Energize a sluggish mood
Follow the tailored-for-you movement, sleep, food, and supplement practices to support your pathway to joy.
What is a sluggish mood?
The Sluggish Mood is the subtype most likely to knock you off your feet, making it difficult to get off the couch or function at all. It may occur at any time, but it is more common in winter when your body thinks it is time to hibernate. The Sluggish Mood can also occur after a prolonged period of stress or when an anxious or agitated subtype goes untreated and wears you down over time.
What does a sluggish mood feel like?
Many people picture this pattern when they think of “depression,” in part because it is hard to hide the symptoms of the sluggish subtype. If you're experiencing this pattern you may describe your mood as sad, down, or simply flat or dull—emotionless. Both mind and body seem to move slowly, as if shrouded by fog or carrying an extra heavy burden. Sleep may be excessive, as much as 12-14 hours a day. However, this sleep excess may function as an escape from life rather than a response to a real need for sleep, which can create a continuing cycle of lethargy. If you're experiencing the sluggish mood, it is common to lose interest in activities and have trouble enjoying even those things you force yourself to do.
Chemistry of the Sluggish Mood subtype
In terms of brain chemistry, this pattern likely reflects a state of depletion rather than excess. The important brain chemicals that keep you energized and motivated are dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is often considered the “pleasure chemical” because it is so involved in the experience of enjoyment or pleasure. That may also be why dopamine is so closely tied to addiction—when the dopamine system is faulty, people will do most anything to get another dopamine hit.
Dopamine is also strongly involved with motivation, and with the sluggish pattern, motivation is usually nonexistent. To stay motivated and energized, dopamine works closely with its partner chemical, norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is very similar to epinephrine, also known as “adrenaline.” You can think of it as the brain’s own stress hormone. Remember that a little stress is a good thing—it helps keep us alert, focused, and mobilized. So when our system is producing insufficient norepinephrine, our mind feels dull and sluggish. It is hard to get going, even for things we would normally enjoy.
We offer specific tools, practices, and strategies to balance and energize a sluggish mood.
See the key tools below to help you reclaim your joy.
Nourish your sluggish mood
Looking to build a strong foundation? Start by giving your brain what it needs to find its balance. Discover the best way to nourish yourself, including the specific foods & supplements that energize a sluggish mood.
Flourish together in the Joy Lab.
Joy Lab is our soon-to-be launched training program to support mental health more naturally. You'll move through a mind-body program that includes monthly group talks, weekly email boosts, and 5% off purchases from our NMH store.
How to energize a sluggish mood
Try the simple steps below to help boost your mood.
Supplements for a sluggish mood
Targeted supplements can quickly energize the Sluggish Mood Subtype while foundational supplements support ongoing resilience. The targeted supplements may need 30-60 days of consistent use.** After that period, you may continue using them if needed. Stick with the foundational supplements daily or seasonally, as desired.
Remember: Check with your health care practitioner before beginning any supplements.
1. Energized Mood (neurotransmitter support)
2. Adapt (adaptogenic herbs)
3. Activate (b-vitamins)
1. Nourish (multivitamin/mineral)
2. Strengthen (omega-3)
3. Illuminate (vitamin D3)
* Consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. Individuals taking medication should discuss potential interactions with their healthcare practitioner.
** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Learn foundational strategies to support your mental health and resilience.
Explore the articles below and learn our favorite foundational steps to help balance your mood.
Brain Chemistry 101
Learning a bit of brain chemistry can help you create a healthy, well-functioning brain and a good, sustainable mood. In this article, we present you a simple way of understanding and talking about this very complex subject.
Sleep & Resilience
Your sleep, mood, and brain function are intimately related. Scientific studies tell us that our emotional states affect sleep and that sleep affects emotions. You can create better sleep with fairly simple strategies.
The Resilient Diet
We have created the Resilient Diet to integrate seamlessly into your daily life. It is not a set of restrictive rules or detailed recipes. Instead, the Resilient Diet is made up of six broad guidelines or principles.
Resilient Movement Plans
Scientific research has shown that moving our bodies more frequently has a significant positive impact on mental health and can even help you grow a bigger, healthier, and better-connected brain.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional regarding specific health questions. Individuals providing content to this website take no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. It is also essential to consult your physician or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program.