Emotional Wellbeing

Life

Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

4 Ways to Fight Depression by Treating Your Body Well

When people hear the term depression, they automatically assume that it’s the same as being sad. While sadness is definitely a huge part of being depressed, the condition is so much more complex than that. Clinical depression is a combination of multiple symptoms that include melancholy, misery, loss of interest, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, lethargy, brain fog, headaches, stomach cramps, indigestion, chest pain and back pain, among others.

As can be seen, the symptoms of depression are not limited to affecting the mind alone, but it adversely affects the body as well. That is not surprising at all, given that clinical depression is not just a behavioral disorder, but an actual medical health problem arising from a lack of sufficient serotonin production. Sometimes, even completely physical ailments such as cancers, hyperthyroidism, adrenal dysfunctions, metal toxicity, etc. can also lead to depression. Therefore, any treatment or self-care routine needs to approach the treatment on both psychological and medical front. On that note, we will now discuss four ways to fight depression on your own, by treating your body well.

Exercise

Everyone who has even mildly researched about depression on the internet, or attended even one session from a trained therapist already knows that exercise acts as an antidepressant, but how exactly does it affect the body and mind adequately enough to relieve depression? The most important and specific effect that exercise has on depression is the release of endorphins. Just the simple act of walking 30-minutes a day is sufficient to reduce depression significantly through the release of endorphins, or what are more casually known as “happy hormones.”

On being released, endorphins automatically lift our mood and relieve signs of depression. Secondly, when we exercise, it temporarily detaches our minds from the negative perceptions and facts of our lives, which also releases the subconscious pressure on our minds. Cardiovascular exercise is found to be the most effective as it gets the blood moving, which helps in getting the lethargy out of our systems.

Taking Care of Your Appearance

A good number of people believe that one’s appearance has little to do with how we feel, but it just isn’t true for most of us. We live in a society and, therefore, how people perceive and behave with us will affect our moods, and that’s an inevitable fact. Furthermore, self-perception is more important than anything else, although, social perceptions also play a big role in the formation of that self-image.

Exercise plays a huge role in improving our appearance, but it shouldn’t be the only step. Sometimes, something as seemingly trivial as stretch marks or scars left from pimples on the face can also trigger depression and subsequent social aloofness. Apply a high-quality Aloe Vera gel to reduce the appearance of disparaging marks, dry skin, and sunburn, and helps you to feel more confident in the process. Go to

the parlor or the spa to pamper yourself, get a new haircut, stir up your fashion by changing items in your wardrobe.

It’s not as much about the results, as it is about the acts themselves. A lot of people find that when they make significant changes in their appearance, they actually feel like a new person as most of the symptoms of depression disappear soon after. However, it is important to be regular with this to see consistent results. This means you shouldn’t give up on that Aloe Vera gel or the exercise routine after a few days because the results will come eventually and that will further boost your health, appearance, and mood simultaneously. Psychologists even suggest getting surgical procedures done in extreme cases where a particular cosmetic problem might be affecting the patient’s mood at a grass root level.

Eating Well

The term “eating well” means different things to different people, depending on what their goals are. As we are talking about treating depression by treating the body well, the diet is of paramount importance. Don’t go on a full-on no-carb diet though, because that would actually spike your depression! The goal here is to balance what you want to eat with what you should eat. Take the following few tips into account for creating a healthy diet that will act as an antidepressant as well.

* Drastically reduce or eliminate excess alcohol and sugar from your diet, but do give in every once in a while

* Fat is not always bad for you, especially omega 3 and unsaturated fats

* Processed food is always a bad idea

* Eat a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, nuts, and fruits * Reduce meat consumption as it has been medically proven to be associated with depression

Aside from these specific tips, a general idea that often helps people overcome depression and socialize again involves going out to eat with friends and family.

Sleep More

Everybody would enjoy a few extra hours of sleep every day if they could, but unfortunately, we live in a time when 7-8 hours of daily sleep is considered to be a luxury, in spite of that being the recommended sleeping duration for adults. Inadequate sleep itself is a very common cause for depression, so whether that is the original cause for your depression or not, a lack of sleep will make things much worse. Treat yourself to just one week of sleeping eight-hours at night and you will see remarkable changes in your mood, energy levels and health in general. However, there’s a flip side to it as well; if someone sleeps for more than nine hours every day for a long time, depression will start to intensify again, alongside a bunch of other physical side effects such as joint pain, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

While these are effective ways to counter depression by looking after your physical appearance and health, they alone may not be enough, unless supported by regular therapy and medication, if and as prescribed by a psychiatrist. Nevertheless, even on their own, these steps will definitely help those suffering from depression to relieve a good number of their symptoms, and that is no small feat.

Mandy X