First and foremost this blog post is not an attempt to sway you from seeing your doctor. You should always heed the advice of your medical professional and consult them before discontinuing any medication that you have been prescribed. These tips are meant to be used in conjunction with your medication and can not replace your SSRI. I also understand that depression can severely impact your motivation to follow through with these tips. That is okay. Sometimes it’s enough to just get out of bed in the morning and brushing your hair is your one accomplishment for the day. Clinical depression is often due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, so do not feel bad if you can not perform these tasks regularly or you find that they are not as effective as you would like.
Exercise: A body in motion…
When you have depression or anxiety, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference. Exercising is not just about staying in shape. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.The endorphins released while exercising have been shown to improve general mood functioning. The heightened state of your body may improve your overall health and reduce your anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. But smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling. So get moving.
We all know that sleep is important and you want to get your recommended 8 hours when possible. Sleeping is vital for brain function, memory, and physical health. It’s a time when our brains process all of the information and stimuli from the day, and it’s when our bodies repair, grow and heal. A Harvard study found that sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders. But getting too much sleep may also be a negative thing. Over sleeping is closely linked to depression and can lead to lower productivity, heart disease, and obesity.
Mindfulness meditation is a moment-to-moment awareness of the present moment. It uses your breath to create an anchor to keep bringing your attention back to the present moment and help with cognitive retraining. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation may reduce depression, as well as anxiety and stress.
Loving-kindness meditation focuses on creating an attitude of love and kindness towards yourself and others. Several studies have found that people who practice this type of meditation have less depression, a more positive outlook, fewer negative emotions, and greater compassion. Meditation may also help quell self-criticism, which underlies a number of different mental health disorders. These techniques can be taught to you at any yoga class or you could watch videos online that will help you stay focused and guide your breathing. Incorporating these methods into your daily routine can significantly increase your mood.
Your gut is directly linked to your brain. Healthy digestive bacteria is essential and clean eating can make a significant difference in your overall mood.
Carbohydrates are linked to serotonin. Experts aren’t sure, but carb cravings sometimes may be related to low serotonin activity. Choose your carbs wisely. Limit sugary foods and instead look for complex carbs, such as whole grains, rather than simple carbs like cakes and cookies. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes also have healthy carbs and fiber.
list of foods that improve bacterial health and brain functioning:
- Beta-carotene: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato
- Vitamin C: blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomato
- Vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils
Protein-Rich Foods Boost Alertness: Foods like turkey, tuna, and chicken have an amino acid called tryptophan, which may help you make serotonin. Try to eat something with protein several times a day, especially when you need to clear your mind and boost your energy. Good sources of healthy proteins include beans and peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, and yogurt.
Water, Water, Water:
Many people are unaware of the fact that there is a direct relationship between depression and dehydration. In fact, dehydration is one of the symptoms of depression. 85% of your brain tissues are made up of water. As a result, when don’t drink enough pure water with the essential minerals, you will get sick. Dehydration also reduces serotonin production, which is one of the main reasons for depression. Dehydration also has a negative impact on the level of amino acids in your body. Depletion of essential amino acid levels makes you feel dejected, anxious, irritable and inadequate. The average adult male should be consuming 4 liters of water a day while women are recommended to have 3 liters. Remember that by the time you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated. So drink up.
Need Professional Advice?
I am also a professional relationship coach providing services in the Atlanta area as well as by phone and video. Visit my Home Page for more details.