facing depression????? here is how to combat it....
There are five important strategies to consider if you are facing depression. These strategies have nothing but positive effects and are generally very inexpensive to implement.
Do a Bit of Emotional Housekeeping
It is helpful to view depression as a sign that your body and your life are out of balance, rather than as a disease. What you need to do is regain your balance.
One of the key ways to do this involves addressing negative emotions that may be trapped beneath your level of awareness. My favorite method of emotional cleansing is Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT), a form of psychological acupressure.
"What we're finding in the research on physical exercise is that exercise is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed… physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in your brain. And it increases your endorphin levels, your "feel good hormones."
And also -- and these are amazing studies -- exercise can increase the number of cells in your brain, in the region of the brain called the hippocampus. These studies were first done on animals, and they're very important because sometimes in depression, there are fewer of those cells in the hippocampus.
But you can actually change your brain with exercise. So it's got to be part of everybody's treatment, everybody's plan."
If you want to establish an exercise routine, please review my exercise page for some specific recommendations about how to incorporate exercise into your life.
Improve Your Nutrition
Another factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet.
Foods have an immense impact on your body and your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental and physical health.
Avoiding sugar and grains will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is another important aspect of depression. Sugar causes chronic inflammation, which disrupts your body's normal immune function and can wreak havoc on your brain.
Sugar also suppresses a key growth hormone called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), which promotes healthy brain neurons and plays a vital role in memory. BDNF levels are critically low in people with depression, which animal models suggest may actually be causative.
DHA is one of the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and krill oil, and your brain is highly dependent on it. Low DHA levels have been linked to depression, memory loss, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease.
Let the Sun Shine Down on You
Have you ever noticed how great it can feel to spend time outdoors on a sunny day? Well, it turns out that getting safe sun exposure, which allows your body to produce vitamin D, is great for your mood.
You can optimize your vitamin D either by sunlight exposure or by using a safe tanning bed, or by taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.
If you are suffering from depression, but would prefer to try something natural before going the traditional pharmaceutical route, here are some remedies that have stood up to rigorous testing.
PLEASE NOTE: These are NOT my recommendations. I am merely posting them as an article that was published. My recommendations are below in my comment.
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy seeks to help people change how they think about things. Unlike more traditional forms of therapy, it focuses on "here and now" problems and difficulties. Numerous clinical studies throughout the world have consistently demonstrated that cognitive behavioral therapy is as effective as antidepressant medication. Within 20 sessions of individual therapy, approximately 75 percent of patients experience a significant decrease in their symptoms.
2. St John's wort
St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is commonly used for the treatment of depression. It is available in tablets, capsules and liquid form from supermarkets and health food shops. Research suggests that it exerts its antidepressant action by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Numerous double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have examined the effectiveness of St. John's wort for the treatment of mild to moderate major depression, and most have found the herb more effective than a placebo. It can be at least as effective as paroxetine (Paxil) in the treatment of moderate to severe depression in the short term.
3. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.
4. Light Therapy
For years, light therapy has been used to treat seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression caused by short winter days and extended darkness. A lack of exposure to sunlight is responsible for the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which can trigger a dispirited mood and a lethargic condition. Light therapy helps to regulate the body's internal clock in the same way that sunlight does. Light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, and it may reduce the symptoms of non-seasonal depression as well.
Researchers have found that regular exercise, and the increase in physical fitness that results, alters serotonin levels in the brain and leads to improved mood and feelings of wellbeing. Study after study has shown that exercise promotes mental health and reduces symptoms of depression. The antidepressant effect of regular physical exercise is comparable to potent antidepressants like Sertraline.
6. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and tryptophan are also natural alternatives to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. The evidence suggests 5-HTP and tryptophan are better than a placebo at alleviating depression.
One of the best-known benefits of massage therapy is its ability to enhance feelings of well-being. Massage produces chemical changes in the brain that result in a feeling of relaxation and calm. It also reduces levels of stress hormones. Massage therapy lowers levels of stress hormone cortisol by an average of 30 percent. Massage also increases serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment in which needles are inserted at specific points in the body. Research suggests that acupuncture can decrease or eliminate the symptoms of depression. A review of 8 controlled trials supported the theory that acupuncture can significantly reduce the severity of depression.
9. Yoga & Meditation
Yoga is an ancient system of relaxation, exercise, and healing with origins in Indian philosophy. Practicing yoga can alter your brain chemistry. Some yoga positions are effective in stimulating the release of endorphins and reducing the level of stress hormone cortisol. Several human studies support the use of yoga for depression, and yoga postures have been specifically shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which may alleviate depression.
10. B Vitamins
B vitamins play a role in the production of certain neurotransmitters, which are important in regulating mood and other brain functions. Folic acid deficiency has been noted among people with depression. Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is the cofactor for enzymes that convert L-tryptophan to serotonin, so vitamin B6 deficiency might result in depression. And there is some evidence that people with depression respond better to treatment if they have higher levels of vitamin B12.
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