Our moods and motivations are driven not just by desire, but by our brain and body chemistry. According to this study that was published in April (2019), feeling unmotivated and blue may just be a symptom of inflammation.
Besides getting our groove back, what makes inflammation such a big deal?
The latest science and research points to chronic, low grade inflammation as a major contributing factor in all chronic disease, including depression, obesity, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, cancer.
But what does this mean for us? Well, if this theory is correct, it could mean that we actually get a warning sign, a head’s up, way in advance, long before being diagnosed with any of these issues.
What if noticing that we feel sluggish, unmotivated, lethargic, and uninspired, or down is the early warning sign? Doesn’t it make sense to tame the inflammation early, get our groove back, and consider our efforts preventative medicine?
How to know if you have inflammation?
Dr. Amy Shah says, “If you have symptoms like headaches, bloating, joint pain, rashes, fatigue, weight gain, allergies, asthma, or mood issues – you are most likely inflamed.”
Consider this your call to action. Even though you may not feel like it, it’s time to take measures to soothe your body and mind, increase the feel good hormones, lower the stress hormones, and get your groove back.
So, how do you heal inflammation?
The good news is there are lots of things we can do to support our immune system and calm the inflammation going on in our bodies. Here are four ways to get started today.
4 Things You Can Do Today to Lower Inflammation
- Step one is making your health a priority. Since we have different body chemistry and respond to varying degrees to specific inflammatory foods, it helps to keep a food journal and write down exactly what you eat and how you feel. Over time patterns develop and you don’t have to take up space and energy in your brain trying to remember the details of what you ate two days ago.
- Increasing your intake of fresh, organic veggies and fruits – especially leafy greens, is key.
- Equally important is eliminating the foods that trigger an immune response and inflammation. According to Harvard Medical School, the major culprits are sugar, red meat, processed meats, white flour, and processed foods such as ice cream.
- Managing stress is next. My favorites are yoga and massage, but there are countless ways to find deep relaxation. The hard part for most of us is just scheduling it into our busy lives. For me, if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not gonna happen, so I set up appointments and classes in advance and consider them very important – that way I keep them.
Taking care of our mental health – and getting back to feeling like doing something -means taking our symptom of “not feeling like doing anything” seriously. It means recognizing that we may be heading in a direction that can lead to chronic disease. Listening to what’s going on may not be easy or automatic. Making the changes in diet and lifestyle might take finding support. But your life is worth it. You are worth it.