How To Stabilize Mood Swings And Alleviate Depression Through Food
The unpredictability of having moods that swing up and down like a yo-yo can be totally disconcerting and even scary – not knowing where you’re going to land from one day to the next. Maybe you suffer from depression and anxiety and don’t want to turn to pharmaceuticals or have tried them without success. The thing is, our brains are mysterious things and not all types of depression or mood disorders are created equally.
In listening to an interview with the founder of Radiant Recovery, Kathleen DesMaisons, I learned that there are different types of depression, and some people (often born of alcoholic parents) lack beta-Endorphin, a neurohormone responsible for decreasing both physical and emotional pain. The sensitivities that come with a lack of beta-endorphin include depression, feeling pain more deeply, a tendency towards addictions and compulsive behavior, and even a perceived need for drama.
If you suffer from a lack of beta-endorphins, you might feel out of control and a slave to your unstable moods. You might feel deeply overwhelmed, moody, and hopeless, like having a very serious case of the blues. You might not be able to cope with pain and even feel suicidal. You see life as downright difficult and you feel out of balance.
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Create balance and stability through food
When you’re in balance, you’re highly creative, intuitive, connected, and positive and this can be achieved through the food you eat and when you eat them. With certain lifestyle changes and dietary transformations, people who lack beta-endorphin can take control over their disconcerting mood swings. How empowering is that?
1. Remove sugar
One aspect is removing sugar. But you can’t do it cold turkey because you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. Sugar is a drug if you’re addicted to it. You can work to gradually decrease sugar from your daily diet. For instance, alcoholic drinks contain sugar so it’s best to cut down a few glasses of it. If you want to have that glass of wine, then make sure you take it with a healthy meal, not as an aperitif, digestif or dessert.
2. Keep a food journal
Keep a food journal. Pay attention to when, what and why you eat. Note how you feel after each meal. Further, it’s also best to skip the grazing and eat three square meals a day. When you get the urge to snack, be patient and wait until the craving passes. All cravings will eventually go away and if they seem to last forever, give yourself the gift of a nice, long walk.
3. Make things boring
The key is to make things somewhat boring and peaceful. Life is challenging enough without being addicted to drama! For instance, you can choose the sweet that you could live without, as opposed to that tempting piece of pumpkin cheesecake.
Another way is to have a nourishing breakfast within one hour of waking from your ideally restful slumber. Include in that breakfast protein, complex carbs like steel cut oats or cream of buckwheat – foods that calm and nourish you. A protein shake with a sugar-free whole grain muffin is good, too. Always be compassionate with yourself as you work to balance your moods through these dietary changes. Anything worth doing takes time, so be patient and know that you’ll experience setbacks. Be like the tortoise who slowly and steadily wins the race.
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