Modern pharmacology has helped the symptoms of depression for countless numbers of people. Popular medications include Zoloft, Prozac and Cymbalta. But consumers need to know that just popping a pill isn’t enough.
There are certain daily actions that can be just as valuable as taking a pharmaceutical and could even help increase its effectiveness.
Let’s start with a whole foods diet. Food and the kind of food you eat will have a marked effect on how you feel. These days, many people are drawn to sugary, processed food, a huge no-no for the person suffering from depression. Instead, if you want to improve your mood, eat whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. The vegetables should be lightly cooked so as not to drain away the nutrients. Whole foods will “stay” with you longer, keeping your blood sugar level up so you don’t experience spikes in mood and energy. Wildly fluctuating blood sugar is often associated with mood swings and depression. So stay away from soda pop, cakes and potato chips. These processed foods only give you temporary energy. The eater of processed food then experiences a sharp drop in energy leaving them feeling weak, tired and sometimes, depressed.
Another tool that can help a depressed mood or keep it away altogether is exercise. It doesn’t matter what kind. Anything that gets your heart pumping and your circulation moving will help. Jogging, tennis, walking, yoga and bicycling are all popular. Team sports such as basketball or baseball have an added benefit of being social as well as physically active. Exercise of any kind boosts creation of new brain cells and connections in the brain. Physically active people are less likely to be depressed. Getting out in the fresh air and being in nature and sunshine can also help.
So have you ever tried to figure out all your problems by yourself? I know I have. The problem was, I still ended up being stuck with the problem because I had this silly notion that I could and should figure out its solution without anyone else’s help, thank you very much. This situation was caused probably by a mixture of pride and fear. Sometimes, people get the message it’s not o.k. to ask for help, or they are afraid they will be led astray or even get hurt by the person or entity they are asking for help from.
Life is complicated and can stress people out leaving us confused, frustrated and yes, sometimes, depressed. This is where a good counselor or therapist can help. If you try to deal with your problems all by yourself, you could be setting yourself up for depression as well as a large dose of anger and hopelessness. Human beings are social creatures and we need the experience and wisdom of one another to get through life. People who are professionally trained to help others with their relationship, social and emotional problems can be a big help. A good therapist can help you find solutions to your problems, solutions that you might not have thought of without their help. Just as the saying goes, “no man is an island.” We can help one another with our problems to live a purposeful and joyous life.
Fostering a happy mood takes some effort. Too often, people reach for the latest fix to get rid of their depression without looking at all the possible causes. It takes more than medication to help your depression. Good health goes along with a cheerful disposition. Take the necessary time to eat right, exercise and get therapy if you have unresolved personal problems that are getting you down. It’s about valuing yourself and making the most of your life. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise is harmful to anyone’s health and mood. Remember: that which you pay attention to grows and that which you neglect withers away. Now is the time to deal holistically with depression.