Sunday, 4 August 2013



Your body is the first to signal that you're depressed. 10 smart ways to get over the sullenness

Studies suggest more than 65 per cent of women suffering from depression don't actually feel all that miserable. Instead, they show physical signs including experiencing strange niggles, drowsiness post noon and excessive eating. According to the University of Washington researchers, struggling with two or more of these symptoms is your body's way of signalling that you are depressed. So, in order to combat depression before it takes you down, follow these simple tips to a happier you:

Get your Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as vitamin sunshine, helps your brain produce antidepressant hormones like serotonin and oxytocin, boosting your mood by at least 30 per cent. According to researchers at the University of Texas, mornings are the best time to absorb nutrients — soaking in your quota of vitamin D in the AM hours can cut your risk of depression by half. In fact, studies show, it improves people's outlook for five hours straight.

Be less tidy
Lowering your cleanliness standards allows you to spend more time relaxing and unwinding. This helps down your production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that sabotages brain function and saps your ability to produce antidepressant hormones. Being less tidy, on the other hand, can make your serotonin production creep up in as little as one week. So, the next time your mum is after you to clean up the room, you have an excuse.

Tweak the lighting
There's a direct nerve connection between your eyes and the biological clock that you're used to. Keep your home and workplace cheery and bright during the day by using high wattage light bulbs and opening the curtains. Dim the lights and switch off your computer and other light emitting electronics one hour before bedtime.

Dance to happiness
Dancing is a combination of exercise and rhythmic motions. This kind of activity prompts your brain to produce a larger, steadier supply of mood-steadying hormones. For best results, dance for 30 minutes, four times a week. In a recent Swedish study, it only took nine weeks of dancing to cut subjects' depression scores by 67 per cent — an improvement that's tough to match even with antidepressant meds.

Sing along too
And while learning steps, learn to croon to the numbers. Singing kickstarts your brain's production of calming, mood-boosting alpha brain waves. Women who include music into their daily lives — by spending 10 to 15 minutes singing along to their favourite songs — recover up to 55 per cent faster from the blues, plus they cut their risk of relapses by half.

Eat avocados
Research shows, eating half an avocado (available at Pali Market in Bandra and Crawford Market) daily cuts your risk of depression and its symptoms by 25 per cent. This is because they are loaded with monounsaturated fats — nutrients that prod your brain to make the blues-busting hormone dopamine.


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