The best natural Supplements for Mental Health & Happiness

How to help improve your mental health

 

Fish Oil

Do a cursory study of fish oil and you’ll notice a trend when it comes to mental health: fish oils help on various fronts, from depression to cognitive decline.  

Many progressive mental health professionals are even “prescribing” diets high in fish or fish oil supplements to their patients, either as an adjunct to prescription meds or as a pre-drug intervention. While we can’t say fish oil is the “cure” for anything, we can certainly say it helps minimise existing symptoms and perhaps prevent future problems.

A recent study also looked at omega-3s and the effects of stress. Stress and the associated inflammation and cortisol spike it causes are obviously not good for physical or mental health. 

In the study, those taking 2.5 grams of omega-3s were able to suppress the damage caused by a stressful event, decreasing cortisol and a certain pro-inflammatory protein by 19% and 33%, respectively. We can’t stop stress from happening, but fish oil does seem to reduce the negative effects of that stress.

Along with the anti-inflammatory benefits, omega-3 fatty acids may help with cognitive disorders by increasing cell permeability. That’s good news because this permeability allows serotonin – the “feel good” chemical that carries messages around your brain – to more easily pass through brain cell membranes.

Finally, low-T is associated with depressive symptoms, and omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your testosterone levels optimized.

If you need a plant based source, most online supplement providers now supply an alternative source of Omega-3’s for you to consume.

Sleep Aids 

Yes that’s right, sleep the best natural performance enhancing body optimising supplement you can take. 
 
A sleepy or anxious mind is not a happy mind. And here’s the crazy part: recognised anxiety disorders interfere with sleep, but lack of sleep itself also exacerbates general anxiety….’chicken/egg’. 
 
The classic sign of an anxiety disorder is when your level of worry doesn’t match up to the situation at hand – you freak out, freeze, overreact, or get blindsided by apprehension. Sound like someone who hasn’t been sleeping well? Yep. 
 
Sleep is closely related to mental and emotional health, and lack of it has been linked to depression and bipolar disorder. Poor sleep is even associated with faster cognitive decline and dementia.  
 
Most people these days have trouble sleeping because of stress, worry and racing thoughts. The problem with most sleep aids? They work (some of the time) on the body but do nothing to “chill out” your mind. You need a sleep supp that takes both into consideration. You need a relaxing, stress-squashing chill pill. 
 
Aim for 7-9 hours per night, limit light exposure 2 hours before bed, ensure your bedroom is dark and at a temperature normally on the colder side and if needs be use a magnesium based, supplement, sometimes with  to help enter restful relaxing sleep. Try the natural stuff before you hit the over the counter meds! 

 

Creatine 

Not only has science recently discovered how beneficial it is for heart health (even if you don’t work out), creatine may also be helpful for mood. It might even deter Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. 

 

New studies show that creatine seems to help with depression or “depressed mood.” While most studies have been done on those with major depressive disorders and even drug addiction (people with altered brain bioenergetics), it’s not a leap to say that regular creatine usage could play a role in improving or preserving brain health.

Creatine supplementation has even been shown to increase mental sharpness and brain efficiency when performing strenuous mental tasks, at least in people who initially had low levels of creatine.

The best part is that’s its usually very cheap and you only need around 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day which you can either mix in a drink or take as a tablet….No it wont make you bulky and isn’t a steroid! It’s the most researched supplement on the planet so you’re quite safe!

 

Curcumin

Recent research has found that curcumin may help with depression, both mild depression and major depressive disorder.

How does it do that? Well, chronic inflammation has been unequivocally linked to depression and other mental issues. Curcumin helps keep excess inflammation at bay by scavenging the free radicals that create it. Other research is looking into treating schizophrenia with curcumin. And curcumin has even been shown to improve your working memory.

Sadly you can’t eat enough turmeric to get the daily requirement’s and even if you could…would you want to??  Find a supplement online with good reviews about ‘bioavailability’ (how good the source is) and start supplementing with the recommended amount on the box.

 

Exercise

Exercise minimizes or alleviates many symptoms of depression. It elevates mood and decreases anxiety.
Exercise does this a few different ways, like with the release of endogenous cannabinoids and endorphins. It also forces you to be more social and helps you to break out of your negative thought patterns. And of course you’ll gain more confidence.

 

Conversely, depressive symptoms got worse when they stopped training. And it happened fast too. For some, the depressive symptoms were measurably worse after just 3 days of stopping their workouts. For others it took a couple of weeks. While men were affected too, it was worse for women in the study.

The takeaway? Exercise isn’t always about what you achieve in the moment it can also be about laying the foundations for happy and stable mood. Placing yourself in the best possible position, both physically and mentally to deal with whatever life throws at you.

If you need help getting back into a routine or with guidance on any of the above to help kickstart your journey, then get in touch today.

This article was taken from T Nation

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