8 Drug-free ways to protect yourself from (and pull yourself out of) depression or a lousy mood:
By Dr. Susan Biali
1. Ask yourself (or a psychologist) about what's really behind your bad or sad mood
- There may not be anything wrong with you, there may simply be something wrong with your life. In my case, I needed to stop trying to be an Emergency Doctor and signed up for dance classes instead.
- Psychotherapy is just as effective as anti-depressants and is better at preventing relapse.
- Even just a few days of exercise a week have been shown to be as effective as anti-depressant medications.
- One study showed that just 20 minutes of exercise in the morning boosts your mood for an average of 12 hours.
- Junk foods, sugary foods can wreak havoc with your moods.
- A "Mediterranean Diet" rich in fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts, whole grains and olive oil has been shown to protect against depression
- Laughter decreases stress hormone levels and stimulates the brain's reward center like sex and chocolate : )
- Music can improve depression, boost moods, and even increase feelings of self-esteem
- Posture can have a profound effect on mood via several physiologic mechanisms
- People who are in a bad mood or depressed are more likely to drink in an attempt to self-medicate or escape their feelings.
- Unfortunately, drinking tends to ultimately worsen your mood and is associated with worse long term outcomes/prognosis for people with depression
- Some link increasing rates of depression in the last century to our being inside so much more + increased use of sunscreens (sunshine on the skin is necessary for Vitamin D production in the body which is associated with decreased levels of depression and improved mood).
- Vitamin D supplements may help in northern climates.
Dr. Susan Biali holds a Doctorate of Medicine and a Bachelor's of Science in Dietetics from the University of British Columbia. She has received countless academic and personal awards, most recently the Woman of Worth Award in Health & Wellness. She has appeared in national print media such as Self, Fitness, Hello!, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan and had a "Food for Thought" column for the past 8 years in The Medical Post, educating physicians and health professionals across Canada about nutrition.
Currently she blogs for PsychologyToday.com, is a "Health Maven" and "Top Health Blogger" for wellsphere.com and an expert for healthycanada.com. She is also a professional spokesperson, educating the public about nutrition and other elements of health.
Along with her medical advice and practice, Dr. Biali is a life and wellness coach and professional Flamenco dancer who dances on international stages. She has performed in some of the world's most prestigious resorts, for celebrities such as Sean Penn. She has also given private dance lessons to singer/songwriter Pink and actress Tamera Mowry. Flamenco dancing remains an integral part of Dr. Biali's life today.
Dr. Biali has appeared on numerous television, radio and internet media outlets in Canada and the United States including Fox News, Global TV, CTV, CityTV, MSNBC, MSN, AOL and The Good Life Network. Dr. Biali speaks five languages: she is fluent in English, Spanish, and German, and has a strong spoken and written understanding of French and Italian.
Dr. Biali recently released her first book, Live A Life You Love, 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You.
To learn more about Dr. Susan Biali, visit www.susanbiali.com
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