There is a mental health crisis affecting the entire world. It is brought on by so many factors. The latest contributor has been the social isolation and anxiety that so many of us have experienced due to the recent government lockdowns in response to COVID-19. We’re expected to stay in our homes as much as possible. We often can’t go to the gym. And, we have very little connection with the outside world. But it started long before that. Our reality is shaped by the stories we see on TV and on social media. We see other people who live what appear to be far better lives than our own. Consequently, we end up in a depressed mood because we feel like we can never achieve such levels of happiness. But, there is hope. Rather than going straight to prescription medications and expensive therapy sessions, we can try some natural mood boosters that actually work. Obviously there is no substitute for a doctor’s professional advice. But take a look at this list and see if you can find some helpful nuggets of information.
Caffeine is one of the most popular, socially acceptable drugs that people use today. It can come from a variety of foods, and coffee is perhaps at the top of the list, followed by tea. However, you don’t want to overdo it. One cup of coffee in the morning can be a great way to elevate your mood quickly. However, if you drink too much coffee, then you could develop a dependence on caffeine. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms if you try to wean off of it or cut your coffee cold turkey. For example, you could experience lethargy for several days after coming off of caffeine. Additionally, you could experience headaches, and possible migraine headaches due to caffeine withdrawal. So, keep it reasonable. If you do find that you need to cut back on your caffeine, then do it slowly, rather than cold turkey. For example, if you’re used to three cups of coffee per day, then cut back to two cups for a week or two, and then one cup per day. Your biology needs time to adjust to the changes in chemistry. If you still need caffeine after cutting back, then try supplementing with a bit of loose leaf tea.
Kratom comes from the Mitragyna Speciosa tree. It’s in the coffee family, but is not a source of caffeine. Rather, it contains the natural compounds, Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine. It is not approved by the FDA, but its users report a number of effects. Generally, people say that small doses of a popular strain like White Bali kratom powder are said to produce a stimulating effect. People also report that larger doses can produce anti-anxiety or sedative effects. As with caffeine, you must be careful with kratom powder. There are few peer reviewed studies, so you will need to rely on the very active community of kratom users for ideas.
Natural products that boost your mood can be great for getting you over a hump. They can even be part of a daily self-care routine when used in moderation. But that’s not enough. You must work on developing habits that produce an elevated mood that’s sustainable over time. This requires work, but if you stick to these habits, they’ll feel natural and automated as you go through each day of your life.
First and foremost, you need to exercise regularly. When you work your muscles, heart, and lungs, you’re accomplishing several things at once. First, you’re burning calories. This can help you to achieve a healthy weight if you are overweight. Second, you’re improving your cardiovascular endurance. This means that you can participate in more activities for a longer period of time, which is also a great mood booster. Third, you’re flushing out toxic chemicals like cortisol while you exercise, while giving your mood-boosting hormones a lift.
A healthy body is important, but so is a healthy mind. When you meditate, you clear out stressful thoughts that lead to elevated cortisol levels. This is like giving yourself a blank slate for the day, which you can then fill with positive thoughts and energy. It also helps you to become more organized, which makes accomplishing tasks easier.
Social isolation is extremely harmful. Human beings are social creatures. We’re at the top of the food chain because throughout history, we have cooperated with our neighbors. Our biology therefore rewards us for cooperative behavior and punishes us when we isolate ourselves. So, get out into the world and connect with like-minded people.
Life is meaningless without purpose. When we have goals to strive towards, we have direction. Without them, we just wander aimlessly, and life seems to come to a halt. So, find your purpose. Make a positive impact on the world in some small way, and let that show through all areas of your life.