• 10 Ways to Boost Your Mood Without Medications


Food can be medicine and a holistic approach to nutrition can boost your mood without the crutch of pharmaceutical drugs. The following recommendations are helpful for recovering from mild anxiety and/or depression. Use these diet and lifestyle approaches to improve your mood naturally.

    1. Eat a nourishing diet
      Ensure adequate intake of calories, protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals Prioritize whole foods at each meal, including meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, etc. Use caution if avoiding a single macronutrient like carbohydrates or fat Work with your practitioner to identify any gaps in your current diet
    2. Avoid inflammatory and/or “junk” foods
      Sugar, omega-6 fats, refined grains, chemicals, and preservatives are common in packaged and prepared foods Minimize or completely avoid these ingredients and stick to whole foods with little to no additives Cook from scratch as much as possible for more control over what you eat
    3. Get enough sleep
      Poor sleep is significantly associated with depression and anxiety Make seven to nine hours of sleep nightly a top priority
    4. Exercise appropriately
      Exercise is known to improve brain functioning and boost mood Aim for 30 minutes of daily physical activity Avoid “overtraining,” which can cause mental disturbances
    5. Assess your light exposure
      Not enough natural light during the day and too much artificial light can have a major impact on your mood Get outside as often as possible during daylight hours Minimize light exposure after dark and avoid the use of backlit electronics before bed
    6. Support your gut
      Consume probiotic-rich fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc., for increased beneficial gut flora Eat a wide variety of prebiotic, fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and starchy tubers to feed your beneficial flora Work with your practitioner to treat any existing gut infections
    7. Manage your stress
      Use daily stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness to re-train your brain to respond differently to stress Try deep breathing to deactivate your “fight or flight” response
    8. Prioritize your social life
      Work on building social support with new friends or improve current relationships. Consider getting a pet that allows for companionship, social interaction, and physical touch. Try volunteering or joining a faith-based community to increase your sense of purpose
    9. Take time to play
      Unstructured “play” time can help reduce anxiety and depression Options for play include music, games, sports, dance, art, etc.
    10. Avoid toxins
      Pathogens like mold or bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals in cleaning and cosmetic products expose us to toxins that disrupt our cognitive function Switch to natural cleaners and toxin-free cosmetics Check your home for mold if mold exposure is suspected Consider installing a high-quality air filter to reduce airborne toxins and pathogens

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