As winter approaches, are you feeling the blues?
Did you know that how we feel is greatly impacted by the state of our gut health. This is due to the direct connection between the gut and brain. The bacteria in our gut facilitate the production of more than 90 % of "the feel good" hormone, serotonin, and others like GABA, acetylcholine and dopamine. Hence having good gut health is fundamental to feeling vibrant and healthy. Here are five ways to help beat the winter blues:
1) Clean Eating
Eat clean, healthy, home prepared meals that are cooked from scratch and contain lots of seasonal vegetables. Eating good clean foods free from additives and rich in fibre will encourage the beneficial type of bacteria in the gut.
You can also include fermented foods rich in probiotics like kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables with every meal. A study by Tilllisch et.al (2013)
suggested that consumption of fermented milk products positively affected regions of the brain associate with emotions and sensations in healthy women.
2) Spend time with friends and family or join a community
We all know the feeling of being around positive friends and family that we like. How about catching up with a bestie for coffee or joining a community with similar interests to yourself. If you are interested in fermentation and gut health, our Gut Health Gurus Community will welcome you with open arms.
3) Have a good laugh
Getting trapped in a gloomy mood can leave you feeling stuck, unmotivated and miserable. Learning how to shift your state or mood is a very valuable skill you can teach yourself.
Find a private space. Use your imagination and visualise yourself or someone you know doing something very silly. Once you've got this image firmly planted in your mind start to laugh. It does matter if your laughter is forced. There's nothing wrong with faking it until you make it. If all else fails, you can try making funny faces in the mirror. Soon you will be laughing hysterically. Laughter therapy is a thing and is very effective in changing your state and lifting mood.
Getting a daily dose of movement can boost your mood, especially if you engage in high intensity type activities which produces 'feel good' hormones called endorphins.
Why not do a yoga class and finished it off with a sauna session to lift your spirits.
Try the ancient art of meditation. Meditation is one of the most powerful techniques to calm the mind, reduce stress and improve mood.
"Exercise, yoga, and meditation are lifestyle activities known to improve brain blood flow—which, presumably, can enhance perfusion of the brain with micronutrients absorbed by the gut" - Moose et al (2016)
Try these 5 tips to lift your mood this winter and be sure to check out related article:
With Gratitude, Grace and Love