Mood changes and fluctuations are not only common but healthy and normal. It would be unusual for us to not have moments where we feel anxious and some situational blues. Learning to ride these waves is part of our dance in this life. That being said, there are times when it might feel like the heaviness or discomfort might be lingering longer than usual or impairing our ability to function. Here again, as always, our body is communicating with us that it is time to hit pause, take a moment and assess where we may have imbalance. Look at the systems and processes that are involved in supporting you to have optimal health, and notice if one area is deficient or in excess. Sometimes we need to slow down and focus on nourishing ourselves with food, sometimes we need to commit to improving our sleep, we may need to make adjustments to our relationships or social commitments, still other times we may need to nudge ourselves to be more interactive and engaged in movement, in change, in shifting stagnation.
The model we are adapted to and familiar with in addressing symptoms is to immediately look for something we can take, to take them away. We might be fortunate now and then, and have it be as simple as a single nutrient deficiency, but more often it is layered and requires restoring balance to our physical body, but also our mental, emotional and spiritual as well.
I have compiled here many of the things I know of to support mood stability. Not everything will be the right medicine for every person, so some personal accountability is required to do your own research and discovery. Listen for where you hear your body’s story in what you read. Introduce only a couple changes at a time to have the ability to discern how things are affecting you. Keep track of your changes, and commit to consistency, it is one of the body’s greatest stabilizers. Give something time to work, these approaches take time. The timing matters, the quality matters and the amount matters.
I will confess I usually make gut health a top priority as the integrity of what is happening there is affecting every other part of you. 80-90% of your serotonin is produced there, and 50% of your dopamine. The gut microbiota are necessary for the conversion of thyroid hormones, and for our bodies to be able to metabolize nutrients and detoxify. Our internal health affects our behaviors, impulses and perspective and our behaviors affect every cell in our bodies. The communication feedback loop is constant and continuous.
Wishing you and all those you love health, light and connection.
Bridgette and the Taproot Team
P.S. If you need one on one support, please reach out. Dr. Bill Bastian and I are both currently working with people remotely.
With all supplements, if you are taking medications it is essential to check with your health care provider before beginning use of supplements.
Mood Support Supplements
- Digestive Enzymes
- Magnesium (L-threonate or malate)
- Methylated B Complex
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Vitamin D (if needed)
- Phosphatidyl serine
- 5-HTP or Tryptophan (5-HTP can cause cortisol spikes in some people, so it is the right medicine for some but not all)
- Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics
- Niacinamide – promotes serotonin production
- My Community mushroom extract and/or mushroom powders – The mushrooms are adaptogens which support the nervous system
- Tulsi / Holy Basil
- St. John’s Wort
Supplements to support underlying issues that can disrupt the nervous system
- Curcumin – if there is inflammation in the body it can interfere with sleep
- Chromium – for blood sugar stability
- Vanadium – for blood sugar stability
- Berberine – for insulin resistance
- L-glutamine – helps to heal leaky gut which will reduce inflammation and helps with blood sugar stability
- Multivitamin and mineral supplement
- Pregnenolone, DHEA, estrogen or progesterone if warranted (check with your health care provider)
Homeopathics – It is best not to eat or drink anything within 45 minutes before or after taking homeopathics. Take for 3 days and observe.
- Calms Forte
- Arsenicum 30c
- Aconite 30c
- Natrum muriaticum 30c
- Sepia 30c
- Ignatia 30c
Cherry Chamomile Nighttime Smoothie from Leslie Korn
- 1 c. almond, hemp or coconut milk (organic, unsweetened)
- ½ c. strong chamomile tea, room temp or cold
- 1 c. cherries, frozen or fresh
- 1 c. blueberries, frozen
- 1 tsp. flax seeds
- ½ tsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tb. coconut oil or coconut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Stevia or monkfruit as needed if needed
Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth
Try brewing batches of strong chamomile tea in advance and keep in the fridge or in ice cube trays.
- Eat within an hour of being awake. This supports the thyroid and aids in blood sugar stability.
- Eat every three hours. Avoid going any longer without food in your day to lessen internal stress cycling and support blood sugar stability.
- Disturbed blood sugar can produce fatigue or headaches when high and anxiety and irritability when low.
- Make sure to have protein, fat, and fiber (from vegetables) every time you eat.
- Include tryptophan rich foods to support serotonin production: ½ banana with a sprinkle of sea salt, dates, figs, nut butter or turkey.
- Include tyrosine rich foods to support dopamine production: almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, chicken, walnuts and oats.
- Avoid bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, spinach, sausage, sauerkraut, wine and nightshades. They contain tyramine which can increase norepinephrine.
- Eat liver supportive foods. These include beets, daikon, broccoli sprouts, watercress, burdock root.
- Avoid inflammatory and gut-offending foods as these tax the nervous system and can contribute to neuroinflammation. These include: sugar, gluten, dairy, unhealthy fats, peanuts, artificial ingredients, corn, non-organic soy and animal proteins, processed foods, coffee and nightshades.
- Be careful with caffeine. It can exacerbate anxiety dramatically. This includes black tea, green tea, matcha, yerba mate, energy drinks, soda and pre-workout drinks.
- Avoid sugar and processed foods!! These contribute to mood swings and energy high and lows.
- Avoid processed foods. Many contain excitotoxins which effect the functioning of the nervous system.
- Alcohol on a regular basis can cause deficiencies of zinc and B6 which are nutrients we need to make neurotransmitters like serotonin.
- Eat a mostly alkaline diet – some animal protein but only 20-30% of your portion and everything organic.
- Start every day with warm water with fresh lemon juice, a pinch or two of sea salt and fresh ginger root.
- Drink bone broth daily if possible – The Flavor Chef (online only), Epic or Kettle and Fire – helps with gut repair and the glutamine helps with blood sugar stability.
- Go to Nature when possible. This can be a park, the beach, mountains, a lake, river or waterfall. Allow at least 30-45 minutes there if possible.
- Get in some early morning exercise, even if it is just a brisk walk around the block or jumping jacks in your house. Have an early morning dance party.
- Be in bed by 10 pm. The sleep between 10-2 are key hours and the hours of sleep before midnight are twice as therapeutic as the hours after midnight.
- Bathe with Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar and essential oils.
- Journal at the end of the day – write down all your worries and concerns, everything you need to remember for the next day, 3 things you are grateful for in your day, and 3 things you are happy with yourself about.
- Breathing Practices
- Coffee enemas
- Restorative yoga
- Healthy sleep hygiene
- Gratitude – feeling gratitude shifts your nervous system from sympathetic to parasympathetic.
- Restorative yoga helps soothe the nervous system.
- Roman chamomile (if there is no ragweed allergy)
Other considerations that affect mood
- Blood sugar instability, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome
- Heavy metals
- Parasites/ Dysbiosis
- Hormone changes
- Underlying conditions – Epstein barr, autoimmune, PCOS, hypertension, blood sugar issues, lyme disease, mold toxicity
- Inflammation/Neuroinflammation – we have a role here
Worthy reads and resources: