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Help Break a Bad Mood with Kava: Tips & Tricks

February 24, 2023

Remember Eeyore, the gloomy donkey in the Winnie the Pooh stories, who always had a rain cloud above him and only saw the negative side of life? Much of Pooh Bear’s energy went into trying to understand and cheer up Eeyore, his dear friend. We all have our own Eeyore moments in life, where the world looks bleak and a bad mood is difficult to chase away.

While we can’t choose the emotions that arise in us, we can control how we respond to them. At Kalm with Kava, we’ve found that when a bad mood comes our way, we can use kava as a helpful tool to lift our mood and bring some uplifting calm into our lives. Let’s dig into the details of kava and how it can be used to help boost your mood on gray, Eeyore days.

What is Kava?

Kava, also known as Piper Methysticum, is a small shrub grown in the Pacific Islands, mainly Fiji, Hawaii, Tonga, and Vanuatu. The history of kava is very rich, as islanders have used kava plants for centuries for social rituals, religious ceremonies, and medicinal purposes. When the root and stump of kava are ground down, made into a drink, and consumed, the effects of kava’s active ingredients—kavalactones— help promote psychological and physiological relaxation.

How Does Kava Help Lift a Bad Mood?

Concentrated in kava’s rootstock and roots, kavalactones are the active ingredient responsible for kava’s calming, bad mood-busting qualities. Kavalactones interact with the body’s limbic system of the brain, notably the amygdala. The amygdala helps regulate emotions, which is why many people experience a sense of clear-minded calm when drinking kava.

There are thought to be 18 different kavalactones, with a large majority of active ingredients coming from just six. Each of the main six kavalactones is assigned a number (1-6) to make up what is known as that kava’s chemotype. The chemotype lists in order from highest to lowest the amount of each kavalactone present in a particular variety. This number effectively tells you the chemical makeup and kavalactone effects of any variety of kava you are purchasing.

Based on their composition of kavalactones or chemotype, kavas are classified as either heady, heavy, or balanced, signifying different relaxation effects. While heady kavas have uplifting relaxation effects, making them great for daytime drinking, heavy kava varieties are better for nighttime drinking and can be used as sleep aids or natural muscle relaxers. Balanced kavas, as the name indicates, have a balance of heady and heavy kava effects. In smaller doses, balanced kavas have heady effects, while larger doses produce heavy relaxation effects. When it comes to helping promote your mental relaxation and improve your bad mood, we recommend heady kava varieties.

Heady Kava: Your Mood Booster Buddy

When you find yourself having an Eeyore kind of day and need some cheering up, a heady kava from Kalm with Kava is an excellent option for assistance breaking your bad mood naturally.

Heady kavas are well known for their mood-boosting kava effects. Because of their unique chemotype, they help promote a gentle sense of well-being, contentment, and happiness. They can make you feel more mentally relaxed, bubbly, and, in some cases, euphoric. Heady kavas can be helpful in a range of situations, whether you’re stressed at work and need a pick-me-up or want to increase your talkativeness before a night out with friends.

Because they have a less sedative effect than balanced or heavy kavas, heady kava varieties are excellent for daytime drinking, as they keep your mind not just relaxed but also quite clear and alert. Kavain, the kavalactone #4, is responsible for the elevated mood that kava provides, and Yangoin, #3, is thought to be responsible for stimulating effects. A kava chemotype that has these numbers at the start is likely to be a heady kava that will help impart uplifting relaxation.

If you’re looking to kava for mood enhancement, we recommend our two heady kavas, which are available in both micronized and medium grind forms: our Tongan Pouni Ono and Samoa Ava.

Pouni Ono

Sourced directly from Tongan farmers, our Pouni Ono is an uplifting kava that helps stimulate wonderful mental relaxation and mood enhancement. A drink of Pouni Ono kava helps you relax and feel happier and more alert. Pouni Ono is also more uplifting and less tiring than other kavas making it our best social kava. Also, if you’re drinking kava for the first time, Pouni Ono is an excellent option. Learn more about the ins and outs of Pouni Ono kava.

Samoa Ava

Our Samoan Ava is an uplifting, happiness-inducing kava with little to no sedating effects. Initially, it will boost your mood and relax you mentally before providing the physical body relaxation kava is typically known for. Learn more about the rich history and nature of our Samoan kava.

Mood-Boosting Activities

While drinking kava alone will assist in elevating your mood, it can also complement a variety of other mood-boosting activities. Here are our top suggestions of things to try while drinking kava:

  • Get in Some Exercise
    Let your heart do what it’s good at and get your blood pumping. Exercise is a natural way to release endorphins in our brain, which can feel like releasing an army to combat our bad mood. Go for a jog, a walk, or ride your bike. Afterward, a kava drink can ease you into recovery mode—helping your muscles feel more relaxed and less sore.
  • Do Something Outside
    The better the view, the greater you’ll feel. The outdoors is a perfect reset button and connecting with nature is scientifically proven to improve health, happiness, and self-esteem. Let the fresh air and sunshine ease your mental load, and carry a to-go cup of micronized kava root with you for some on-the-go relaxation.
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep
    Inadequate sleep can increase stress and irritability. Plan an early bedtime one night and try sipping your favorite variety of heavy kava in the evening to assist with relaxing you, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay sleeping soundly through the night.
  • Take a Tech Break
    Practice some time away from screens and social media. In an always-on world, time on screens becomes the norm. But the effects of always being connected may actually lead to a worse mood. Consider reading for an hour instead. Grab a steaming mug of your favorite kava variety (maybe try out our Coconut Hot Chocolate Kava Recipe?) and a book or magazine, find a peaceful spot, and read your way to a better mood.
  • Plan a DIY Spa Day
    An afternoon of self-care offers a relaxing escape from whatever ails you. Gather up face masks, nail polishes, bubble bath soap, and whatever else you need to create your own relaxing spa sesh at home.
  • Meditate
    You don’t have to get all cross-legged and zen to reach a higher state of consciousness. The simple act of slowing down, focusing on one simple action (like gardening, reading a book, or painting a picture), and actively switching off your brain lessens the potential for distraction, stress, and anxiety.
  • Have a Chat
    Call up a good friend, family member, or co-worker and plan to meet up over a cup of coffee or kava. Just talking about the day with them—your thoughts, experiences, and feelings—can help lighten your mood.
  • Practice Gratitude
    Each morning or night, make a list of 3-5 things that you are grateful for, maybe while sipping some kava tea. It can be simple things like having a cozy bed or getting a raise at work. If you start to keep an eye out daily for things to add to your list, you will shift your focus and your mood will follow suit.

Buy Kava Root and Break Your Bad Mood

The next time you get into a funk, you don’t have to sit and wait for the dark clouds to lift. Shop our range of premium kava products today and help boost your bad mood the island way. All of our kava root products are sourced directly from kava farmers in the Pacific Islands, and we sell only 100% Noble kava for quality relaxation effects—that’s our guarantee! Reach out to us if you have any questions about drinking kava to break a bad mood. At the end of the day, Kalm with Kava is devoted to helping everyone reach an #onlygoodvibes lifestyle.

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