by Leanna Korevaar
Darren Lang, MBA, delivered powerful knowledge and
practical advice for coping with stress, and the big issues
caused by stress, to a record-breaking crowd on January
20 in Regina.
“Stress has a hidden impact on the mind and body. Chronic
stress over long periods of time depletes seratonin levels –
the body’s ‘good mood fluid’,” said Darren.
Seratonin, a neurotransmitter, helps regulate mood,
appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, and some cognitive
functions including memory and learning. Understanding
the role of seratonin levels in stress disorders and in our
bodies is key to escaping the stress-spiral that leads to
crippling health issues.
In a nutshell, negative thoughts cause stress and stress
lowers seratonin levels and mood. When our seratonin
levels become depleted, we:
Get sick more often.
Think more negatively.
Experience emotional disconnect from all things
important, such as family, friends, work, hobbies, etc.
Become more agitated.
Have thoughts that circle around more.
Eventually experience bigger issues including sleep,
mood, depression and anxiety disorders.
When we don’t realize that low serotonin levels are
influencing our negative thoughts and feelings we go
looking for answers. Often people point a finger at the big
areas in their lives, like a stressful job, a conflict situation,
or loved ones. What we don’t know is that our low
seratonin levels can push us in the direction of blaming
external factors beyond our control.
Also, it is important to remember that states of stress-
related anxiety and depression can be triggered by how
we think. Since we have control over our thoughts we can
have control over stress.
Darren offered these practical tools and suggestions that
we all have easy access to – in our minds and at the corner
To shift your thoughts, Darren suggests you do your
homework. This means listing three memories from your
home life that put a smile on your face. Next, list three
memories from your work life that make you happy. Then
list three fun memories and three things you are looking
forward to. When stress and anxiety start to boil over in
your life simply pull out the list, to help shift your thinking
in a more positive direction and turn things around.
#2. Fill your body with the raw material for
Protein is the only thing your body can use to make more
seratonin and vegetables help the conversion process.
Eating sufficient amounts of protein and vegetables
is critical to raising and maintaining healthy levels of
seratonin. Supplements including vitamin B, vitamin D,
Staying up in an upside-Down World
Darren Lang, Professional
Speaker and Trainer
vitamin C and omega 3 oils (fish oil, etc.), are also critical
for helping your body convert protein into mood-boosting
Exercise and sunlight trigger seratonin production – an
Staying Up in an Upside-Down World
in spring and summer. Since the Saskatchewan sun loses
intensity in the fall, prairie brains don’t produce as much
seratonin in the winter months. Some people experience
mild Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms and
others are devastated by resulting depression.
Simple sources for sunlight throughout the winter months
are light boxes, available at local retailers. Light boxes sit
on desks or counters and deliver artificial sunlight to the
facial area where it is easily absorbed through the eyes. For
people who aren’t able to sit for the recommended time,
light hats are available at
Prescription medications and meat protein supplements
are also available to help boost seratonin levels. Consult
your family doctor or a naturopath to learn more about
Darren’s Staying Up in an Upside-Down World
presentation was inspired by a number of sources and
a lot of personal trial and error. If you feel like you are
caught in a stress spiral and have been there for over a
month, please do something about it. An employee family
assistance program or your family doctor is a great places
to start. The following resources may also be helpful:
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Find out how Darren can help stress-proof your group. For
more information or to schedule Darren’s presentation for
your workplace, please contact
by email at