Laughter makes you feel happy and good, and that is why it’s touted as the best medicine. However, Harvard scientists and many other experts in the medical world say that short bursts of positive emotions simply won’t do. They say that it’s important to combat depression effectively and to look for ways to keep sadness, anxiety and stress at bay.

Engaging in activities that keep the mind preoccupied is a wonderful way to ward off anything that can leave you feeling down in the dumps. Listening to music, dancing, writing, painting and having a pet are just some wonderful examples. Performing acts of kindness can also help a lot! Together with these things, you may also take advantage of certain herbs proven to soothe the nervous system, manage insomnia and deal with other things that can keep you from being happy.

The following are 7 herbs that are scientifically-proven to help lighten your mood:

Herb #1: Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)
Whenever you are feeling anxious or depressed, get your hands on some gotu kola. This popular herb is an effective remedy for the said problems as it calms your nerves. The herb also helps relax the walls of the blood vessels, thus helping to lower high blood pressure. It’s something that you may use to combat not only physical stress but also the mental kind.

Herb #2: Oat Straw (Avena Sativa)
One very effective herb for people who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse is oat straw because it is capable of calming the nerves. Naturally, it is also an excellent all-natural remedy for people bugged by anxiety. Oat straw may be used as well by those who are suffering from epilepsy, fatigue, shingles and migraine.

Herb #3: Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosus)
Being an adaptogenic herb, Siberian ginseng is perfect for those who are always seeing themselves in stressful situations because it helps their bodies adapt properly. As you may already know by now, this herb is a nervous system stimulant. What’s so nice about it is it energizes you without the crash afterwards, unlike when taking caffeine.

Herb #4: Golden Root (Rhodiola Rosea)
Just like Siberian ginseng, golden root is also an adaptogenic herb. Taking it allows your body to react appropriately to stress, thus considerably reducing its impact on your physical and mental performance, as well as overall health. Also goes by the name of Arctic root, this herb helps lift your mood by increasing the levels of chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy, such as dopamine and serotonin.

Herb #5: Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Daily consumption of this herb is said to be effective in improving your body’s stress response. For centuries now in India, brahmi has been used as a brain tonic, helping to enhance cognitive functioning as well as lighten the mood.

Herb #6: St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
Several studies conducted found out that this particular herb is just as effective as most antidepressants. In fact, St. John’s Wort is actually administered to some patients who do not respond well to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which are drugs used for treating depression and anxiety disorders. However, the problem with it is it may actually hinder the efficacy of certain prescription medications.

Herb #7: Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
Thanks to its calming properties, lemon balm is effective against anxiety and insomnia. It’s something that may also be used when you are suffering from depression and headache. Since it is also packed with vitamin C, this herb can help accelerate the healing of wounds and insect bites. Lemon balm can be beneficial for you if you have a weakened immune system, allowing you to be more protected from various diseases and infections.

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