Remember playing in the sand at the beach when you were a kid? You’d dig a hole in the dry sand with your hands only to have the sand slide back in and fill in the hole as you go. It often felt like one step forward, two steps back.
When our bodies are low in GABA or serotonin it can have that ‘one step forward, two steps back’ effect on our anxiety, our ability to calm ourselves or our mood in general. We try to feel better and shake things off but we just don’t seem to get any traction.
Fortunately, there are some natural things we can do to help get these two important levels back in balance. These suggestions don’t require major overhauls of your life, just little tweaks here and there. Little tweaks, when practiced consistently, can make huge changes so please don’t brush them off and continue with your status quo. Your life is too important for that.
Also, if you’re like me, knowing specifically why you’re ‘doing this’ or ‘not doing that’ is extremely motivating! For example, in the past when I would hear something about the importance of reducing stress I would think to myself, “Yeah, yeah, I know…” But once the dots were connected with stress’ contribution to low GABA and serotonin, figuring out how to reduce stress seemed particularly valuable!
If you want a quick reminder of the different symptoms for low GABA and low serotonin, I listed them here .
GABA (Gamma-AminoButyric Acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming and relaxing effect in the brain.
Serotonin is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps us with impulse control, pain relief, appetite, sleep and is probably best known for its role in helping to create a positive mood.
If you are interested in getting more information on how these two neurotransmitters might be affecting how you feel, make an appointment with a functional medicine doctor near you. If you don’t live near one, there are some wellness centers online that do tele-consultations.
Leave comments below if you’ve had particular success with these or other natural ways to improver your GABA and Serotonin. I’d love to hear what worked for you.