You have to take steps to avoid physical illness. If you don't brush your teeth, you'll lose them. If you don't exercise, your muscles get weak. And if you don't steer your thoughts and activities toward happiness, depression may set in.
People inclined toward depression or negative thoughts should practice mindfulness – living in the present moment. Through meditation and other behavioral changes, you can control mild to moderation depression without prescription drugs. It takes patience and perseverance to prevent depression naturally.
You'll need to examine your diet and sleep habits, exercise more and learn how to deal with negative thoughts – and negative people - more effectively. Live a better, more fulfilling life by following these 8 easy ways to improve your mood and avoid depression.
1. Get a Good Night's Sleep
A sleepless night affects more than your physical appearance. Research has shown that getting enough sleep affects your health and emotional well-being. If you lose sleep, you're more apt to become depressed, anxious or quick to anger. A consistent lack of sleep (or restless sleep), can cause or worsen depression. Some people experience insomnia before depression occurs, while sleeplessness is a symptom of depression for others. The same risk factors that cause depression – social isolation, lack of physical activity, poor diet, and relationship problems – contribute to insomnia. A study conducted by the University of North Texas concluded that subjects with insomnia were ten times more likely to develop depression than other participants. 1
Cultivate a Bedtime Routine to Help You Sleep Better
You can prevent insomnia and depression by getting between seven and nine hours of restful sleep a night. That may sound impossible to people who suffer from insomnia, but there are several ways you can improve your chance of getting to sleep and staying asleep. Shut off all electronics (including cell phones and TV) at least a half-hour before bedtime. Eat a small dinner a few hours before bedtime. A large meal right before bed makes food harder to digest and inhibits sleep and. Relax by meditating, drinking chamomile or Valerian tea after dinner or taking a warm bath. Winding down is important to end each day in a manner conducive to good sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine based drinks or alcohol at night, as this will keep you awake.
2. Exercise and Stay Active
Exercise protects you against the damaging effects of stress and depression. Scientists have determined that even light stress causes depression. Unemployment, a divorce or family problems are just a few of the everyday stresses that contribute to depression. We can't avoid the daily nuisances that cause stress, but we can increase our emotional resilience. Exercise, whether it's walking, biking hiking or dancing, improves your emotional state
If you don't get a chance to exercise outdoors often, pedal a stationary bike for at least 15 minutes a day to reduce depression and your cortisol (stress) level. You'll feel so good you may just want to exercise more! Regular exercise also reduces or prevents the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis and many other health problems. Most doctors recommend getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity each week or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (jogging, dancing) each week.
Exercise increases body temperature, which has a calming effect, and releases feel-good chemicals, including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, to fight depression and put you in a better mood. 2
Taking yoga, dance or exercise classes will increase your social circle. Even jogging around the neighborhood will put you in touch with new people. Even smiling or nodding to passersby will elevate your mood. The more you exercise, the more confident you'll feel. As your health and mood improve, so will your physical appearance. Once you lose weight and tighten flabby arms or stomach through exercise, you may change your wardrobe and be more inclined to go out and socialize. Lack of physical activity makes you gain weight and cuts years off your life.
3. Eat Healthy Snacks throughout the Day to Balance Blood Sugar
Avoid depression by substituting fruit, crackers, nuts and seeds for sugary snacks or chips. This may be a tough transition if you're used to nibbling on cookies or candy on afternoon break, but you'll see an improvement in your mood and energy almost immediately. Eating junk food and sugary snacks causes your blood sugar to spike, resulting in depression and increasing the chance you'll develop diabetes. The initial rush you get from eating candy to give you energy isn't worth the inevitable crash.
Keep your blood sugar balanced by eating a fiber-rich oat bran muffin instead of a sugary Danish or almonds, pecans or pistachios instead of chips. Nuts slow your body's absorption of sugar and provide manganese, copper, biotin , Omega 3 fats and other vitamins and minerals. Choose whole grain crackers, fruits or sunflower seeds as snacks instead of sweets.
Eating small meals throughout the day is better for your blood sugar and digestive system than eating a few large ones. Ideally, breakfast and lunch should be the largest meals of the day, with a small dinner in the evening and healthy snacks throughout the day. Keep your blood sugar steady by eating several times a day. Eating one or two large meals a day causes harmful fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
4. Keep your Omega 3's in check through Diet and Supplements
Omega 3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other oily fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, are essential for combating depression. Most Americans don't eat enough fish, and this may lead to mild or moderate depression when combined with other factors. Adding trout, salmon, tuna and other fish to your diet helps, but you can get more Omega 3's by taking a fish oil supplement. Research has found that patients with severe depression who take one to two grams of fish oil in addition to their antidepressant medication see a marked improvement in their condition. If you suffer from mild or moderate depression and don't take an antidepressant, Omega 3 fatty acids will help you to maintain a balanced mood. Omega 3's
If you can't get enough Omega 3's from you diet, take a fish oil supplement along with your daily multivitamin and/or other supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the effects of bipolar disorder, protect against high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and improve memory.
