According to the National Network of Depression Centers, around 20% of Americans suffer from depression at some point in their lifetime. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the mental health condition has become one of the leading causes of disability in individuals aged between 15 and 44.
Major Depression Disorder (MDD) often has genetic roots and is biochemically based, which can make it extremely hard to navigate. However, that doesn’t mean that psych meds are the only way to overcome MDD. There are certain techniques and lifestyle changes that can potentially help in extracting yourself from the emotional paralysis that is commonly associated with the condition. Read on to discover what they are.
Exercising is perhaps the best way of inducing the creation of natural antioxidants in the body. Clinical studies and research have reported that exercising for just half an hour a day, 3 to 5 days a week can effectively reduce the symptoms of depression without the use of any antidepressants. It can help in:
- Improving mood
- Reducing stress
- Providing restful sleep
- Boosting self-esteem.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Depression is often linked with a nutrient deficiency. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet isn’t only good for your physical health, but is also beneficial for your mental health. The best way of improving your diet is cutting out junk food. Stay clear of foods that are packed with saturated fats and refined sugar. Some healthy foods that you should include in your diet include:
- Olive oil
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
Amino acids are what neurotransmitters are made of. If you don’t know what neurotransmitters are, they’re essentially the medium your brain uses to send signals to the rest of the body. Neurotransmitters play a vital role in the state of your mental health, which is why amino acid-rich foods can be beneficial for people suffering from depression. Amino acid rich foods include:
- Certain vegetables and fruits
- Dairy products
Improving the Quality of Sleep
Lack of sleep is a common complication associated with depression. Common symptoms include lying awake in bed for hours because your brain won’t calm down, disturbed sleep and waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to fall asleep again. Lack of sleep can result in fatigue, which can exacerbate the symptoms of depression. If your sleeping habits are being disrupted by depression, deep breathing techniques and meditation can help you calm your mind.
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