Posts Tagged With: mood

Mood Boosting Foods

The article “Eat Your Way to Happy: The Mood-Boosting Benefits of Food” found in Yoga Journal is one of my favorite articles I have read in the passed few months. As I am a part of both the mental health and yoga communities, this speaks to me on both levels.

The opening paragraph gives the example of a 27 year old woman named Andria Gutierrez who felt mentally clouded, anxious, depressed and fatigued. She was diagnosed with anxiety and was prescribed medication. However, Gutierrez sought a few other opinions and it was suggested to her to change her diet. Gutierrez began to eat clean by focusing on veggies, fruits and grains. She no longer consumed refined grains, meat or sugars. Gutierrez reported all previous existing symptoms to be extinguished.

As we come into this awareness of food affecting mood, a new field of study has been created called nutritional psychiatry. The idea that the mind and body are separate is now realized as false. The mind and body are very much connected into wholeness. What we consume and put into our body does affect the brain and neural chemistry.

The article sites three more studies from the U.S., Australia and Norway. These studies suggest that when individuals more whole foods and less processed foods that the diagnoses of anxiety, depression and bi-polar are less likely. Evidence also suggests that food may affect other disorders such as dementia, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder. However, most studies find the biggest correlation in the risk of depression.

As a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in NYC, Drew Ramsey, MD, recalls a patient of his that was suffering from depression and anxiety. The patient’s diet was very scattered and severely lacked in fruits and vegetables. After a year of treatment, which included an entire revamp of his diet, the patient reported the depression to be gone. (Note: diet is a part of treatment; always consult with your doctor before terminating medication).

The article gives several examples down to the molecular level of how food affects mood. For example: “Oxidative stress on brain cells likely plays a role, too. “Your brain is burning enormous amounts of glucose [blood sugar] for energy, and just like when you burn gas in a car and there is exhaust, when you burn fuel in the brain there’s a type of ‘exhaust’: free radicals,” says Ramsey. “Over time, those free radicals damage your cells—and that’s oxidative stress.” Build up enough damage, and it can affect emotion by interfering with the way your brain cells function. Brain cells and the signals they send to each other are part of what creates emotion and mood. So if the cells are unhealthy and damaged, the signals they send become muddled or irregular, and you end up with disorders like depression and anxiety. Antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, and flavonoids like quercetin and anthocyanidins (found in dark berries), have been shown to help prevent and repair oxidative stress.”

Not only are the affects of food found in the brain but also in our gut. We have “good” bacterium that lines our gut to help with signals between the body and brain. The article states: “One way these bacteria benefit the brain is by helping to keep intact the gut lining, which is full of nerve cells that constantly send messages to the brain. The gut lining also acts as a barrier to toxins and aids digestion so your brain is protected from bad stuff while still getting needed nutrients. But overwhelm the gut lining with the wrong foods—processed sugars, some cured meats (like deli meats), trans fats, and processed, white-flour carbohydrates—and it can become inflamed and start to break down, says Selhub, adding, “And we know that more inflammation is associated with more mood disorders, including depression.”

So, how can we avoid treating our bodies harshly? Here are some tips:

  1. Exclude anything processed. This can include dairy, meats or certain grains. Return to the Mediterranean Diet of fresh fruits, (dark colorful berries), vegetables, (dark leafy greens), lean protein and whole grains.
  2. Incorporate more fermented foods for your gut lining such as yogurt, kombucha, kimchi or sauerkraut.
  3. Avoid junk food, (of course), especially trans fats and artificial sugars. The article states that junk food messes with our good bacteria in the gut lining which results in a negative cycle of craving more of it and increasing depression.
  4. Increase consumption of seafood. We want those Omega-3s found in salmon, tuna, halibut, and shrimp.
  5. Concentrate on foods high in Vitamin B and D. “Spinach, black-eyed peas, and asparagus are packed with folate; seafood, beef, and dairy have lots of B12; and D can be found in salmon, tuna, liver, milk, and eggs.”

