Fight depression by thinking flexibly, watching what you eat and using your support network correctly.
Along with getting some exercise and perhaps a little meditation, here are seven ways to decrease depression.
1. Think flexibly
The key to healthy emotional control is to be flexible, new research finds.
People with lower levels of depression and anxiety tend to vary their emotional control strategy successfully depending on whether the situation can be explained.
When the situation can be changed, it is better to let your emotions — whatever they may be — motivate that change, rather than trying to change the emotions.
When the situation can’t be changed, however, it is better to try and change the emotion.
2. 30 minutes in the park
People who spend just 30 minutes a week in a park have much better mental health than those who don’t.
Visiting parks weekly is also linked to lower blood pressure, the Australian research has found.
Dr Danielle Shanahan, the study’s first author, said:
“If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week there would be seven per cent fewer cases of depression and nine percent fewer cases of high blood pressure.
Even staring at trees is enough to reduce people’s stress level, research finds.
3. Take care of your gut
Nutrition is one of the most overlooked factors in depression.
The Mediterranean diet in particular provides the vitamins and minerals the body and brain need.
Also consider omega-3 supplements, which have been found to help with major depression.
Probiotics may stop sadness turning into depression by helping people let go of the past, a recent study finds.
The reason is probably that bacteria in the intestine can play an important role in anxiety and depression.
Probiotics may work to help stabilise the bacteria in the gut.
4. Music therapy
Music therapy can reduce depression in young people with behaviour problems, new research finds.
Music therapy also increased self-esteem compared to those who received the usual treatment without the therapy.
The conclusions come from the largest every study of its kind.
It involved 251 children, only half of whom were given music therapy.
5. Fight depression with herbs
The herb roseroot could be an effective alternative to antidepressants, a recent study finds.
Compared with a modern SSRI, roseroot has fewer side effects and similar antidepressant effects, finds a clinical trial.
The study tested oral R. rosea extract against sertraline, an SSRI antidepressant and compared these with a placebo.
The big difference was in the side effects.
63% reported side effects from the SSRI antidepressant versus 30% on the herbs for depression.
So, herbs for depression could be worth a try.
6. Boost antidepressant effectiveness
If you are taking antidepressants, then consider these 4 natural supplements found to boost antidepressant effectiveness and fight depression.
- Omega 3 fish oils,
- S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe),
- methylfolate (bioactive form of folate),
- and vitamin D.
Dr Jerome Sarris, the study’s first author, said it was another vote of confidence for omega-3:
“The strongest finding from our review was that Omega 3 fish oil – in combination with antidepressants – had a statistically significant effect over a placebo.
Many studies have shown Omega 3s are very good for general brain health and improving mood, but this is the first analysis of studies that looks at using them in combination with antidepressant medication.
7. Call on your support network
This could be the most important factor of all.
Having social support quadruples the chance of depression recovery, new research finds.
Emotionally supportive relationships are one of the keys to successful recovery from major depression.
The researchers found that 39% of people who experienced major depression made a complete recovery.
Two of the best ways to fight depression in the long term were by using exercise and turning to spirituality.
Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.
This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.