This year has been one of the most stressful years of many people’s lives, and depression and anxiety has become much more common all across the U.S. and much of the world. Now that the holidays are approaching and stress levels are rising even higher, some people are trying to cope in unhealthy ways by drinking more alcohol and/or making poorer food choices like eating more sugar and processed foods. While you may think drinking more alcohol or eating whatever you want will help you deal with these negative emotions, it can actually make them worse. Your physical health affects your emotions in several ways, and it’s so important to keep yourself as healthy as you can both physically and emotionally during this time.
Liver and Kidneys
The health of your liver and kidneys could play a role in your emotional health. In traditional Chinese medicine, each organ is connected to different emotions. So, it is believed that if your liver is diseased or not functioning optimally, you may experience feelings of anger, frustration, bitterness, irritability, and/or resentment. If your kidneys are not functioning optimally, you may experience feelings of fear, isolation, and insecurity. So, if you begin consuming too much alcohol (especially if you are also dehydrated), it could put a strain on your liver and kidneys, and could contribute to feelings of anger, fear and isolation. Poor liver or kidney function could also affect sleep patterns and energy levels, potentially worsening any negative emotions you’re already experiencing.
Poor gut health is incredibly common, and a majority of the American population deals with at least one digestive issue on a regular basis. Things like food allergies/intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome, poor digestion, diarrhea, constipation, and more serious conditions like Crohn’s disease have all become much more common over the last few decades. The rise in these conditions is mostly attributed to the processed foods we eat that can wreak havoc on our digestive systems and the rest of our bodies. While this can greatly affect our physical health, it can also have an affect on your emotions. Most of our neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and GABA are produced in the gut by the bacteria found there. These neurotransmitters are critical for healthy mood and sleep regulation, and feelings of happiness and well-being. This is believed to be one of the reasons some studies have linked probiotic consumption with decreased cases of depression and anxiety.
What Can You Do?
Fortunately there are several things you can do to help support your physical and emotional health. Be careful about the amount of alcohol you consume and how often you drink it. Studies have shown that chronic and excessive consumption of alcohol can contribute to weight gain, and the development of insulin resistance, liver disease, dehydration, and alcoholism. Be sure to drink plenty of water each day, especially on any days that you consume alcohol, or engage in activities that make you sweat. You can also take a product like Liver Support & Detox to help provide some of the nutrients your liver needs to function optimally. Try to cut out processed foods and beverages as much as you can, as well as foods high in refined carbohydrates like breads, pasta and pastries. You can also take a probiotic to help support the good bacteria in your gut. It’s time we start viewing the human body as a whole, connected unit.