Sadness, feeling down, having a loss of interest or pleasure in your daily activities — these are all symptoms that are too familiar for us all. However, if they persist and affect your life substantially, it may be a case of depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.6% of people over the age of 12 have depression in any 2-week period. This is substantial and shows the scale of the problem.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability. They estimate that 350 million people are affected by depression worldwide.
Depression – Yoga and Meditation
Practicing both yoga and meditation may also help provide you relief from depression. According to Dharma S.K, a board-certified anesthesiologist specializing in anti-aging medicine, both yoga and meditation are known to effectively change the biochemistry of the brain.
While you stretch yourself when you do yoga, you’re actually sending a message to the brain through your spinal cord. This massage can help change y our brain’s chemistry. The perfect balance of stimulation and relaxation that you’re providing your brain with can help enhance the “”feel-good”” sensation after some yoga practice.
The true union of energy and relaxation makes you feel better. Plus, practicing some easy asanas and pranayamas makes you healthy and stay away from illnesses such as depression; thus practice yoga regularly.
Depression – Laughter
“Laughter is the best medicine” is a popular quote, and it’s indeed true, especially in cases where a person is suffering from depression or has at least a couple of signs of depression. A research study conducted by L Fonzi et al. proves that laughter can help improve mood and has a favorable impact on social responsibilities and health. Plus, it may also help in counteracting symptoms of depression.
Depression – Exercise
Exercising regularly will help you relax, lower anxiety and improve your mood and sense of wellbeing. It also helps in preventing chronic diseases and other illnesses. Experts also suggest that 150 minutes of physical activity every week with moderately intense physical activity every week is good for both physical and mental health.
Depression – Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy treatments are well-known to help alter all of the negative emotions, depression being one of them. This therapy works on a psycho-biological level and affects not just mental health, but physical health as well. Our sense of smell has the ability to influence our mood and also alter emotions. This therapy can also be introduced into the body through the skin. When you pamper yourself with aromatherapy, you’re sure to relieve both your stress and axiety.
Depression – Tryptophan
A depletion of tryptophan in your body may lead to symptoms of depression. Tryptophan is responsible for the production of an important neurotransmitter, serotonin. This helps to lower the feelings of depression. Foods containing tryptophan include poultry products, fish, soy, tree nuts, peanut butter and peanuts and pumpkin seeds.
Depression – Vitamin B and Folate
You can also help deal with depression by eating foods that are high in B vitamins. Vitamin B6 is essential for metabolizing tryptophan into serotonin. Levels of folate and vitamin B12 are found to be lower in people who are depressed. The inclusion of food items rich in vitamin B and folate will help people suffering from depression. Some foods that contain vitamin B are beans, legumes, poultry, shell fish, whole grains and citrus fruits.
Depression – Vitamin D and Minerals
The inclusion of foods rich in vitamin D and essential minerals like calcium, iron and zinc can also help in relieving symptoms of depression. Foods like poultry products, green leafy veggies, fish, almonds, meat products and fortified cereals can be included in the diet.