Last year around this time I was reading some articles on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s Web site, when I came across a particularly interesting piece.
According to a formula calculated by a Welsh psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, Jan. 24 is the worst day of the year.
Between debt from gift giving and depression that the holidays have passed, our emotional turmoil apparently hits the maximum on this day. That’s a pretty sad statement.
Now let’s be honest. Perhaps you just spent your last $80 at www.amazon.com for a book you’ll never read.
Maybe you just bombed your first test, or you just can’t fathom how your teaching assistant could have possibly passed high school English.
Beginning a new semester can bring anyone down and I’d venture a guess that the majority of students are already feeling it.
When you’re looking to boost your mood, certain foods release chemicals that can reduce irritability and produce calming effects. I’m sorry to say, but sugar is not one of them.
Who doesn’t love the feeling of bliss that comes after eating turkey on Thanksgiving? You can thank tryptophan for that – an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels in your brain and makes you feel relaxed.
But you don’t have to stuff a bird and pop it in your oven to get the same effect. Whole grains, bananas, peanuts, oats and cottage cheese also have large amounts of the amino acid.
When you are stressed and sick, your body craves more vitamin C than usual. Not having enough vitamin C can also make you irritable.
Naturally, getting a little more in your daily diet can’t be a bad idea. Interestingly, the fruit with the highest concentration of vitamin C is not the orange, lemon or grapefruit mixes.
In fact, the Billy goat plum from Australia is the best for you, which you (like me) probably have never heard of. So bring on the orange juice and your roommate just might stick around and not hide in her room this week.
If you need a quick pick-me-up, try munching on some chili peppers. Their mysterious heat lies in the white ribs inside the pepper.
The capsaicin in the white ribs sends waves of pain to your brain. It may sound odd, but the pain brought on by the spicy food actually gives your brain the signal to release extra endorphins.
Endorphins, of course, pump you up with a naturally euphoric sense of happiness. And this high is completely legal.
So next time you’re debating what brand of caffeine pills to buy at GNC, try some natural alternatives that give you more motivation to hit the gym and actually pass physics this semester.
Brianna Barry can be reached at email@example.com.