Find Joy in Life and Overcome Depression
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Depression is a condition that is very serious and should be treated by a doctor, however, there are some lifestyle changes that can give you a positive uplift when you are feeling low.
Steps for a Mood Boost
1. Spend time with a close friend at least once a week. Regular contact with a close friend is shown to boost self-confidence. It serves as psychotherapy and an antidepressant medication. Spending time with a good friend also encourages positive changes, such as starting an exercise routine.
2. Play with a dog daily. Some studies show that when non-pet owners spent time with a dog, mood elevators in the brain, known as oxytocin and serotonin, increased. Volunteer to work at an animal shelter or ask your neighbor to spend some time walking the dog.
3. Get a short massage weekly. Whether you have your spouse rub your back or pay a professional, the result of a weekly massage is a natural mood boost because it increases serotonin levels and decreases cortisol, the stress hormone.
4. Drink a cup or two of tea or coffee each morning. Modest, regular intake of caffeine decreases depression risk by 50 percent or more.
5. Mood-boosting foods can help. Look for food that is high in serotonin, such as bananas, kiwi, walnuts, pineapples, plums, cherries, and tomatoes. Foods that are high in tryptophan are also good to consume. Foods high in tryptophan are fish, chick, turkey, nuts, eggs, cottage cheese and beans. Tryptophan converts to serotonin, which is a natural mood booster.
6. Omega-3s is known to help! You can find omega-3 fatty acids in mackerel and salmon. Some other great ideas are consuming walnuts, flaxseeds, kidney beans, soybeans and black beans, as they are an excellent source of this omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Take vitamins. Chromium is a recommended daily supplement that helps to reduce carbohydrate cravings and boost your mood. It is also recommended to have 400 micrograms of folate, which is a vitamin B that helps depression. This vitamin also helps to enhance antidepressant’s effectiveness.
8. As soon as you wake up, hang your head over the edge of the bed. Take a five-pound dumbbell in each of your hands and let them hang down to the floor. Take ten deep breaths and then lift your hands up to the bed and set the weights beside you. Allow your head to lay on the bed and take an additional ten deep breaths. Repeat this three times to allow full respiration.
9. Smile into the mirror! Forcing a smile can actually make you feel happy and laughter releases serotonin, which makes you feel good.
10. Stay up all night once a month. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why this helps, but sleep deprivation at least one time a month is shown to lift depression and enables them to sleep better.
11. Drum on something! Yes, you heard it right! Research shows that drumming relaxes your body.
12. Keep your sleep routine consistent and occasionally sleep in a different room. Insomnia is a symptom of depression. Sleeping in a different room reduces insomnia. You should also wake up the same time every day and should not nap more than 20 minutes during the day. Stay away from caffeine after 3:00 p.m. and relax for an hour prior to going to bed.
13. Be easy on yourself and don’t beat yourself up when something goes wrong. You are a human being! Replace negative thoughts with positive ones to let yourself know that you are doing your best with what you know.
14. Every now and then, change your routine. Take a day from work and explore a place nearby. Go out to eat, even though it isn’t your normal eat-out night. Take a vacation!
15. Three times a day in the winter, take a ten minute walk. Naturally, in the winter people do not get enough sunlight, thus making them feel more depressed. Physical exercise encourages neurochemicals and hormones that boost mood.
16. Exercise! You will find it very effective if you exercise daily because it releases serotonin. Whether you do yoga, hiking, biking, canoeing or simply walking, you will be calmer and more relaxed.
Everyone has a Bad Day
Everyone has had days where we feel like we rolled out of the wrong side of the bed and aren’t our normal shiny and bright selves. You fuse might be short and you don’t have the patience for anyone around. Maybe you are stressed or didn’t get enough sleep, or perhaps you have the flu or cold. Regardless of the reason, don’t feel bad!
When you are feeling this way and need to get through the day without getting on bad terms with your loved ones, try these steps to shifting your bad mood:
When you take these steps, your spirits will be lifted and you can get on with your day. Listen to your mind and body, take care of yourself and honor your feelings!