Dealing with depression

Dealing with depression

Depression, anxiety and other forms of emotional stress are all too common these days. Stress interferes with the way our brains interact with our bodies, and this in turn can make a person more susceptible to illness. The type of physical complaints combined with depressive type illness can include a loss of appetite, a marked increase or decrease in sleep and anxiety, headaches and noticeable weight gain.

There are many theories on the causes of depression ranging from social factors, personality traits, genetic background, the loss of a loved one or just the personality of the depressed person using depression as a means of controlling others. People suffering depression can be helped though healthy food choices, which supply the basic building blocks for the nervous system and bodily functions. These basic building blocks are amino acids (protein food like fish, meat and eggs) vitamins, minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids and other naturally occurring compounds found in foods.

The brain is a complex structure composed of chemicals taken from foods we eat. The function of the brain and the central nervous system is reliant on a balanced and regular supply of nutrients from the bloodstream. Depression can be improved through foods and nutrient supplementation and an overall improvement in the quality of life and lifestyle activities can be achieved.

Eat Smart

Depression may be the result of low blood sugar, so eat three meals and three snacks throughout the day. Make a point to take food supplements along with 14 different foods each day in order to pick up a wide range of nutrients. The chemicals in the peel of oranges and lemons are helpful in reducing mild depression.

Avoid caffeine

Stay away from diet cokes, colas, coffee, tea and chocolate.

Watch alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant affecting your body and your mind and the degree varies from person to person. Cut alcohol or limit intake to three days a week.

Cut back on stress

Take a look at your life and trying to juggle too many stresses. Make changes by involving other people and expressing to others how you feel.

Change your response to stress

Everybody has to do this daily so why not you? Change the way you think about things and learn to laugh.

Express your feelings

Held back feelings can make you ill. Practice calmly telling people that you are angry, worried, or unhappy. Writing it down first will help. If you feel like crying, go ahead and have a good one. It relieves tension.

Express your creativity

Learn to be yourself and find expression through dance, theatre, music, painting, and singing, cooking or gardening.

Exercise

This releases stress by burning up excess adrenaline, a hormone that can contribute to anxiety. Exercise also relieves depression and contributes to positive feelings about yourself and life overall.

Relax progressively

Feeling stressed tenses up the body and it is difficult to relax immediately. Progressive relaxation is a gradual wind down and has permanent results. One way is to lie on a carpet on your back, close the eyes and slowly count backwards from ten.

Repeat a few times and slowly breath deeper and deeper in and out of your diaphragm. Next tense your feet one at a time and hold for three seconds then let go. Repeat a few times. Finally, tense the muscles in the feet, forehead, nose, mouth and let the tension go. Lie quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed before slowly rising.

Imagine yourself well

By actively imagining yourself relaxed, happy and well can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Research shows that the use of imagery in a meditative state leads to the body’s production of mood elevating endorphins which results in a person feeling happy and satisfied.

Ask for help

Seek out a trustworthy friend who can give support and help in solving problems. Research shows that people who join a self help group benefit in their ability to solve problems. Ask around for a recommendation.

SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder). This can be very real for some people during the darker winter months. The cure is to get some sunshine into your life. Go to see happy movies, read funny books, wear bright colours and get out into whatever winter sun you can find.