5. Smile More. Acknowledge Others, even When You Don't Feel Like It
Making small talk with a cashier or waitress can lift your spirits – and theirs as well. Even if you feel grumpy or are worried about how a stranger might react, force yourself say hi or smile. One small attempt at reaching out may lead to a conversation or even friendship.
6. Don't Take Things Personally
In the popular self-improvement book, The Four Agreements, author Miguel Ruiz, the second agreement state, “Don't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering” 3
It's easy to understand the logic behind that statement, but it may be hard to follow through with it in real life. When someone says or does something you perceive as being rude or disrespectful, don't become defensive, angry or hurt. Instead, ask them to explain what they mean. Many times people don't realize when they're being rude or insensitive. Even if they don't respond to a clarifying question, remember you have the power to ignore whatever they are saying, to not take it personally. Since we are so conditioned to listen to other people's opinions and place a great value on them, it may be difficult to ignore at first, but with practice, it's possible to ignore rude or hurtful comments. Remember, such remarks are about the other person's `reality and they have nothing to do with your reality.
Limit Time on Social Media to Avoid Depression
To avoid depression, you may also need to limit your time on social media. There are several negative posts or comments for every neutral or positive post on Facebook. Reading negative comments on social media (even if they have nothing to do with you), can bring you down. And studies have shown that too much time on Facebook can leave people feeling depressed or jealous. Use social media for work or to contact friends, and then concentrate on your offline life.
7. Have a Sense of Accomplishment Everyday
You don't have to run a multi-million dollar company to feel accomplished. Completing a project at work, learning how to play a song on the guitar, or painting a spare bedroom all give you a sense of accomplishment. Pride in any completed activity, large or small, will put you in a good mood and increase your self-confidence. Like physical inactivity, a lack of intellectual, social or creative goals can lead to depression. Keep your mind as well as your body active and stay engaged to keep the blues away.
8. Have a Sense of Humor
The popular saying “Laughter is the best medicine” has more than a grain of truth to it. Having a good sense of humor relives stress and boosts your social life by building positive connections with others. Like exercise, it releases endorphins to fight pain and contribute to an overall feeling of happiness and well-being. Having a good sense of humor contributes to better physical heath by relaxing muscles, increasing immunity, lowering stress hormones and lowering blood pressure.
You don't have to be a “class clown” or the life of the party to experiences the benefits of a good sense of humor. Laughter gets you out of your head and helps you to be more spontaneous. It helps yu release deep-seated inhibitions and let your true self shine through. If you don't have enough laughter in your life, spend more time with naturally boisterous people instead of button-down types. Don't take yourself-and the world-so seriously. Humor can release you from the burden of self-criticism and self-absorption that leads to non-clinical depression.
Happy Girl, Zeal O2 and REVV – Use Wheatgrass Power to Avoid Depression
Taking a wheatgrass supplement is another way to avoid depression and stay healthy. You've probably heard all the talk about the benefits of wheatgrass juice, but wheatgrass is also available in easy to take pill supplements. Wheatgrass is a superfood containing chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins. Wheatgrass breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, giving you the energy you need to stay active and positive.
Wheatgrass Love specializes in wheatgrass supplements blended with a combination of lab-tested and approved herbs. Our products include Zeal O2, a wheatgrass and herb blend for weight loss and maintenance; Happy Girl, an all-natural mood enhancer for mild to moderate depression and REVV, a chocolate mint energy wafer made with wheatgrass, vitality- boosting L-Taurine and periwinkle herb for mental clarity.
All our products contain wheatgrass and a blend of powerful herbs with disease-fighting benefits. Zeal O2 and Happy Girl have energy and mood-boosting cayenne pepper, antioxidant-rich green tea extract and stress busting ginseng. Other lesser known herbs including fo ti (for longevity and energy) and damiana (for stamina and mental focus) are part of their proprietary blend. Zeal O2's citrus auranthium (bitter orange) has fat burning properties and curbs appetite. (It's an all-natural substitute for the banned supplement ephedra.) Zeal O2 is excellent for weight loss and after-diet weight management. Order Zeal O2 here.
Happy Girl, our mood-enhancing supplement, combines wheatgrass for health and energy with ginseng, gingko biloba, green tea extract and other feel-good herbs Happy Girl does more than relieve mild to moderate depression. Its blend of wheatgrass, vitamins and minerals protects you against inflammation, heart disease, high blood pressure and other health problems. Happy Girl isn't just for girls – men and seniors can use it, too. (Always remember to check with your doctor before taking Happy Girl, Zeal O2 or any other supplement.) Read more about Happy Girl here.
For an instant mood and energy boost, take REVV chocolate mint wafers infused with wheatgrass. These power-packed wafers will increase endurance, oxygenate your blood and give you the power to take on whatever life has in store for you. You can take REVV wafers several times each day – whenever you need an extra burst of energy! Order REVV here.
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