For more detailed info about our molecules, neurons, and bacteria, (which is really cool), explore below:

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/clean-eating/eat-way-happy-food-mood-boosting-effects/

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Color Therapy

chakrasWhat Is Color Therapy?

Healing using colors was “en vogue” thousands of years ago and can be traced back to Ancient Egypt and Greece. In India, ancient Indian scriptures, such as Atharvana Veda, speak of color healing that occurs with the rays of the sun. Further, traditional Ayurveda affirms the healing powers of colors.

Color Therapy also known as Color Healing/Chromotherapy is the use of color in various forms for creating balance and health within a human being. The human system includes the physical body, the emotional, mental, and spiritual body of an individual. Colors affect us in so many various ways. Color is one of the languages of the soul, just look at any visually creative painting that may be hanging on a wall in your home, or at your local museum. The majestic colorful Basilica’s located throughout the world are also a testament to the beauty of using color.

The beauty of color surrounds us. Color can influence our mood and emotions. Color impacts on our sense of well-being or dis-ease. Many of us have a favorite color. We avoid certain colors as a way of self-expression. Colors affect our way of perception. When painting a home, office, or any particular space, light colors make a space look big, a high ceiling will appear lower when painted in a dark color. Colors have a symbolic meanings which are immediately recognized by our subconsciousness. Colors influence the flow and amount of energy in our bodies. Culturally, colors are viewed differently in accordance with specific cultural and traditional norms.

Color Therapy theorizes that our cells do react to various color frequencies and use these frequencies as a means of communicating information through the body. If we take a moment and visualize a rainbow noted in the sky on a clear day, the sheer beauty of it locks our eyes on it, me included. Every color naturally vibrates at a different frequency. Think about one of the many songs that resonate in our minds revolving around color such as, “Lady in Red” written and sung by Chris De Burgh. Mr. De Burgh was quoted stating that he wrote that song about his wife Diane. The color Red increases blood circulation. It seems that the color Red ignited the singer/songwriters creativity.

Color Therapists use colored silks on the body, primarily chakra centers. Natural fabrics such as cotton and wool carry healing vibrations. Silk is known to carry the highest frequency vibration of any natural fabric. Colored silks have the ability to resonate their signature color frequency to the physical body and aura. The energy of silk is soft yet potent, allowing the wearer to absorb the color frequency.

Colors Vibrations Defined
RED
RED is initiating, pushes through, fire, stimulating, vitality, anger, life-force energy, revolution, change, ambition, grounding, Earth, Gaia, power, war, passion, alert, danger, pioneering, activity and force without consciousness, blood, positive, aggression, liberation, survival, material side of life, primal, awakening, emerging. In relation to the physical body, RED is good for circulation, chronic illness, non-infected wounds, scar tissue, strengthens kidneys, heart, muscles, blood, lungs, bones. RED lives in the Root or Base Chakra.

ORANGE
ORANGE is happiness, warmth, creativity, pleasure, sensuality, generosity, moves energy gently, awakening to wisdom within oneself, sociable, aspiring, gregarious. In relation to the physical body, ORANGE is good for depression, cramping anywhere in body, relaxant, sclerosis, heart disease, boosts immune system, circulation, raises blood pressure, artery disturbance (especially in legs), fear (alternate with blue), endocrine balancer (when used with blue), cleans and purifies hormonal system. ORANGE warms the Sacral Chakra of creativity.

YELLOW
YELLOW is learning, intellect, acquired/learned knowledge, individuation, mental alertness, concentration, focus, cheerful, sun, warmth, cleaning, fear, left brain, empowerment, self-esteem, confidence. In relation to the physical body, YELLOW is good for combating fear (obsessive, habitual), digestion, stomach, gall bladder, liver, immune system, fortifies endocrine and nervous systems, nerve tonifier, motor stimulant, assimilation, lateral disturbances, helps chronic to become acute. YELLOW represents the Solar Plexus Chakra.

OLIVE
OLIVE speaks of new beginnings, hope and peace. It is the color of new spring growth, life coming out of dormancy. lives in the area of the xyphoid process which is the bridge between the lower and higher Chakras.

GREEN
GREEN is cooling, calming, soothing, fluidity, growth, balance, money/prosperity, birth, new beginnings, nature, health, healing, heart, loving, expansion, curiosity, good for people who do precision work, space, trust, feelings, integrity, harmony, seeking Truth, relationships. In relation to the physical body, GREEN is good for liver, swelling or growth, anti-inflammatory, eye problems, bronchial catarrh, gout, diabetes, cysts, tumors, pituitary stimulant, washes out endo-toxins, promotes healthy bones, painful joints, allergies. GREEN abides in the Heart Chakra center.

TURQUOISE
TURQUOISE is making contact with yourself, communication of the heart, creative communication, studying and gathering information, learning, unconditional love, self-respect, respect for all life, taking individual responsibility, silica technology: crystals, computers, media. In relation to the physical body, TURQUOISE is good for immune system, skin (burns and infections), mental relaxation, acidic, tonifier, regulates lung/large intestine systems. TURQUOISE stimulates the Thymus center, or Higher Heart Chakra. TURQUOISE resonates at the Higher Heart Chakra located at the thymus gland. This Chakra has only recently been discovered.

BLUE
BLUE is calming, deep inner peace/”peace that surpasses all understanding”, nurturing Mother and protecting/benevolent Father, deep, restful, openness, cooling, relaxing, assists in making deep changes, higher mental activities (3rd eye), insight, wisdom, sky, water, sadness, faithful/tru blue, unity, safety, godliness, communication that comes through us, clarity. In relation to the physical body, BLUE is anti-bacterial, anti-infection, anti-cramping, headaches, helps farsightedness, facilitates restful sleep, pain relieving, nervousness, insomnia, hemorrhage, lowers blood pressure, fever. BLUE creates the open space for clear communication at the throat and resonates with the Throat Chakra.

INDIGO/ROYAL BLUE
INDIGO/ROYAL BLUE is the higher mind that is connected to the all-that-is, the akashic records, the cosmic library. It is the color that makes contact with your “inner vision” or intuition, that part of you which sees beyond the five senses. It resonates at the causal Chakra at the back apex of the head. INDIGO/ROYAL BLUE says claim your inner power. INDIGO/ROYAL BLUE resonates at the 3rd Eye Chakra.

VIOLET
VIOLET is stimulates emotions, meditation, inspiration, intuition, inner emotional release, opening inner doors, stimulates dreams, wisdom, spirituality, higher mind, power, Thy will, letting go, vision, transformation, alchemy, loyalty, synthesis, integration, mysticism, clairvoyance/clairaudience/clairsentience, service, union, artistry, balance of male and female. In relation to the physical body, VIOLET is good as for menopause, spleen, sedative, relaxant, build leucocytes, lymphatic relaxant, soothes solar plexus, neutralize mercury from fillings, anti-viral. VIOLET, a combination of blue and red, connects the spirit and matter of yourself at the Crown Chakra.

WHITE/CLEAR
WHITE/CLEAR pigment is the lack of any color, while WHITE/CLEAR light contains all colors. Since all colors are present, white does everything on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. White is about purity, innocence, softness, illumination, release, brilliance, radiance, transcendence, merging with God/Goddess/Universe/Nature/Spirit or whatever one calls their higher power. In relation to the physical body, WHITE/CLEAR is good for everything as the innate intelligence of the body will take whatever colors it needs. WHITE/CLEAR, being all color, resonates with not only all Chakras, but everywhere in our Being. White is often associated with the Crown Chakra.

MAGENTA
MAGENTA is connection with Divine Love, caring in the little things, Love from above, beyond passion into compassion, abundance that is always there. Magenta connects us to what it is like to exist out of our physical bodies as pure Spirit. MAGENTA is that in-between place, the place beyond the veil of the physical. MAGENTA resonates above the Crown Chakra.

Go ahead…try wearing a brighter color. Wear a color that you find personally appealing and/or calls out to your inner Being. Wear a color that stands out and see how it makes you feel…

For more information on Color Therapy click here and click here

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