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THE FIX

5-HTP and Emotional Detoxing


5-HTP and Emotional Detoxing


CAN 5-HTP HELP TO IMPROVE EMOTIONAL WELLBEING?  

Let's explore!

So many of us hide our feelings often, or within specific environments at least at some points in our life.  When we are hurt or feel emotional, it can be common practice to push those feelings down, keeping them inside and ultimately trapped within the body.  When emotions are trapped within the body, they can manifest and express themselves as physical and, or mental ill health.  Our emotions need to and will pass out of the body, with or without our consent.

It is therefore up to us to decide whether we want to be the ones in control of our emotions or let them run the show.  We are absolutely able, with a bit of patience, time and practice to adopt healthy techniques that enable the passage of free flowing emotions that flow through us and do not rule us.

What Exactly are Emotions?

In psychology, emotion is defined as a state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and, or behaviour.

The basic human emotions include fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, surprise and trust.

It is common, yet incorrect to label emotions as good or bad, positive or negative.  They are simply emotions - a wave of energy that arises in the body.

When Powerful Emotions Arise

Life, as great as it is, comes with suffering. That much of the human experience is certain.  It can be triggering, overwhelming, confusing and intense.  When we feel triggered or overwhelmed, here at BN, we have the following go to's"

1. Take a step back.  When we are feeling overly emotional.  It is best to take a step back and recenter, before we decide how we wish to act.

2. Walk away from environments, people and situations that consistently make us feel bad.  This is not about running away from life's challenges.  Challenges we must lean into, this is about protecting our energy.

3. Say no - to that which is not aligned with our authentic truth

4. Talk 

5. Meditate

6. Celebrate life's small joys and give thanks

7. Journal or prey (you do not need to be religious or prey to a God to do this).  Speaking your concerns allowed, asking for guidance from your higher self, the universe, or no-one at all, can be very therapeutic!

8.  Give yourself a break!!! Rest- we are not always angels, all of the time.  Sometimes we act in ways we wish we had not, but that is fine! Forgive yourself, learn from it and move on.

As women in particular, we are often told, albeit indirectly, to suppress emotions such as anger.  Anger is not a bad emotion, it it simply an emotion.  When it is felt, observe it, allow it to pass through the body and if it does not pass, dance or move, or find a healthy outlet to express it. Hear ALL parts of you, not only the happy go lucky, joyful parts!  If there is a part of you that gets angry, there is likely pain and a part of you that needs love, from you! We must give love to ALL parts of ourself, not just the easy to love parts. 

Emotional Detoxing

Anyone suffering from consistently extreme emotions, will likely benefit from a reset, a rest, a person to talk to and some self love.

An emotional detox can help us to get out of our heads and detach from our emotions - we are not our thoughts and emotions, we are the person that hears our thoughts and feels our emotions. 

By identifying triggers that result in us feeling dread, outrage, misery, jealousy and fear, we make space to receive love, trust, understanding and self acceptance, bringing about internal harmony and emotional balance.

By tweaking lifestyle and nourishment choices in the form of the foods we eat, the people we allow around us, the thoughts we tell ourself and the environments we put ourselves in, we are able to say goodbye to persistent lethargy,  improve memory, help our intellectual capacity and feel the feelings of calm and peace more frequently.

So many elements can affect our wellbeing but we are the gatekeepers and we are all personally responsible for our own emotional and physical wellbeing.

The purpose of a detox is to dispose of poisons and keep our bodies running smoothly and in balance. We are all mostly familiar with the concept of a physical detox, avoiding substances like alcohol and hard to process foods, but what does a detox mean with regards to our mind?  The mind is complex- beautifully intricate and intelligent, with so many frameworks.  Below we explore a couple of techniques that can help individuals detox from repetitively self harming thoughts.

  • Sleep well
  • Reduce stress and depression
  • Exercise
  • Speak out
  • Avoid negative thoughts.  When you notice a negative thought arise, stop and swap it for the next best feeling thought.

If you are an individual prone to anxiety, yet wish not to take pharmaceutical grade medications, 5-HTP could be a supplement worth exploring.

Associated with easing the symptoms of  anxiety, poor sleep and mood swings, 5HTP, short for 5-Hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid that our bodies naturally produce.  We use it to produce serotonin, a chemical messenger that sends signals between nerve cells. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain and other health problems (healthline.com).

Below we take 5 minutes to explore the advantages of an amino acid 5-HTP.  Can it really improve our mental health and result in emotional stability?

WHAT IS 5-HTP

As mentioned, 5-HTP is an amino acid and a precursor in the combination of serotonin and melatonin. It is obtained from the amino acid l-tryptophan.  Beautifully Nourished’s 5HTP has been extracted from the seeds of the African plant know as 'Griffonia Simplicifolia'.

WHAT DOES 5-HTP DO?

5-HTP is involved with several of the body's core processes, most generally related to rest, restoration, weight and mood.

5-HTP has been shown, when consumed in supplement form to increase serotonin levels in the cerebrum - the 'upbeat' compound. When our serotonin levels are low, we may encounter sleep deprivation, sadness, uneasiness and overeating, which 5-HTP may be able to offset.

DOES 5-HTP WORK?

Here we investigate some vital advantages of 5-HTP and connected research to evaluate whether 5HTP can help to improve these conditions.

  • 5-HTP supplements increase serotonin levels in our body, which may improve symptoms of depression significantly when used in combination with other antidepressants or medications. However, more research is needed. 
  • 5-HTP may help with migraines by increasing our serotonin levels.
  • 5-HTP may improve sleep by increasing melatonin production, an essential sleep-regulating hormone.
  • 5-HTP is effective at increasing feelings of fullness, which may help you eat less and lose weight.

5-HTP is by all accounts receiving traction in the wellbeing and wellness world as a natural antidepressant - the measure of data supports that 5-HTP can help to improve emotional wellbeing by helping to aid the relieve from sleep issues, migraines, fibromyalgia, depression and more. Whilst more data is needed to gain it's formal European claim, it can be an option that you should consult with your doctor to aid in your emotional detoxing and wellbeing journey.

Our personal interpretation of the science to date is that 5-HTP is safe and effective, but should not be used to replace mental health support such as therapy.  It should be used alongside, in conjunction with and as part of an holistic view to achieving a healthy mind, outlook and positive wellbeing. 

We hope that you enjoyed your daily Mind Fix. 
With love, Beautifully Nourished x 
 
Dr Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr

 

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