Hormone Imbalance – Risk and Remedy
Find yourself kind of STUCK? Welcome to the club! While it may be worthwhile to be aware of root causes such as genes, conditioning and social influences, here are some clinically proven tips to takes immediate steps towards getting back to balance:
For happiness and a healthy sense of drive, dopamine needs to be balanced. Too much or too little of it causes problems. For example, too much dopamine has been associated with agitation, obsession or compulsions, psychosis, and violence. Too little dopamine can cause depression, low motivation, apathy, fatigue, boredom, Parkinson’s disease, impulsivity, sugar cravings, thrill-seeking and conflict-seeking behavior. Low dopamine is also thought to be primary cause of ADD/ADHD (short attention span, distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, and impulse control issues). Many people with ADD/ADHD unconsciously search for problems to stimulate dopamine. Once you are aware of what is going on, you can play with alternatives:
How to balance hormones naturally
Balanced hormone levels are critical to happiness. Let’s check out dopamine first…
1. Consume high tyrosine foods
An amino acid building block for dopamine, tyrosine can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, chicken, and dark chocolate.
2. More proteins and less carbohydrates
In animal studies, ketogenic diets (low carb, high fat, similar to Atkins) have been shown to increase dopamine availability in the brain. Eating highly processed and sugary foods leads to cravings and overeating, which leave a strong imprint on the pleasure centers in the prefrontal cortex and lead to weight gain. Being overweight can weaken dopamine pathways.
3. Make physical exercise a daily habit
Physical exercise increases levels of dopamine, slows down brain cell aging. Exercise has also been associated with improved mood and a better overall outlook on life.
4. Practice focusing the mind
Hundreds of research studies have demonstrated the overall health benefits of prayer and meditation (or focusing your mind). One study found that dopamine production jumped 65% following a single hour of meditation.
5. Get a massage
Exciting research has demonstrated that massage therapy increases dopamine levels by about 30% while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. I love sauna too…
6. Get adequate sleep
To ensure that your brain increases dopamine naturally, make sure you get enough, yet not more than 9 hour of sleep. Lack of sleep has been shown to reduce concentrations of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, and their receptors. Too much sleep can be linked with depression. Ways to sleep well include regular wake up and sleep times, not eating nor drinking too late, reducing stimulants such as bright light, loud noises and drugs a couple of hours before bedtime.
7. Listen to calming music.
Music is hearable vibration. It is no surprise that listening to calming music can increase feelings of pleasure, improve mood, reduce stress, and help with focus and concentration, while exciting music can have opposite effects. Research has demonstrated that much of this occurs because of an increase in dopamine levels.
8. Go outside.
Sunlight exposure increases dopamine in the brain, according to research. Sun gazing the first half hour after sunrise seems to be highly effective.
9. Take nutritional supplements.
The herbals ashwagandha (Ayurvedic herbal mix), rhodiola, and panax ginseng have been found to increase dopamine levels, promoting improved focus and increased energy while enhancing endurance and stamina. Other supplements that increase dopamine include curcumins, l-theanine, and L-tyrosine, which promote alertness, attention, and focus.
10. Play more
Playing and laughing more for adults especially triggers release of the feel good hormone endorphin, which is particularly associated with stress. Also, it facilitates happiness, wards off depression, improves cognitive health, and lowers risk of developing age-related diseases as when done regularly; it boosts lung functions, toughens your heart, and lowers your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
A break from routine and problem-solving for play makes space for new: joie de vivre and creativityManuela Stoerzer
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