6 Easy Ways to Boost Your Mood and get rid of the depression
Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:04 AM
Our hormones, for one, do a fluctuating rumba, especially during childbearing years. There’s also the burden of responsibility, in our roles as Mom, helpmate, model worker, cleaning lady and errand runner.
Whether you’re suffering from temporary PMS blues or recovering from clinical depression, even small steps can boost your mood.
1. Do a body check.
Some diseases, disorders – even drugs – can make you blue.
So eliminate "other medical problems, like a low level of thyroid hormones,” says Dennis Lin, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
Depression is also linked with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and some infections. The stress of having a disease, like cancer, can trigger it too.
So can medications for high blood pressure and steroids. If you think your medication is causing depression, talk to your doctor about possible solutions.
2. Eat steak.
“Nibbling high-quality protein – an ounce or two of meat, fish, poultry, eggs – every 2-3 hours can help stabilize blood sugar and keep your moods more even,” says San Francisco-area clinical psychologist Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., an expert on prenatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, and author of Pregnant on Prozac (Globe Pequot Press).
To double your happy quotient, focus on turkey, chicken, whole grains and black beans. They contain tryptophan, which converts to serotonin, one of the brain’s key feel-good chemicals.
3. Exercise your options.
Workouts boost moods, increasing brain chemicals, such as norepinephrine, just like antidepressants do.
“Exercise improves the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain,” Lin says.
It also stimulates the vagus nerve in the brain stem, which improves the way its emotional center works by increasing our stress tolerance, often a partner to depression.
“Even brief or basic light exercise every day can make you feel like you’re accomplishing something,” says Kate Muller, Psy.D., director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.
So start small: Just walk around the house during a TV commercial. You can work up to more as you feel better.
4. Go fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids make the brain more receptive to mood-boosting serotonin, Bennett says.
In fact, a 2002 National Institutes of Health study found that women with high levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, one of three omega-3 fatty acids) who ate lots of fish – also high in omega-3s – had lower postpartum depression rates than those who didn’t eat lots of fish and had low DHA levels.
Only take fish oil capsules with DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, also an omega-3 fatty acid) and follow the dosage advice on the package, Bennett advises.
But first consult with your doctor before starting any supplements.
5. Stop flying solo.
“Being isolated can make someone prone to depression,” Bennett says. “When you’re alone, it’s easy to think that everyone is fine except you.”
Solitude also makes you feel that you’ll be blue forever.
So reach out to family or friends. If they’re not available, push yourself to go places where people hang out.
“Go to clubs [that center] on things you’re interested in,” Lin advises. “Do volunteer work in a hospital or library. Take a class.”
6. Pamper yourself.
Depression makes the brain listless, so you have to stimulate it.
Therapists urge patients to push themselves to get pleasure by resuming activities they used to enjoy: Go to a movie, meet a friend for lunch or get a mani-pedi.
Women, in particular, “aren’t as good as men at finding down time to do pleasurable activities,” Muller says. “Men say, ‘I need a break.’ Women charge themselves with doing many tasks.”
When was the last time you had a massage or even window-shopped?
Having just one pleasure to look forward to each day can lift your spirits.
Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:28 PM
Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:21 AM
Meditation does help, i do it from time to time to clear up my thoughts.
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Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:11 AM
Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:46 AM