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Foods to Stop Depression
Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depression, is a psychiatric condition that affects moods, thoughts and behavior. Common symptoms include elongated bouts of sadness or lack of purpose, physical aches, sleep difficulties and uncontrollable crying. Several treatment options are available, such as counseling or medication. Eating certain foods may also help prevent or reduce symptoms of depression.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide the body with an array of beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, a nutritious, fiber-rich diet based on foods such as fruits and vegetables might substantially reduce the risk for depression. To improve depressive symptoms, incorporate a variety of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Fruits and vegetables deepest in color tend to offer the most nutritional value, so consume berries, citrus fruits, bananas, melon, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and colorful peppers in particular. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories yet high in nutrients and fiber, thus can help in weight management and reduce risk for other diseases, such as heart disease.
Vitamin B-rich Foods
B vitamins, also known as B complex vitamins, are a group of water soluble vitamins present in some foods and added to others that aid in the breakdown of food during digestion. According to natural health expert, Dr. Andrew Weil, B vitamins, B6 and folic acid in particular, contribute to mood balance and can help treat depression. Vitamin B6 is found in foods such as fortified cereals, potatoes, bananas, garbanzo beans, chicken breast, pork, roast beef, trout, sunflower seed, peanut butter and spinach. Folate, or folic acid, can be found in fortified cereals, beef liver, spinach, northern beans, asparagus, rice, spinach, broccoli and peas. Consume a variety of vitamin B-rich foods regularly for best potential results.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy, essential fats the body can’t produce on its own. Weil suggests omega-3 fats as a means of creating a healthy state of mind and improve both physical and emotional wellness for those with depression. Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines. Additional valuable sources include ground flax seed, flax seed oil, walnuts, walnut oil and canola oil. Since fat aids in nutrient absorption, consuming modest amounts of omega-3s in addition to meals that include nutritious foods such as fruit, grains and vegetables, can further enhance nutritional wellness. The American Heart Association recommends consuming 3-oz. of fish at least twice per week for optimum health.
Increasing Self-Esteem and Happiness: 8 Steps to a Fulfilled Life
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha
A few nights ago I did a search on Google Ad Words to compare the words “self-esteem” and “happy.” I discovered that over 55 million people search for the word “happy” every month, whereas just 800,000+ people search for “self-esteem.”
Okay, I get it; we just want to be happy. But in order to be happy we need the foundation first, and the key ingredient is a healthy self-esteem. Once we increase our self-esteem, happiness comes with it.
Creating a healthy sense of self-esteem might mean tons of work for some of us. It all starts with disciplining our thoughts.
When I was in my twenties I was as far away from understanding this as you can imagine being. I used to think I was the ugliest person on the planet. I went through two terrible depressions, and I even contemplated suicide.
All of this happened because I lacked gratitude for being alive, and I struggled with self-acceptance, discipline, and forgiveness. I had trouble forgiving myself because I would be too tough on myself whenever I made a mistake, and I had trouble forgiving others because I used to take things too personally, when in reality what other people say is a reflection of them, not me.
Growing up I didn’t develop confidence in my ability to create change. I was “allowing things to happen to me” instead of “making things happen for me.”
The last time I was depressed was 12 years ago. I could have died after taking a whole box of sleeping pills. After that I finally realized how ungrateful and selfish I had been by only focusing on myself.
I decided to take 100% responsibility for my life because the idea of dying was scarier than the idea of living. If I was going to live, I decided I will do it in the best possible way.
And I did. In the process I laid a strong foundation for high self-esteem and ultimately became much happier.
Now, I love my life, I’m extremely grateful, and I continually learn how to keep improving as a human being while also teaching what I learn.
Being the woman I am today doesn’t mean I never get sad, or that I never have problems.
Being happy with who you have become, being grateful for the opportunity to live and for all you’ve experienced so far, being open to teaching and helping others helps you to deal better with challenges that life puts into your journey.
Life is a cycle: sometimes everything is great and sometimes everything falls apart in a matter of seconds. But we can choose to see each experience as something that will help us grow and become wiser.
My conclusion after years of self-growth work is that a high self-esteem equals a high level of happiness, which leads to a fulfilled life. The keys?
1. Understand why you need to change your thoughts and habits.
It takes discipline to direct your thoughts to love, to increase your good habits, and to look after your body and soul every day.
One way to increase your discipline is to write down the “why’s.” Ask yourself, why it is important to improve the quality of your thoughts?
How would you feel having more loving thoughts? How would you feel if most of your thoughts were self-hating? Can this be a compelling reason? How would your life change if you treated your mind as sacred? How would life be if you treated it with respect?
I used to have very low self-discipline, but step by step I kept improving it because I found compelling reasons to do so. Find your “why’s” and start with the first step. Today.
2. Enlist support.
Ask your family and friends for support, join a community, or seek professional help as you work toward increasing your self-esteem. Alone we won’t get anywhere.
