Brain chemistry predisposes us toward certain moods. It is a fascinating process, while also complex, where any imbalance or alteration in our neurotransmitters, can make us experience anything from the highest amount of motivation, to the worst sadness, to radiating joy. So, it’s important to understand the basics so that you can face depression.
These biochemical alterations depend on multiple factors. For example, there are endogenous types of depression where low serotonin levels lead us into a state of helplessness, anhedonia and permanent dejection.
Exogenous depression, on the other hand, depends on dimensions related not only to the things around us, but also on the way we handle the things we are faced with every day and adversity, whether it be small or large.
It is also known that, at the same time, depression is linked to certain amino acids and the combination of certain neuron transmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
Brain chemistry determines our emotional state and, while we know that in many cases we have no other choice but to turn to pharmaceutical drugs, we want to take the chance today to talk about some complementary strategies.
There are natural ways to regulate many of these neuron transmitters. We will explain how.
1. Lack of dopamine and depression
A low level of dopamine can turn into a range of very obvious symptoms: fatigue, apathy, mood swings, loss of interest in the things around us and depression. So, it can be difficult to face depression.
Dopamine is one of the most important neuron transmitters for the brain: it mediates the communication of neurons and nerve cells.
Also, it is known that they have an essential function when it comes to generating our movements, motor skills and energy (or motivation) to engage with our surroundings.
How can I naturally increase my dopamine levels?
- There is an essential amino acid that increases dopamine. It is known as L-phenylalaline.
- Our body cannot synthesize L-phenylalaline naturally and, because of that, we need to get it through our foods.
- It is then that the L-phenylalaline converts itself into tyrosine and, at the same time, generates the production of dopamine.
We can get this amino acid through the following foods:
- Dairy products
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)
- Green tea
- Blueberry juice
- Noni juice
Also, practices like meditation or moderate sports can help to balance the chemical levels of our brain.
2. Serotonin, the happiness hormone
The large majority of anti-depressants act in the following way: they make it so that a series of inhibitors cannot stop the production of serotonin. And, this makes it harder to face depression.
- Low serotonin levels can cause stress, dejection, appearance of negative thoughts and despair.
- Because of that, some pharmaceuticals work to favor the adequate production of this neuron transmitter.
- However, it is important to know that we can also, naturally, help with its production.
How to increase our serotonin levels
- Improve your diet by increasing your consumption of bananas, dark chocolate, avocados, chicken, watermelon, blueberries, milk, plantains…(the same foods we use to increase dopamine levels).
- Try out a new hobby, something new: sign up for a painting class, a dance class, yoga…
- Listen to music: positive emotions that it give us help with the equilibrium of cerebral chemicals.
- Go out and meet people.
3. To balance brain chemicals, you should sleep adequately
Sleeping poorly, suffering many sleepless nights or taking hours to fall asleep has a lot of consequences.
One of them is a decrease in serotonin, which as we know causes fatigue, greater sensitivity and the risk that you could face depression.
Sleeping well is healthy and a way to balance our brain’s chemicals. It is something simple that allows our neuron transmitters to be regulated and to help our emotional state be stronger, more positive and resistant.
How to sleep better to take care of your cerebral health
- Follow the same schedule, have lunch, eat dinner, and go to bed at the same time every day.
- Two hours before going to bed, reduce your exposure to electronic devices, meaning, close your computer, turn off your telephone, don’t use your tablet…
- Exercise in the afternoon, but never right before bed.
- Follow the same rituals when it is time for bed: a hot shower, a cup of milk with honey, a book and relax in bed.
- Try to keep the temperature of your room normal. Too much heat, just like strong odors, can affect your rest.
To conclude, regulating and balancing our brain’s chemicals in order to treat and face depression is not only dependent on pharmaceuticals.
If we want to get out of this tunnel, we need more strategies, more psychological resources, personnel and better life habits. Just like the ones that we have suggested her.
Should we put them into practice?