Mood, Neurotransmitters, and How to Change Your Chemistry

We hear about neurotransmitters and SSRIs on a daily basis, but what are they, exactly?

Here is a great metaphor for understanding neurotransmitters and mood.  Think of a light switch and a dimmer.  You turn the dimmer up to turn up the light intensity, and vice versa to decrease it.  The light represents neurotransmission (the messaging route) while the dimmer feature is the neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger like serotonin).  Neurotransmission is to the light what neurotransmitters are to the dimmer.
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The Secret Power of Your Heart

“A dream can be a powerful thing, especially when it comes from the heart.”

-Jiminy Cricket

Jiminy Cricket really knew what he was talking about in his day.  In fact, your heart is the most powerful generator of electromagnetic energy in your body, producing the largest electromagnetic field of any of your organs.  The interaction between your emotions, heart, and physical health is far more profound than you may know.  Thanks to research in quantum physics, energy psychology, and the Institute of Heart Math, we are beginning to understand the interaction between emotions, heart, physical health, and energy fields.

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How to Sleep Better

Yesterday, I posted about the main reasons that many people have sleep problems:  chronic stress and the resulting vitamin deficiencies. Apparently, you’re not alone in your sleep problems-here is a great tweet from yesterday:

“When I can’t sleep, nothing is better than some chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey and a lemon wedge and one or two lumps of Rohypnol.”  @BarrettChase

My thoughts exactly, Chase.  Let’s get into some more healthy approaches to sleeping well.

Here is an excellent post by Charles Poliquin on the best ways to get a good night’s sleep.  Before I leave you to Charles, I’d like to offer the following not so generic sleep tips: Continue reading “How to Sleep Better” »

Your Sleep Problem and How to Fix It

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep?  Or worse yet, you wake up in the middle of the night and just lay there for hours?  I remember having this problem after my daughter was born.  Though I was terribly exhausted and desperate for sleep, I would lay there for hours unable to fall asleep!

I wish that I had known then what I know now, which is the fact that most sleep problems are rooted in Vitamin B deficit.  Not all, but most.  The hormones that help you fall and stay asleep are synthesized using the Vitamin B family-so if you’re running low or worse yet, suffering from a severe Vitamin B deficit, you’re going to be the night owl at home.  Vitamin B 12 deficits can cause sleep problems because this vitamin plays an important role in converting serotonin to melatonin.  Low B12=low serotonin=low melatonin=really poopy mood and little sleep.

But wait, this gets better.  Sleep is when we actually manufacture serotonin.  So if you’re not sleeping, you aren’t replenishing and restoring your serotonin levels, which means that you’re not going to sleep again tonight.  You’ll probably have problems with your  mood, too, since serotonin is the “feeling safe and happy” neurotransmitter.  You see how this turns into a really nasty cycle, right?  Low Vitamin Bs beget poor sleep, poor sleep leads to low serotonin, low serotonin leads to shrinks, and shrinks lead to meds that can worsen your sleep problem (though I realize that meds can help sometimes, too.)  The point is this:  sleep is crucial to good good and sleep maintenance!!

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Chronic Stress and Your Brain: How to Reverse Negative Effects

What kinds of things stress you out these days?  Bills?  Work?  Family?  We know that chronic stress puts serious wear and tear on our bodies over time, but research is now showing us what chronic stress does to the brain.  This is worth reading because it may explain some of the “brain farts” we all tend to have when feeling stressed out.

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Vitamin Bs, Sleep, Mood

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep?  Are you on antidepressants?  If you’ve ever had trouble with sleep or mood, this is an article you need to read.

Vitamin B is crucial for healthy sleep and mood.  Actually, Vitamin B is a family of vitamins, not just one vitamin.  You pretty much need an optimal balance of the entire family of Vitamin B, but most people don’t get enough of it.   Continue reading “Vitamin Bs, Sleep, Mood” »

Stress, Anxiety, and Health: The Best Technique for Stress Relief

What do you do for stress relief?  How do you “fill your cup” before pouring it back out for everyone else all day?  My personal favorites are running, intense exercise, reading, music, laughing, beach, boating, taking photos, being outdoors, and talking to friends.  The “little things” that bring me big joy are Starbucks lattes, a great song, a nap, or a beautiful blue sky day in the spring or fall.  I may or may not use retail therapy on occasion…..   Continue reading “Stress, Anxiety, and Health: The Best Technique for Stress Relief” »

Miscarriage Counts: How to Move Through Your Loss

Have you had a miscarriage?  The statistics say that 1 in 3 of you have, but miscarriage is underreported and sometimes, miscarriage occurs without the mother knowing at all (in the case of early miscarriage prior to her knowing of the pregnancy).  I think the statistics are probably more like 1 in 2, which means there are an enormous number of women out there feeling alone in this experience.  I think we need to change that here.

Did you know that miscarriage is one of the most common occurrences in women’s lives?  If every miscarriage that occurred prior to a positive pregnancy test were reported, then 40-50% of all conceptions result in loss.  In other words, it’s no easy feat to get born.  The odds are against you from the very beginning, so if you are here-you were meant to be here. Continue reading “Miscarriage Counts: How to Move Through Your Loss” »

Racism, Moms, and Politics

SC GOP primaries results are in:  Haley wins the Republican nomination, hands down.  This is an exciting improvement over current Governor Sanford, particularly because she’s 1)female 2) a mom 3) smart and attractive.  With this in mind, check out the first sentence of the following article published this morning on MSN.com: Continue reading “Racism, Moms, and Politics” »

PMS (Pass My Sweatpants) and Exercise

Do you suffer from PMS (Pass My Sweatpants) each month?  Does the phrase, “mild PMS” sound like an oxymoron to you?  Join the PMS Club, a group of us who feel like bloated nanny goats for about half the month.  We weather a storm of irritability, puffiness, bloating, sore boobs, and the occasional face plant into the cake.  Read on, my friend.  I’d like to induct you into the PMS Recovery club this evening. Continue reading “PMS (Pass My Sweatpants) and Exercise” »