Despite it being June and with summer holidays looming collectively, we should be in a great mood. That is if it would ever stop raining and we can get finally to the cottage and start our all over tans. Traditionally sunshine and time off (especially we Canadians) makes us feel better. It just seems to me that despite all we do to be happier, we feel overwhelmed. Call it a general grumpiness and a underlying disconnect between couples. Life is stressful. And busy. And if we listened to all the advice about self care we would probably pull out what is left of our hair. At least I know I would. A quick glance through the Supermarket and unread beach magazines offers up an extensive list of must do’s to make us happy, healthy and beautiful. It turns out that we must have connected date nights, exercise an hour a day, eat organically, take the right supplements, get over 8 hours of sleep, engage in meditation, along with community involvement, have fresh air and intimate time. Sound familiar? If I listened to all the propaganda about having a great life, I doubt I or anyone would get any work done. So how do you know what advice to follow and how do you fit it in a schedule bulging at the seams as it is?
If you figure it out let me know. Smile. Seriously, the longer I’ve been a shrink the more I am convinced that we are ruled by a million years of evolution and all the proteins coursing through our body. Hormones tell us how to behave, regulate our happiness to a much greater degree than they ever explained to us budding therapists back in those dusty lecture halls. It turns out that achieving hormonal health is the key to happiness. Recent scientific discoveries have proven that the difference between the sexes and how they relate to one another and can be explained by our hormones. Biologically men and women have similarities. Hormonally, we are poles apart. Men have 35 times the testosterone that women have. The higher the testosterone levels, the lower the stress. At middle age men turn into what I call “The Archie Bunker Syndrome”. The ways to increase hormone levels include watching Sports Centre (going to the man cave), fixing things around the house, (feeling competent and powerful), sex, exercise, and generally feeling protective of their mate and families.
For women, it’s all about the hormone Oxytocin. This is the cuddle hormone that your brain starts pumping out when we are first sexual with our partners. It lowers our stress levels and makes us feel connected. We build the most Oxytocin when we give and receive nurturing support. But who has time for nurturing support when we are stressed and busy!!! By nurturing I mean everything from baking healthy muffins for your kids, to ranting to your friends about your co-workers. Sleep, massages, and chocolate also help.
I’ve listed below the best 5 foods that lower your cortisol levels, balance your blood sugar and give off that sharing and giving love feelings.
1. Ginger, lemon and cinnamon tea with honey. It’s got 4 of the ingredients that soothe your inflamed cells, and is something I dink by the potful daily.
2. Coconut Oil. It has become the cooking oil of choice. It stimulates the body to burn more fat, and well as deals with the inflammation of hormonal imbalances. 🙂
3. Acai berries. I use 1/2 teaspoon of dried berries in my daily smoothie. Acai berries are known to raise your metabolism without caffeine and lower your stress.
4. Maca Powder. It’s derived from a root from Peru and has been long been associated with sexual functioning. Maca can help stop hot flashes and increase libido.