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My Top 3 Health Hacks To Optimize Mood

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

If you’ve ever tried to do your own research to reduce anxiety or improve your mood, you’d know that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. A quick Google search and you’ll get bombarded by a million different methods to help with your anxiety, depression, or other mood issues.

With all of my experience working with clients, I came up with a total of 36 different natural remedies for anxiety that have worked to varying degrees for people.

The truth is, some of these might work if you implement them, but others might not – or could even make it worse!

That’s why it’s important to implement lifestyle, diet, and supplement changes based on the genetic variants that you have.

Today, I’m sharing my top 3 health hacks that keep my mood optimized on a daily basis.

These health hacks are especially important if you have the risk variants I have for these 3 genes: GSK3B, TPH1, and BDNF.

Mood Hack #1: 5-HTP Supplements Increase Your Serotonin Production

The TPH1 gene is responsible for converting tryptophan to 5-HTP, which is used to produce serotonin, known as the “happiness hormone”. Unfortunately, my TPH1 genotype doesn’t do this well.

5-HTP supplements directly provide your body the tools it needs to create more serotonin, completely skipping over the biochemical step of the TPH1 gene. That’s why I take 5-HTP supplements to help boost my mood and decrease my stress!

On top of all that, while tryptophan competes with other amino acids to get through the blood-brain barrier, 5-HTP easily crosses the barrier, so serotonin is being converted both inside and outside the brain!

Mood Hack #2: Natural Sunlight Improves Your Mood

If there’s one thing everyone shares a love for, it’s summer! And there’s actually a biochemical reason for that – sunlight!

Natural sunlight boosts your BDNF production, which helps in the process of synaptic plasticity.

Lower synaptic plasticity is associated with decreased protection from stressors that negatively impact your mood!

I carry the risk variant for SNP rs6265 for the BDNF gene, so my body doesn’t naturally produce a great amount of BDNF, which can result in lower synaptic plasticity and higher susceptibility to stress.

Simply put, less sunlight = more stress.

One very simple lifestyle change to fix that problem…get more sunlight exposure!

Personally, I spend at least 45 minutes every day in the sunlight every day getting sun on as much of my body as possible.

If you live somewhere with limited sunlight, try blue light therapy.

Mood Hack #3: Lithium Orotate Makes You Feel More At Peace

Lithium has been found to make people feel more calm, at peace, and friendlier.

In order to help with my mood, I take Lithium Orotate supplements to decrease my stress and anxiety.

Lithium helps your mood by inhibiting the GSK3B gene function (Side note: It also helps increase your BDNF levels!)

The GSK3B gene function is one that you don’t want to increase, because high levels of activity are associated with mood-related conditions like depression and anxiety.

My genotype for SNP rs334558 carries the ‘A’ risk allele, which results in a 1.4x increase in GSK3B expression! That’s why it’s important to find ways to inhibit function if you have these variants.

How You Can Optimize Your Mood

Remember, my top 3 health hacks to optimize my mood work so great for me because they are all based on my genes and the genetic variants I carry.

But this doesn’t just stop at mood. I use my genetic data to optimize my sleep, cognitive function, inflammation, or any other symptom that I may be experiencing.

In order to see if these hacks work for you, it’s best that you first look at your genes and find out what variants are responsible for your mood problems, and then implement any changes tailored to your specific genes!

You can do all this with a SelfDecode subscription! All you have to do is upload your dna file, and SelfDecode will provide you with comprehensive reports that allow you to easily understand how your genes affect your mood, anxiety, trauma response, cognitive function, sleep, and more!

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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