Do you ever feel anxious or depressed? If so, how do you help yourself feel better? If you’re like I once was, you may eat to feel better. I used to douse my troubles in food. Some people use alcohol or drugs to change their mood, others disappear into sex, work, isolation, or “vegging-out” on the couch watching TV. Alas, all of these “home remedies” are only temporary, and have many side effects (like obesity, substance dependence, lethargy, and worse — long term health problems).
Let me suggest some positive, helpful remedies to try instead. These stimulate the brain to make endorphins (which cause us to feel exuberant or happy), but with no side effects. Move. Walk around the block as quickly as you can. Dance. Breathe deeply as you do it. This is the best therapy for anxiety and depression that I know of. Laugh. Watch a comedy, or listen to a stand-up comedian’s tapes. Or go to a comedy club for a fun evening. Talk. Share your feelings with someone you love and respect. Tell them your innermost secrets. Let them give you some words of encouragement. Feel their attention, care, and affection for you. (Then give it back to them when they need it.)