According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization, around 350 million people around the globe are depressed. ‘Beating the blues’ has become the biggest business in the world, with the pharmaceutical companies earning around $11 billion dollars a year from the sale of anti-depressants in the US alone. But did you know that despite 40 years’ of scientific research into Serotonin and other neurotransmitters, there’s still no hard evidence about what’s really causing depression? Despite all the hype by the drug companies, the theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is still completely unproven: there’s no blood test you can take to prove you have depression. So then, what’s really causing depression, and how can improve your mood? Read on. The God-based holistic approach to staying physically fit and emotionally balanced is based on tackling every health problem we have across the three levels of body, mind and soul. Depression, like every other negative emotion and mood we experience, is coming to teach us that something in our life, beliefs or attitude needs to be looked at, worked on, or changed in some way. That ‘something’ could be a spiritual wake-up call, a message to start treating ourselves nicer, or a sign that we need to start eating better. For example, if someone is getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and drinking their green smoothies, then they’ve got most of the ‘body’-related issues that can trigger depression covered. But if they don’t have a real reason to get out of bed in the morning (the spiritual dimension), or they’re hanging out with too many critical, negative folks (the emotional dimension), then they could still get down and depressed. The good news is that there’s a bunch of things you can do to boost your mood and kick depression into touch at every level of body, mind and soul.
Boost your mood tip 1: Get enough sleep Most people need to sleep between 6-8 hours a night. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body starts to produce stress hormones that can tip you over into feeling depressed. Sleep is also when your body performs its daily detox, getting rid of all the bits of dead cells and toxins that can otherwise leave you feeling slow, sluggish and fatigued.
Boost your mood tip 2: Cut back the junk, and eat right When you don’t eat right, your brain doesn’t get enough of the essential minerals and vitamins it needs to function properly, potentially leading to a whole bunch of mental disorders. In particular, low levels of Vitamin B have been linked to agitation, depression and fatigue. The body’s store of Vitamin B is depleted very time you eat white flour, white sugar, or pop a pill (even an anti-depressant…).
Boost your mood tip 3: Spend less time online – WiFi, i-Phones, FM radios, TVs – all these things give off electromagnetic vibes that can play havoc with your body’s hormones and neurochemicals and flip the body into the ‘stressed’ state that often triggers depression. The less time you spend surfing, the better you’ll feel physically.
Boost your mood tip 4: Check you’re not in the Homolateral Energy State When you’re fit and healthy, your energy ‘crosses over’ from one side of your body to the other. When your energy stops crossing over, (which often happens after a bout of illness, or some other major stress) it’s called being in a ‘homolateral state’. When someone is ‘homolateral’, it means they are operating at 50 percent of their usual efficiency. Homolateral energy can also drag people into depression, and is a key factor preventing people from getting properly well, or fully back up to speed, after a bout of illness. The good news is it’s very easy, and relatively fast to fix. There’s a simple exercise called the ‘Homolateral Crossover’ that takes about a minute to do, which can break the homolateral state within a maximum of 40 days.
Boost your mood tip 5: Get enough regular exercise – An experiment done by researchers at Duke University, North Carolina, showed that regular exercise, (30 minutes a pop, three times a week), was more effective than drugs for overcoming depression and staying out of it long-term.
Boost your mood tip 6: Turn up the music – If you’re not a big fan of shooting hoops or jogging, you can get your exercise hit just as easily as home. Line up your favorite upbeat tunes, turn it up as loud as the neighbors will let you, and dance your socks off.
Boost your mood tip 7: Minimize the time you spend with negative people – if you spend too much time with chronic liars, worriers, complainers, cynics or blamers, your joy juice will evaporate pretty fast. If you want to start feeling great about life again, stop spending so much time with people who bring you down and make you feel bad about yourself. It’s easier said than done, but if you hang out with happy, upbeat, positive people who excel in seeing the good in life, and in others, you’ll start to feel a whole lot better, more optimistic and content.
Boost your mood tip 8: Learn the art of saying ‘no’ – Nothing can ruin your mood faster than feeling like you always have to put other people’s needs and wants ahead of your own. If it’s genuinely going to make you feel great to help someone out – go for it! But if you’re frequently being manipulated, guilted or shamed into doing favors for others that you really don’t want to be doing, your joie de vivre is going to evaporate. Put the brakes on doing kindnesses that are killing you by recognizing your limitations; doing whatever you can happily manage; and then just say ‘no’ to any other requests that come your way. Your mental health and happiness come first.
Boost your mood tip 9: Have a reason to get out of bed in the morning – You could be a billionaire, a fat-cat professional, Twitter-famous, or have 50,000 Facebook friends – but if you don’t know why your life is meaningful or purposeful, or what you’re supposed to be doing down here on the planet, then you could still get really down and depressed. If someone would ask you: ‘What’s the meaning of life?’ what would you say? Figuring out an answer to that question is the single best way to steer clear of the blues.
Boost your mood tip 10: Talk to God regularly – way back at the beginning, we mentioned how people get depressed for a reason. The fastest way to figure out what’s triggering your depressions, and what changes you might need to make to get them to go away, is by regularly talking to God about all the stuff that’s going on in your life.
Depressions don’t just happen randomly-- they can be triggered by a whole bunch of different factors connected to your physical, emotional and spiritual health. That’s why the God-based holistic health approach to depression, which tackles the problem across all three levels of body, mind and soul, can give you the best chance of permanently beating the blues, and living the happy, meaningful and productive life God has planned for each and every one of us.