There are a lot of things that can be the underlying cause of a bad mood. A lack of sleep. Anxiety. Hunger. PMS. Alcohol. Depression. The consumption of too much sugar and/or caffeine. Stress. The list really does go on and on. But there's a theory I read recently about that triggers a bad mood that really caught my attention.
According to a researcher by the name of Roy Baumeister, the reason why a lot of us find ourselves not being in the best of moods is due to, what he calls, "ego depletion". The long short of it is, whenever we're tempted by something (or someone) and we push our willpower to the limit, it drains our cognitive abilities and that results in being irritable, snappy, distant, rude, annoyed—and all of the other things that come with being in a bad mood. (The ego is a trip, ain't it?) So, if you're currently in a bad mood, reflecting on your current struggles with temptation may be something to think about.
But, if you're usually on top of the world, it's been a couple of weeks now and, no matter what you do, you can't seem to get back to your old self again, avoid the urge to Google your way into a diagnosis; see your doctor instead. On the flip side, if you simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed or you know your willpower is running on fumes, there are also plenty of studies to support that your diet can make all of the difference in the world.
So, before you go ham on a co-worker or send a pop-off text that you very well could end up regretting, use your lunch break or make plans to go home to eat a few of these foods. It might be just what you need to get a smile back on your face.
Did you know that sweet potatoes are considered to be a perfect food? With good reason too because they contain pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, beta-carotene, antioxidants and fiber—and that's just for starters! Thanks to all of the nutrients that are in them, sweet potatoes help to keep your heart healthy, boost your immunity, regulate your blood sugar, fuel your brain, reduce anxiety and, due to the fiber, iron and magnesium that's also in sweet potatoes, they are an awesome source of energy too.
There are two main reasons why sweet potatoes can make you feel better. First, the antioxidant beta-carotene that's in them will help to keep free radicals from damaging your brain. Secondly, sweet potatoes can lower oxidative stress which is directly linked to stress and anxiety.
Mood Booster: A "happy way" to enjoy sweet potatoes is to DIY some sweet potato flatbread (leave a comment in the comments section if you actually do end up making some because, I'm telling you, it's delicious!).
I don't know about you, but salmon is one of my favorite foods. It's got omega-3 fatty acids, is a wonderful source of protein, it contains just about every kind of B vitamin you can think of and it's loaded with both potassium and selenium. Something that's really cool about salmon is, thanks to the protein that's in it, it can help to control your appetite so that you can maintain your weight. It's also the kind of food that fights inflammation.
Salmon will put a smile on your face because, the more omega-3 that you consume, the more you increase the chances of not experiencing depression-related symptoms. Salmon also has the ability to keep your brain flexible; this matters because the more "flexible" your brain is, the more effective your brain's neurotransmitters are.
Mood Booster: One way to feel joy in your soul again is to try this honey-soy salmon recipe out.
Protein. Fiber. Potassium. Vitamins B6 and C. Manganese. Copper. Every time you eat a banana, this is what you're putting into your system. It's another kind of food that maintains blood sugar levels as it improves digestive and kidney health. Something else that's cool about bananas is if you're someone who works out, the potassium in this particular fruit is able to reduce muscle soreness and cramping. Bananas are also loaded with (the good kind of) carbohydrates which means that peeling one on your lunch break is one of the quickest ways to get you through the rest of the day.
One more thing—the tryptophan and folate that are in them will regulate your moods and help to reduce depression symptoms too. Eat up!
Mood Booster: Wanna get out of that funky mood in under an hour? How about some banana oatmeal pancakes for breakfast?
If you don't already have a bottle of olive oil in your pantry, cop a couple of 'em. Olive oil has omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins E and K and anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties in it. Bottom line, if you want to keep your heart, joints and brain in good shape, olive oil will help to make that happen.
On the good mood tip, olive oil is able to boost your body's serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical that is connected to your brain's appetite, sexual desire, sleep, memory and yes—your moods.
Mood Booster: It's OK to treat yourself to a little bread (especially if it's naan or pita) every once in a while. When you do, lift your spirits with a little olive oil dipping sauce.
