by Dr. Anna Cabeca
Do you ever ask yourself that? Maybe you’ve been feeling blue, depressed, or anxious. Possibly, you have lost the enjoyment in your favorite activities and feel a general loss of interest in doing and participating.
Have you every stopped and asked yourself, how did I get this way? I know I did. I am going to pose a beautiful and fascinating concept. Whenever there are hormonal changes in the body, the neurotransmitters change and react. Let me explain.
There is an amazing symphony of hormones and neurotransmitters. It is really an ancient medical truth, and in fact, this system of interplay is called the neuroendocrine system. Whenever there are periods of great hormonal changes, we will experience changes in our mood, thought processes, drive, and energy. For example, remember back to when you began your periods, or experienced monthly PMS, and then pregnancy and postpartum, then the real kicker, stopping your menses, such as in menopause. But oh so much worse if your ovaries were removed at the time of a hysterectomy.
Some of the comments I hear from women are, “I am going crazy”. “I have lost my mind.” “I can’t think straight.” “My memory is a thing of the past.” “I am two different women.” “I am teary and emotional.” “I lost my sex drive and don’t even care.”
Well, there is hope. I know. I have been there. How do we do it? By balancing hormones, filling our tank, and decreasing inflammation.
I want you to focus today on filling your tank and staying fueled. So what do you need to do in order to do this? Well, my top recommendations are below:
- Eat well. Food that looks like food. Basically, if you can pick it, peel it, fish it, hunt it, milk it, and grow it, then for the most part, you can eat it. Choose foods that are high in the nutrients that fuel your neuroendocrine system, such as tryptophan with turkey, tyrosine with eggs, zinc with oysters, selenium with brazil nuts, iodine with sushi, and lots of colorful vegetables and fruits. Yes, I have listed my favorite choices, but you can choose your own.
- Movement, however you enjoy it. Dance, play, jiggle and shake, just get moving. How about making love.
- Sleep. Try the tryptophan containing foods at bedtime. For example, a warm slice of turkey. Supplements that really help are melatonin, inositol, 5HTP, and herbals like magnolia. Also, using progesterone cream or oral progesterone at bedtime is wonderful to help you relax, calm down, and get a deep night’s sleep.
- Meditation. Stress is a significant robber of hormones and good mood, so incorporating a meditative practice is wonderful, and remember, when you are constantly worrying about something, you are rapidly using up your natural made valuable resources and emptying your tank.
- Compartmentalize. A practice I learned sometime ago was to compartmentalize, so when those thoughts creep in, direct them to a designated time to give thought to them, and then to honor those thoughts. For example, when I have a problem that I am worried about, as thoughts come up distracting me in my day, I say not now, move to 8:15 to 8:30 p.m., I will get to you later. This allows me to focus and have better productivity in the day. Believe me, this helps so much. Many of us may have experienced trauma, or even be in a repeating behavior pattern and just need help to break the cycle. I have included an article on EMDR, a process I went through myself. It deals with eye movement desensitization processes. I have recommended this to many others, and it has been hugely beneficial in breaking the pattern of learned responses that your beautiful and intelligent body got stuck it.
- Of course, think positive. Think positive thoughts. Yes, our neuroendocrine system is an energetic system, and positive thoughts strengthen you with positive energy. Think positive thoughts about yourself, and think positively about others.