False negative emotions, a term coined by one of my teachers, Julia Ross, are caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. True negative emotions are genuine responses to challenges and difficulties that arise in our life. They are feelings of loss, disappointment, abuse, a shame, etc., arising from the past or present. We grow from feeling and dealing with these types of emotions and situations. They are a natural response to life. False negative emotions cause all sorts of problems that we want to eliminate from our life.
You might be tipped off that you are feeling false emotions because:
1) These emotions have no identifiable cause.
2) You just feel a low level of blues, hopelessness or anxiety.
3) You have been unsuccessful in resolving depression, anxiety, sadness, even with years of therapy.
4) You have problems sleeping through the night.
A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger in the brain that carries, boosts, and modulates signals across gaps or synapses of brain cells and between other cells in the body. Most neurotransmitters are made from protein or its subunits, amino acids. Serotonin, dopamine and GABA are neurotransmitters that are essential for a positive, calm, happy outlook and a sense of well-being.
When Neurotransmitters are out of balance (or when receptors on cells responsible for receiving neurotransmitter signals are impaired) they have a significant impact on our mood and behavior.
When we are deficient in specific neurotransmitters a number of emotional symptoms are likely:
- Deficits in serotonin can lead to depression, aggressiveness, anxiety, panic attacks, food and alcohol cravings, irritability and insomnia;
- Deficits of dopamine include depression, stress, mental exhaustion, fatigue, low sex drive and low motivation;
- Noradrenaline is important for alertness, concentration and attention. Deficits of noradrenaline have been linked to depression;
- Deficits in GABA can lead to feelings of anxiety.
Brain cells need three things to survive and be healthy:
- Oxygen (so exercise daily);
- Glucose (the brain uses 20-25% of all the glucose we take in as food);
- Stimulation – Neurotransmitters help to keep your brain cells healthy by stimulating them. Stimulation of brain cells lead to ATP production, this is the energy that runs all the billions of functions in your body.
False Negative Emotions: What To Do
If you are deficient in a particular neurotransmitter you will experience very specific emotions, sleep patterns and cravings. You can increase the amount of a particular neurotransmitter in your brain by taking some amino acid supplements. I have been doing this work with clients for 6 years with great success.
If you suspect you might be feeling false emotions due to imbalanced brain chemicals, my recommendation is to start with the following suggestions prior to embarking on a specific amino acid protocol.
1) Eat 4 oz of protein (about a chicken breast size of meat) three times per day. Or eat 40-50 grams of protein per day of you are a woman or 50-60 grams if you are a man. Write down your menu of a few typical days’ diet, then Google “protein content of foods” and check to see if you are getting enough protein.
2) Make sure you are either eating a ton of veggies to get your vitamins and minerals, or supplement what veggies you do eat with a good Multi Vitamin. Neurotransmitters are made from protein but they need “Co-Factors” ( B Vitamins, zinc etc.) to facilitate their cross-over to other brain cells.
3) Take Omega 3’s (fish oil, flax seed oil) because the brain needs Omega 3 to make Neurotransmitters.
Here are some reasons, and I am sure there are more, why you may be experiencing an imbalance of neurotransmitters:
1) Genetics- take a good look at your family members. If most of them are anxious or depressed, this may point to a genetic deficiency in one or more of the neurotransmitters.
2) The standard American Diet- does not supply the proper nutrition needed to turn food into neurotransmitters and co factors.
3) Dieting or eating Disorders- you may not be eating enough protein and vitamins because you are dieting or restricting food intake.
4) Prolonged Stress will deplete neurotransmitters.
5) Toxic substances like heavy metals, pesticides, illicit and some prescription drugs can cause permanent damage to the nerves that make neurotransmitters.