With the recent passing of the comedic legend, Robin Williams, after years of suffering with depression, we felt it was time to discuss some preventative measures to take on which can help with depression. We recently posted on our FaceBook page our top 5 tips for preventing or managing depression and we were very pleased with the response. To further educate you as the reader, we will be providing our top 10 tips!
Here is our top 10 tips (in no specific order) for preventing or helping to manage Depression….
1. Begin an Exercise program. Research has shown that regular exercise helps the brain release more serotonin (your “happy” hormone). Serotonin will help to prevent depressive thoughts.
2. Take Omega-3 Fish oil. Chronic inflammation is a common problem that many people deal with due to the normal stresses of life, from emotional stresses to dietary stresses. A high dose of Omega-3 Fish Oil will help decrease chronic inflammation in the brain, which can help decrease the risk of depression.
3. Open up and Talk about your Emotions. It is far too common that a person will hold onto their emotional stresses. This can cause more of a problem because it has the ability to create more of a “depression” or separation from others, exacerbating the underlying issues. Talking about these issues with someone you love or even a trained professional will help release that stress and take the “weight” off your shoulders.
4. Manage your Sugar intake. Diets that are high in sugars from things like table sugars, cookies and cakes to high carbohydrate foods, processed foods, breads and pastas can cause a fluctuation in your blood sugar levels and increase your risk for depression.
5. Optimize your Sleep. Research shows that changes in circadian rhythm (sleep pattern) may be linked to depression. Try to go to sleep the same time each night, limit the amount of white light coming from TVs, alarm clocks, night lights, etc and if needed, try a natural Melatonin supplement.
6. Optimize your Vitamin D levels. Research has shown that a large majority of the country is chronically deficient in Vitamin D. This can be linked to many different health disorders, one of them being Depression. In order to know if you are deficient, you must have a doctor check your Vitamin D levels via a blood panel. The ideal level should be between 35-80g/ml. Should you be deficient, a Vitamin D supplement is highly recommended.
7. Think Positively. Life can come at you in many different ways. Sometimes a situation can be a good stress, sometimes it can be a bad stress. Either way its all how you look at it! Some people look at a stressful situation as a challenge and a chance to grow, while others may look at it as another challenge that will cause more stress to their life. Try to start to looking at all of your stresses more positively and find where in the situation that can you learn and grow from it.
8. Minimize Drug and/or Alcohol use. Many people use drugs and alcohol as an “escape from reality.” They are extremely unhappy with their life, so they use a recreational or prescription drug to retreat from that reality. This will unfortunately cause more of a depression because drugs and alcohol will chemically your brain chemistry, causing more suffering and depressive thoughts. Always remember that there is a side effect to any drug or alcohol you take. Most of the time they cause “rebound” depression in your behavior!
9. Ask for help. Many people who deal with depression feel that they do not have anyone who “understands them” or who cares about helping them. This is a false sense of reality for that person. If they just used the people in their lives as a support system and opened up to them, they would be surprised to see that most of the people in their life will be more than willing to help!
10. Find your passion. This may sound very cliche, but it is true. We all have something inside of that we love! Whether it is art, music, caring for others or teaching, we all love something so much that we can’t live without it! Find that passion inside of you and put all of your energy into perfecting it and finding a way to make a living doing it! If you take all that energy that is being put on the “negative” things in your life and put it towards something that you love, your life and thoughts will transform forever!
BONUS TIP: Get Adjusted. We tell all of our patients that the best kept secret to optimizing your health is through regular chiropractic adjustments! Why, you may ask?! Well to start all of our thoughts, actions, hormone and chemical levels are controlled by our nervous system. Your spine is the protective covering over this very important nervous system. Changes in posture or spinal position can and will cause dysfunction in this nervous system. A Chiropractic adjustment will help correct these abnormal positions, thus changing your neurological function. Adjustments are one of the strongest and most influential interventions a person can use to alter your thoughts in more of a positive way!
Don’t believe us?! Take our challenge….We challenge you to begin a chiropractic program with your local chiropractor for one month (at minimum) to see how your body and health begins to transform after just 1 short month!
If you are reading this, have depression and have been having any suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the national suicide hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for help. It’s a phone call that can save your life!