Curing the winter blues

November 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Health, Natural Medicine

In the winter many people are affected by the lack of light and their mood can plummet. Added to this is the anxiety felt by many people as the Christmas season approaches with all the organisation and stress that sadly often accompanies it.

To keep on an even emotional, mental and physical keel our bodies need dopamine, an important neurotransmitter recognised as being vital for cognition, movement, motivation, sleep, mood, libido, attention and learning. Dopamine is the key neurotransmitter that allows the brain to flourish and develop, and maintaining adequate levels is central to relieving anxious, stressful states.
Being advised to stay calm may not always be enough and if you want to increase your natural dopamine levels to help lift your mood, then help is at hand. It’s probably not the first thing you think of but blue-green algae may be the answer.

Klamath is the name of a Native American tribe but in this instance also refers to the blue green algae which is Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. It is one of only two natural sources of phenylethylamine (PEA) which our nervous system naturally produces when we are calm, happy and focused. It also has the ability to raise the level of freely circulating dopamine within the brain and nervous system which helps keep us alert, active and motivated.

A new product, vitalCALM from Simply Vital, contains highest quality source of Klamath blue-green algae and is a concentrated source of PEA. It is an advanced nutritional supplement for the nervous system and provides support for conditions associated with altered dopamine functioning such as: ADHD, anxiety, depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, obesity and Restless Legs Syndrome.

VitalCALM has been developed to provide an all-natural boost to dopamine levels and might just be the answer to those winter blues and to ward off those feelings of the approaching Christmas crisis! If you would like more information go to

Beating the Winter blues

If the dark days of winter make you feel gloomy, then take heart because there are some very simple things you can do to make yourself feel better. One that certainly attracted me came from a new study that reveals fresh flowers can be a natural remedy to winter affective disorder. The behavioural research study, conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, found that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety and feel less depressed when fresh-cut flowers are present in the home. Say it with flowers in this case is something I would heartily endorse! Here are some other tips that can help:

*** Start your day with a high-protein breakfast and end it with a whole grain-rich dinner. This combination will help balance mood-regulating hormones.

*** Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by adding some cold water fish like salmon, or flaxseeds to your diet.

*** Try light therapy. Research has shown that exposure to light is an effective treatment for winter depression. Light therapy is administered by a 10,000-lux light box which mimics outdoor light and causes a biochemical change in the brain to lift your mood.

*** Regular use of relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga can help promote emotional balance. There are many available, and my own meditation CD ‘Relax, Renew and Revitalise’ might help you. For more information on it visit the website at

Finally, one of the simplest, and cheapest, things you can do is to be outdoors in the fresh air and daylight as much as possible. Have a thirty-minute walk and you will improve your health and boost your serotonin levels, which in turn will help improve your mood.