Monday, March 1, 2010

Healthy Monday: How To Treat The Wedding Planning Blues

Has this ever happened to you? It's a beautiful day. You wake up. The sun shines through your window and in a Disney-esque move, you swing from your bed to the shower to your closet all with a bluebird on your shoulder. And then all of a sudden, BAM! Something happens which causes the realities of life to punch you in the gut and you shuffle around with a melancholic attitude for the entire day.

Sometimes this happens to me. I get this inexplicable moodiness, which I believe is the result of just a bunch of little stresses adding up. And then one day it kind of hits me all at once. Now chronic stress and depression require the attention of a doctor, but the occasional blues, especially when planning a wedding, are normal if not expected. Personally, I'm a fan of exercise, yoga, and meditation. However, there may also be a chemical component to feelings of sadness. Our brains are continually producing serotonin, a chemical which many researchers believe influence mood. (If you have unnaturally low levels of serotonin, you should see a doctor, as this can possibly lead to anxiety, panic, and excess anger.) So next time you're feeling a little down, try these tricks to naturally boost your serotonin levels:

**If you have anything you like to add, please feel free to share what makes you happy in the comments**

- According to Whole Living, eating complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and barley can increase serotonin levels.

- Tryptophan (yes, the crazy sleep inducing stuff we feel after a Thanksgiving meal) is the necessary amino acid our body needs to produce serotonin. Eat small amounts of high-tryptophan proteins, such as turkey, cheese, and eggs at every meal or as a snack.

- Leafy vegetables such as Kale and Bok Choy are high in Vitamin B, which is helpful in converting tryptophan to serotonin.

- Although there is no proof, it is believed that exercise also increases serotonin levels.

Some other ways to treat the wedding blues:

- Start the day by doing something that makes you happy. Roll around on the floor with your pets, cuddle with your significant other, or eat a healthy breakfast.

- Talk to a good friend. Just chatting with a girlfriend about whatever is troubling you can help you feel better in the end.

Additional source: WebMd
Photography by Brooke Mayo


Kristle said...

Jen - This is some really great info. I never knew leafy greens could contribute to your happiness. I just eat them because they are tasty! :-) Good to know! I have another suggestion. When I need a pick-me-up, I watch a funny movie (or an episode of Friends, Seinfeld, etc...). Although I may have seen it a hundred times before it is guaranteed to be enjoyable and to make me LAUGH. And sometimes that's all you need.

Michelle @ H.E.R. said...

Strange coincidence. I have been reading the book Secrets of Serotonin by Carol Hart, PH.D. It has some great tips on how to increase levels.

Anonymous said...

This post has perfect timing. Thank you! I've been great but the last few weeks have been a nightmare. Wedding is in a month. I will heed the advice!

Jennifer said...

@Kristle - That's an excellent idea! Next time I'm feeling a little down, I will definitely turn on an episode of Friends or Seinfeld. Another funny favorite of mine is The Office. :)

@Michelle - I didn't even know this book existed. Keep me updated. I'd love to know if you find it a worthwhile read.

@anon - so glad to be of help! And hang in there. The last month will go by quick!

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