The widespread problem of depression is being talked about practically everywhere these days. Oprah is always talking about it, and so is Dr. Phil and others. There are literally hundreds and thousands of self help books out there on the market today based on peoples’ struggles with depression. Statistics show that around one million people commit suicide worldwide every single year, thousands (if not millions) more who tried but didn’t succeed, and many, many thousands, or probably millions, who are thinking about it or have thought about it. Most of those people began their quest for death with depression. In fact there are almost 20 million people a year, in the USA alone, with depressive disorders. Now THAT is scary!!! So, the big question is what can we do about it? The answer to that is A LOT! We can actually do a lot, and if you are someone who suffers from depression, then read on, because you are going to learn tools that can help you get over and out of your slump and back into life.
Let’s face it. Life is sometimes hard, and it isn’t going to get any better unless we take a different viewpoint. We have to begin looking at the glass as “half full” instead of “half empty”, or another famous saying that really sums it all up is, “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade”. Looking on the bright side may seem like an effort in the beginning, but it will become easier and easier as time goes on and soon you will be able to do it automatically without even thinking about it. It’s all just basically mind over matter.
Before we get into the mental aspects of the problem, let’s look first at the physical aspects. The first thing that you have to do is take an inventory of your diet. This is imperative, because no matter how much mental work you do, if your diet is a contributing factor in the problem, then you won’t feel completely better. Do an honest food diary for several days and analyze what you are eating. The ideal would be to have plenty of fresh vegetables, fresh healthy proteins, and a small amount of fresh fruit and whole grains. Keep away from things with artificial colors, flavors, and additives as much as possible. Try to stay away from tea and coffee and other toxins (like tobacco, etc) also. This change alone might be all you need!
Here is a book that will get you started on the proper anti-depression and good health diet that you need…
Proper sleep is extremely important, and if everything is right in your body, you will be able to sleep. The only time that will go wrong is when you turn your schedule around, for whatever reason, for example work hours, staying up regularly watching TV, chatting on the Internet, studying late hours, or whatever. The fact is that your body has an internal system of regulation and if something is not going well you have got to do something about it. Otherwise you’ll most likely be in for a host of diseases and other problems. The correct way to do this is to wake up early in the morning and stay up until whenever you go to bed at night (which shouldn’t be too late). The body thrives on the idea that the daylight hours will be your waking hours, and the dark hours should be your sleeping hours. You should also get enough sleep without getting too much, so try to make sure that you sleep at least 6 hours a day, preferably 8. Staying up all night at your friend’s house or sitting in the diwaniyah all night long isn’t good for your health. The bottom line is that your body was created to make sure that you don’t get into negative emotion, so don’t let yourself.
Exercise is a very important activity that you need to get involved in if you are trying to beat depression. Any kind of exercise will do, including walking, swimming, jogging, yoga, martial arts, aerobics, and more. Do what you enjoy, because you need to have an activity that you are going to stick with for the long term, and make sure that you have more than one choice, if possible, so that you don’t get bored.
Jog your funny bone. If you want to stop feeling depressed then you have to laugh. Even laughing when you don’t feel happy, when you feel miserable, when you are totally depressed will have a positive effect on you immediately. Even when you are feeling like a total fake, it is still working, so keep it up anyway. Scientifically it has been discovered that laughing and smiling actually releases some important hormones into the body that help to make us feel better. Also, it’s important to remember that you will feel and be what you think of, so make sure that you always visualize and think of good things. So, remember, if you are suffering from depression, don’t watch sad and depressing movies. Watch comedies only. Watch happy shows, read happy and uplifting stories and news, and try your best to have a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity. You’ll be surprised what a little “mind over matter” action will do for you! Don’t hang around with people who are negative, depressing, or mean. You don’t need to add to your problems, and they will just drag you down with them unless you are extremely careful.
Try to keep stress to a minimum at all times. If something happens that wasn’t quite what you expected, don’t worry about it. If it’s something that you are capable of changing then great, but if it isn’t, big deal. Just accept the idea that situations and people are different, that not everyone likes the same things that we do, that things happen, and get on with it. There is no benefit whatsoever in whining about things you can’t do anything about. All that does is bring in more and more negativity, which is exactly the opposite of what you are supposed to be doing. You need to think positively, be positive, and put yourself in the best possible state of mind. It’s not that difficult to do, but it takes a little bit of time to get the hang of what is required to do to get there, particularly if it doesn’t come naturally to you. No matter what your life is like, you can always find someone who has more problems than you do, more illnesses than you have, and more stress. So, don’t look up to those who are doing better than you, but always look down at those who don’t have it as good as you. You can always find people who are better off than you, no matter how rich, how happy, or how whatever you are, but looking at people whose situations are worse than yours will help ground you and make you understand how lucky you really are. That alone will make you smile for real.
(to be continued)
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