Quinoa is a seed that is usually mistaken for a grain (including by me). Anyway, if you're looking for the kind of food that is pretty much a multivitamin in a bowl, quinoa's got you. For starters, it's got manganese, thiamine, zinc, phosphorus, folate, copper, riboflavin, magnesium, protein and vitamin E all up in it. If you're looking for a gluten-free food, quinoa qualifies as being that as well. A food that reduces body inflammation, quinoa can hook you up with that too. Quinoa is also the kind of food that keeps your bones healthy and strong.
Something else that's great about quinoa is it's the kind of food that is packed with protein, along with amino acids. So, if you know that lately you've been consuming foods that have your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride (eh hem, like basically any kind of white starch or sugar), you can rely on quinoa to level you out and stabilize your moods in the process.
Mood Booster: I don't know how you couldn't lighten up after having a mango quinoa burrito bowl.
If you're not familiar with what ghee butter is, it's basically like a form of clarified butter; only it's simmered over heat a bit longer. The end result is the kind of butter that is packed with vitamins E and K, linoleic acid (a fatty acid that reduces body fat and inflammation), butyric acid (a fatty acid that maintains gut health) and Vitamin K2 that helps to keep tooth decay at bay.
Another awesome thing about ghee butter is it has ojas in it. If you take yoga, you probably know that an oja is an Ayurveda term that stands for "life force". They are what's able to reduce stress and detox the body from things that are related to poor diet and nutrition. So yeah, you can't go wrong with putting a teaspoon or two of ghee butter into your food.
Seaweed is a form of algae; that's true. But it's also a type of food that shouldn't be slept on. It contains iodine and tyrosine which is great for your thyroid, along with fiber, riboflavin, thiamin, manganese and copper. Something else that seaweed gives you is a good dose of the carotenoid fucoxanthin; it has 13.5 times the amount of antioxidants that are found in vitamin E and it's what protects cell membranes better than vitamin A does. (Just make sure to consume seaweed in moderation; especially if you have an iodine sensitivity.)
The reason why seaweed makes the "happy food list" is because it's another food that has a lot of tryptophan in it. The more tryptophan you have, the better (and sometimes sleepier), you'll feel.
Mood Booster: Love on yourself—and that mood of yours—with a little seaweed risotto.
If you don't currently have a bottle of red wine in your house, get at least one. It's packed with antioxidants that fight off free radicals, it builds up your immune system, increases bone density, fights heart disease, reduces the risk of having a stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes too.
And just how is red wine proven to improve your moods? Well, it releases the neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and opioid peptides. After that happens, red wine gives you a euphoric feeling. Just make sure to try this tip once you get off work. Sometimes euphoria can be mistaken for tipsy or even lit, if you know what I mean.
Mood Booster: Got a little time on your hands? Make some vegan ragu that has red wine in it for you and a friend while sharing stories that will make each other laugh.
Honey is literally one of the sweetest things for your health. Not only does it taste delicious, but the benefits are endless. Honey is full of antioxidants, can help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, will give you an energy boost during the day and is a great sleep agent at night, suppresses coughing, manages weight, fights allergy symptoms, relieves nausea, improves diabetes, promotes good bacteria in intestines…girrrl, honey is pure bomb.
And yes, honey is another food that is able to get you into a good mood, thanks to the polyphenols that's in it. In fact, if you want to read how honey benefits you holistically, there's a pretty interesting study on it here.
Mood Booster: I'll just say this and then drop the mic: HONEY. LAVENDER. POPSICLES. **Are you smilin' yet?**
Nature's candy. A lot of us remember growing up and hearing that phrase as it relates to raisins, but what it all boils down to is it's dried-up grapes. What makes raisins a pretty cool snack is it contains iron, copper, B-complex vitamins, catechins (which fight off free radicals), fiber, magnesium and potassium. Something else that raisins have in them are polyphenolic phytochemicals which are not only antibacterial agents, but they are also great at maintaining eye health.
The reason why this particular dry fruit rounds out the lift-your-spirits list is because I recently read an article that said sad people tend to eat a lot of chocolate while happy people are constantly chopping on raisins. I'm not sure about all-a-dat but I'm not a scientist. Anyway, if you're feeling low, a handful of nature's candy is a lot worth a shot!
Mood Booster: If you like to watch someone prepare a meal and then make it yourself, you'll absolutely dig Tish Wonder's YouTube channel. The recipe that has plenty raisins in it is her red lentil coconut curry. Enjoy!
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy