There are hundreds of thousands of people taking mood elevating drugs to tackle the symptoms of low mood and yet there have always been questions asked about whether mood elevating drugs actually work. Aside from whether this class of drugs work or are effective at all, the other question often raised is whether mood elevating drugs are safe to take.
According to the latest statistics, the use of mood elevating drugs continues to rise. Even more frightening is the fact that a quarter of those taking a mood elevating drug will remain on these for a decade or even longer. What is intriguing is that several studies appear to indicate that in some instances mood elevating drugs work no better than a placebo.
If you are feeling a bit down or have symptoms of anxiety and stress, one has to question whether mood elevating drugs would be the first choice or whether other strategies might be the answer.
Strategies to help low mood
There are a number of science-based treatments and strategies that have been proven to be effective at elevating mood which include:
- Exercise – most people have an endless list of excuses to refrain from exercise, which can be a busy schedule or even a lack of funds for a gym membership. If the benefits of exercise could be squeezed into a pill, it would be considered a ‘magic pill’. Regular exercise not only improves one’s physique, but it can help you sleep better, manage stress more effectively, help prevent osteoporosis, strengthen your heart, burn calories, decrease your appetite and even improve your skin.
- Vitamin D – several studies indicate the link between low vitamin D levels and low mood. It is recommended to get your vitamin D levels by exposing unprotected skin to the sun for roughly 15 minutes every day. That is not always possible so taking vitamin D supplements may be a good idea especially the sublingual forms of vitamin D such as those found in DLux Sprays by Better You.
- Gut Health – the link between inflammation in the gut and low mood is well recognised. What is also clear is that the beneficial bacteria in your gut regulate a number of neurotransmitters and mood elevating hormones. It is therefore prudent to consider using a general probiotic supplement such as Mega Probiotic ND if you are feeling a bit low or a specific probiotic to help elevate mood called Florassist Mood.
- Cholesterol – low cholesterol decreases the numbers of serotonin receptors in the brain. Make sure that your cholesterol levels are not too low.
- Supplements – supplements such as St John’s Wort and 5-HTP may be of benefit in helping to alleviate low mood. St John’s Wort is not recommended with many medications including hormone replacement therapy and blood pressure medications. An excellent alternative to St John’s Wort is Magnolia Rhodiola Complex. Extracts of magnolia work to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as physically relaxing muscles and nerves. Rhodiola extracts are known to enhance the uptake of mood elevating serotonin and the combination of these two herbs helps physically relax the body, elevate mood and improve concentration without causing any drowsiness.
If you do suffer from low mood, visit your GP who will decide the treatment options with you. If you do not wish to take conventional medications then perhaps discuss herbal supplements with your GP as an option such as Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.