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5 Keys To Decreasing Depression

Living with depression can be very debilitating.  Common symptoms include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Poor Appetite or Overeating
  • Insomnia Hypersomnia
  • Low Energy or Fatigue
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Poor Concentration or Difficulty Making Decisions
  • Feelings of Hopelessness

By incorporating the following suggestions into your daily routine, you will not only start investing in your emotional and physical well-being, but also begin to empower and re-energize yourself so you can live the life you desire.  The following are 5 simple techniques that if practiced consistently on a daily basis can both improve your mood and decrease the intensity of depressive symptoms.

1.  Daily Meditation– Meditating just 5-15 minutes daily has been found to have significant health benefits and is an effective method to manage anxiety, decrease stress, improve mood, regulate hormones, and stabilize blood pressure just to name a few.  Mindfulness meditation specifically is a practice where you learn to be presently aware non-judgmentally by creating distance from your thoughts and feelings so you can have a more objective way of looking at yourself, the world or a situation.

2. Getting Adequate Sleep– Giving your body the rest and relaxation it needs after a long day of activity is vital to your emotional, physical and mental well-being.  Typically adequate sleep consists of 8 hours of optimal sleep efficiency.  Optimal sleep efficiency is when it takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes to fall asleep, sleeping throughout the night uninterrupted for 8 hours and waking up at your desired wake up time.

3. Eating Regularly From All Basic Food Groups- Regular eating is about getting adequate nutrition in your diet.  Eating proteins, carbohydrates high in fiber, a variety of fruits and veggies, eating vegetables that cover all the colors of the rainbow and eating nutritious nuts.  In addition, drinking enough water, taking a multivitamin and regular intake of fish oil high in omega-3 is recommended.

If maintaining adequate blood sugar and energy levels is necessary, it is recommended to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.  For example, eating a substantial breakfast, then a snack of yogurt or nuts, a balanced lunch, then a fruit or veggie snack, dinner and then a light snack of hummus and carrots 1-2 hours before bedtime.

4. Exercising-  Getting 40 minutes of exercise at a moderate intensity 3-5 x per week has many psychological and emotional benefits.  Common mood-boosting chemicals include: endorphins and serotonin levels.  Exercise has also been know to improve self-esteem, enhanced mood, improve memory and mental functioning, and decreased stress levels.

5. Learning Cognitive Behavioral Skills or Dialectical Behavioral Skills– By being proactive and regularly learning and practicing CBT or DBT skills you will learn new and effective ways of managing your fluctuating moods.  These skills include: mindfulness skills, thought regulation skills, emotion regulation skills, distress tolerance skills and interpersonal effectiveness skills.

For more information on how to develop these skills and learn how to incorporate them into your life on a regular basis, contact True Potential Counseling for more information today.  By taking steps to improving your mood today you will begin laying the foundation for a healthy future.


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