Over the past few years, depression has become an enormous problem all around the world. While there is an abundance of potential treatment options for depression, many are simply ineffective. While drugs may help temporarily, they can eventually lead to more problems and possibly even a drug addiction. So it is wise to try and overcome your depression and anxiety in a more natural way.
Brain Chemical Imbalance
Many researchers have studied the brain’s chemicals and the body’s interactions with each one of them. While most people would think mental disorders are limited to the body’s response to situational causes, this is not always the case. Of course, the body is going to react to a sudden death in the family or job loss, but more often than not, the individual will be able to recover over time. When emotional problems do not seem to be linked to life events, it can help to look at food and lifestyle changes that may help.
Dopamine is a very important chemical that is responsible for controlling the pleasure centers in the brain. This neurotransmitter also regulates emotional responses, movement and gives the individual the initiative to see rewards and seek them out. Medical researchers have linked dopamine deficiency to Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction. Dopamine also inhibits norepinephrine, a brain chemical and hormone, to regulate vasodilation.
Medical researchers refer to glutamate at the “excitatory transmitter”, because when it is released, it will potentially cause the neuron to fire, which in turn will enhance the enhance the electrical blood among the brain cells. Believe it or not, this process plays a huge role in brain development, memory and learning. Individuals that have difficulty in utilizing and making glutamate may suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, depression and schizophrenia.
Researchers have discovered that glutamate is the most abundant brain chemical. However, it only exists in very small concentrations, which makes it more difficult to balance the glutamate levels. If the levels are too high, the neurons will be over-excited and will not fire as they normally would. A deficiency will cause chronic pain, poor eye focus, attention deficit and anti-social behavior.
Understanding The Importance Of Serotonin Levels In The Brain
There is a good chance that you have heard a doctor or a TV commercial mention the importance of the serotonin levels in your brain. However, you probably do not have a clue what they are talking about. It is pretty simple really. Serotonin is just basically a chemical that is produced by nerve cells in the body. Once the chemical is produced it sends out signals throughout the nerve cells. So, you can imagine what a problem it would be if there was an imbalance. For instance, if too strong or weak or a signal was sent out it could cause major imbalances, which would result in anxiety, depression, and loss of appetite.
What Exactly Does Serotonin Do In The Body
Serotonin levels in the body should be taken very seriously, since they can impact just about every part of the body from emotions to motor skills. Since the majority of serotonin is found in the digestive tract, it helps control bowel functions and movements. The serotonin that is found in the brain regulates mood, anxiety, and happiness levels. Its still uncertain as to whether low levels of serotonin in the brain leads to depression. However, increased level of this chemical in the brain, which can happen when taking certain medications, is said to decrease arousal.
Increasing Dopamine Levels
While dopamine is produced naturally in the brain, it is also possible to increase your levels naturally. This can be done through your diet and through other methods. Just remember that dopamine plays a vital role in improving your mood. This specific chemical is capable of making people feel good, while also boosting self-confidence. Dopamine is generally produced by the body when you engage in pleasing activities, such as sex, shopping or ice cream! If the brain’s level of dopamine drops below the recommended level, you will feel lethargic and may even become depressed. Below, you will learn how to boost your dopamine levels, so you can avoid these problems.
The Appropriate Diet
By choosing the appropriate foods, you will actually be able to keep your dopamine levels to the maximum. First and foremost, you will want to consume a lot of foods that are rich in tyrosine. The body needs this specific nutrient, in order to produce dopamine naturally. Eating soy products, dairy meats, bananas, and almonds will help. While you’re at it, you will also want to consume a greater quantity of antioxidants. Antioxidants will help to block free radicals, which could potentially damage the cells that are responsible for creating dopamine.
Be sure to consume more nuts, carrots, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, and beets. All of these foods will provide you with antioxidants and will ensure your body is able to produce dopamine efficiently.
Getting Plenty Of Sleep
Whether you’re interested in increasing your levels of dopamine or serotonin, it is absolutely essential to make sure you get a sufficient amount of sleep each and every night. Failing to get enough sleep will reduce the levels of dopamine in your brain and this can result in more intense symptoms of anxiety or depression. Make sure you get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night.
If you want to naturally increase your mood, you should consider joining the gym. Routine exercise will help replenish decreased serotonin and dopamine levels. Now, this does not necessarily mean that you will need to run a marathon, just to increase the neurotransmitters. Instead, you can just take a walk in the park or ride your bike around the block. By doing this, you will be helping to balance your brain chemicals, which in turn will improve your mood and help you get a good night’s sleep.
Accomplishing Small Goals
The truth of the matter is that there are various ways to stabilize the chemistry of the brain. One way to achieve this objective is by setting and achieving small goals. For instance, you could set a goal of losing 5 pounds in a month. Make sure you keep your goals realistic and easily achievable. Failing to achieve your goals would only set you back, so make them as easy as possible. Once you’ve managed to achieve your set goal, you will actually cause your brain to release more dopamine.
When it comes down to it, everyone has some degree of stress. Unfortunately, stress can compound and grow overwhelming very quickly. If you allow your stress to get out of control, you may end up suffering from anxiety or depression.
So, it’s sensible to find a way to manage your stress. Deep breathing exercises, eating well, and exercising regularly may really make a difference.
Sometimes small changes can make a big difference.