3. Use affirmations and mantras.
Choose a mantra that will guide you through this process and repeat it three times a day (thirty times each time). One of my favorite mantras is “Every day I am better in every area of my life.”
4. Filter your inner circle.
We can’t always avoid negative people; they are everywhere. But you can choose to surround yourself with people who support you and encourage you to be a better human being, while you also do the same for them; and you can create some distance in relationships where this isn’t the case.
Trust that by creating some distance, you will make space for more healthy relationships. Give yourself the opportunity to be surrounded by great souls. You won’t be alone, I promise.
5. Practice gratitude for yourself.
Every day is a new life. It’s not that hard to be grateful when everything is okay. The tough part comes when you need to continue being grateful during hard times.
When I’m feeling down I thank my body for being able to breathe, I thank my eyes for being able to see, I thank my hands for being able to create, and I thank my values for leading me toward positive experiences.
Write down everything you are grateful for and read it every morning or any time you’re feeling low.
By practicing gratitude for parts of yourself you may otherwise not think to acknowledge, you will value more who you are, and this will help you to create a higher sense of self-love.
6. Be present.
By learning to not worry so much about the past and the future, you can start focusing on the moment, seeing each day as a new opportunity to do your best.
By being in the present you will have more confidence because you’ll know that whatever negative experience you had in the past does not have to repeat itself. You will feel empowered to create a compelling future regardless of what’s happened before, which will strengthen your sense of self-worth.
7. Help others.
When you’re feeling helpless, go out and help someone else. Perhaps you can join a non-profit to volunteer your skills.
This will allow you to see other realities, which will help you appreciate how fortunate you really are. It will also make you more confident because you will feel you can add great value to others in need.
8. Trust in something bigger than yourself.
We are not alone; we are all connected. Whenever I find myself trusting only my own strengths, I get insecure. But if I have done all that I could in a particular situation and then I also trust that the universe is supporting me, insecurities go away and miracles happen.
Get out there, do the best you can, and allow the universe to give you a hand.
I’d love to know what your challenges with self-esteem and happiness are! Will you take these important steps? What else would you add to this list?
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that
there was within me an invincible summer ” Albert Camus
If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person. – Mister (Fred) Rogers
When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time. – Author Unknown
Lots of people experience depression, while others just have bad days or just are feeling down on themselves. No matter why they’re depressed, sad, or unmotivated to do much of anything, one thing is certain — it’s a tough feeling to experience. Depression is isolating — like you’re all alone in it, and that it will never end.
As a friend or partner of someone who’s experiencing that depression or feeling blue, what can you do to help? After all, there’s a lot of advice telling you what not to say to a depressed person and things that most people don’t want to hear when they’re feeling down.
We crowd-sourced the following list by querying our Facebook friends about what they’d like to hear when they’re feeling down, blue, or depressed. Here are a few of their very, very good suggestions.
1. You’re right, this sucks.
The generalization is that men are problem solvers, and women are listeners. People who are depressed don’t want problem solvers — they’ve usually run through all the scenarios and solutions in their head already. They just can’t do it.
What they’re looking for instead is simple acknowledgement and empathy.
2. You don’t walk this path alone. I’m here if you need me.
When a person is depressed, one of the feelings many people experience is an overwhelming sense of loneliness — that no one can understand what they’re going through. They are all alone.
A reminder from a friend or loved one that, indeed, they’re not alone and they are loved can be invaluable. It also reminds them of the reality — that people in their life do love them and are there for them if they need them.
3. I believe in you… You’re awesome!
Sometimes a person has given up hope that they’ll amount to anything in life. They’ve lost all belief in themselves, and feel like nothing they do is right or good enough. Their self-esteem is, in a word, shot.
That’s why it can be helpful to reaffirm that you believe in them. You believe in their ability to once again experience hope, to be the person you once were — or even more. That they are still an awesome person, if even if they’re not feeling that way at the moment.
4. How can I help? What can I do for you?
One part of the way many people experience depression is that they have little motivation to do things that need to get done. Offer your support and direct assistance in getting something done for them. It might be picking up a prescription, a few groceries from the store, or simply getting the mail. Offer this help only if you’re willing to do what is asked of you.
5. I’m here if you want to talk (walk, go shopping, get a bit to eat, etc.).
This is more of a direct suggestion, choosing something that you know the friend or loved one is going to be interested in doing. Maybe they just want to talk (and need you to simply listen). Maybe they need a nudge to get up, get changed, and go out and just do something — anything. You can be that person to help them get moving.
6. I know it’s hard to see this right now, but it’s only temporary… Things will change. You won’t feel this way forever. Look to that day.
When a person’s depressed, sometimes they lose all perspective. Depression can feel like an endless black hole in which there’s no way to climb out of. Saying something along these lines reminds them that all of our emotions and moods are not permanent, even if they feel like they are.
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