to get out of a funk and back on top again.
1. SEROTONIN ~ MORE CALM
Sometimes bad moods and funks can happen when we feel listless, out of control, or overly emotional. This can happen when we feel overwhelmed and out of sorts.
Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps us feel balanced and contributes to our sense of happiness, well-being and state of calm. If you have low levels you might feel irritable or aggressive, have sleep issues, feel tired, have decreased appetite, experience nausea or crave sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods. Of the millions and millions of brain cells we have, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin – including memory and learning, and social behaviour. When your serotonin is not right, it feels like everything is not right. Research suggests that an imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood in a way that leads to anxiety, depression and sleep issues.
BOOST YOUR SEROTONIN:
A fantastic way to naturally boost serotonin is exercise, spend time in sunshine and have a massage. You can also reminisce over things like looking at old photos or noticing your achievements, things that you have positive memories with. Some like to scroll through Instagram posts, camera roll on your phone or a box of hard copy photos. If you have a journal write down the things that have brought you the most amount of happiness, remind yourself of the things that make you feel good. You might notice you just revel in taking a nice long deep breath and you get the sense everything will work out ok. As you take deep breaths, notice the calm and you will now be aware that is the serotonin working its brilliance.
2. DOPAMINE ~ MORE PLEASURE
If you have ever been in that “blah” mood or have feelings of lacklustre, it could be a lack of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when we feel pleasure, get a reward of some kind, or receive a gift. It’s the chemical that helps us strive, focus and find things interesting. Dopamine helps us regulate our emotional responses and reactions.
Dopamine is the basis for hope. It engages our brain to look out for potential rewards, and to take action to move towards them. Dopamine is our biggest motivator for fighting bad moods and and controlling our emotions and motor reactions. Research has found that dopamine deficiency results in decreased enthusiasm and reduced motivation. It has been linked to Parkinson’s Disease and obesity and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction.
There are lots of ways to create pleasure for your mind and body. Getting enough sleep, exercising, listening to music, meditating and being in sunshine can all boost dopamine. Another way to do this naturally and easily is by creating a bucket list! These can help harness the beautiful feelings of hope, curiosity and pleasure. List 50-75 Bucket List things you would love to do with time and money as no problem. Dream big and see how you feel. There are so many amazing things you can do in your life. Don’t ever forget that the best time to get started is in this present moment.
3. OXYTOCIN ~ MORE CUDDLES AND LAUGHS
Oxytocin is a hormone also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ because it makes us feel loved and connected. It is grouped with the happy hormones known to have a positive effect on our moods and emotions. It plays a major role in human bonding, childbirth and childcare, helping mothers and fathers feel connected and responsible for their babies. It is when we have a really good belly-ache laugh that we release oxytocin so who is your one friend or family member that makes you fall into hysteria?
Oxytocin is crucial to understanding our moods. Oxytocin primarily is produced and affected by the people around us. Oxytocin is high at the beginning of a new relationship because our mind and body are working together to make a bond and connection. It is also why other people can change our moods so greatly—either flipping us into a happy state or spreading negativity and we allow it to effect our mental state.
There are a number of ways to boost oxytocin including yoga, listening to music, meditating, having a massage and spending time with pets and friends. The best way to help boost your oxytocin is by tapping into your support network. The moment you are feeling in a funk or in a bad mood, think about someone who can boost your oxytocin. Specifically, who’s the person who makes you belly-ache laugh? Who’s the best listener? Who would you love to have a meal with? Who can you hug? Call in the team! Not only are moods infectious, but they also can produce that warm and fuzzy feeling of belonging and connection! And let’s not forget the power of positive intimate relations too!
BOOST YOUR HAPPY HORMONES AND COME TO THE ESSENTIAL SELF-CARE WEEKEND
“We live in a world where everything is moving so fast, it can be easy to get swept up in what is happening outside of ourselves and forget to take the time to care for ourselves. This is an essential step if you are to realise all you can be, leave stress and reactive behaviour behind and experience the fullness and delight life is meant to be. Be kind to yourself.” – Kim Morrison
I would love to meet you in person for this weekend immersion event where you will learn many ways to boost your hormones, immune health and wellbeing. Click here for more information.
And let’s not forget he state of your gut health affects almost every physiological process in the human body. An unhealthy gut causes hormonal disruptions and chronic inflammation which can precede serious diseases such as diabetes, obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer and a number of other illnesses. If you are concerned or would like to know more around the gut microbiome and gut health then there are a number of amazing people who specialise including:
Kimberly Steele from The Rabbit Hole
Cyndi O’Meara from Changing Habits
Sheridan Austin from Sheridan Joy
Kirsty Wirth from Kultured Wellness
Helen Padarin from Helen Padarin
Renae Barrington from Deeto
Jordan Pie from Real Life Of Pie
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MUSIC INTRO & OUTRO
Many thanks to Wes and Charlotte Carr – https://wesleydeanmusic.com/
MOOD BOOSTING ESSENTIAL OILS:
Frankincense, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang and Orange