My Seven Steps to Have a Happier Day

My friend is currently down a deep dark hole called depression and I risk her wrath by making this public, because she is in the stage of feeling at a complete loss as to how to dig her way out.

She’s frustrated and I can relate, because everyone who knows and loves her would dearly love to be able to wave the magic wand and be able to take her black mood away. However the hardest thing about depression is you can only change yourself. Nobody can do it for you, or to you.

Only you hold the key to your own happiness.

I have been searching the web and have found some cheap ways that may help anyone get through the day and hopefully bring a smile to a face or two.

To my friend who is most likely glaring angrily out at me from her pit of despair. Please try these things before making any excuses (or as you call them, reasons) as to why it is completely impossible to do any of the following. This comes from a place of love. You matter enough to me to do this. 

 

#1 Get up out of bed. Nothing can change for the better from bed. It is the first decision we all have to make each day, and it’s especially difficult for people with depression. If you do it early enough in the morning to watch the sun rise you’ll be getting your first burst of natural light for the day, this will help with setting your body clock over time.

One of the largest studies on the use of light to treat clinical depression was published in 1992 in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Kripke administered light treatment to 25 depressed hospitalised patients at a VA hospital.

Patients who were exposed to natural white light were significantly less depressed than those in artificial light.”

 

#2 Take a walk, get some fresh air. You need to let your brain have some time in standby mode, and walking through the world just observing what is going on around you can help with this.

~In Europe, doctors prescribe exercise for their depression patients. I think the best is a combination of exercise and getting out in nature … along with giving your body and mind enough time of mindless walking to let the true feelings and thoughts rise to the surface. You will also see that nature has cycles, too — there are times of joy and times of hibernation. Allow your body and soul to sync with nature and you’ll automatically feel a bit better. ~

 

#3 Get a little sunshine. Vitamin D from the sun (rather than from pills) can help your body function better.

 

#4 Gardening (again with the outdoor activity) but even a cheap pot with some potting mix in it can work. Occasionally vegetable seeds can be bought quite cheaply or cultivated from produce you buy at the shops. Try things that can give you high levels of vitamin C like capsicum and tomatoes. Buying fresh veggies can be quite expensive so growing your own can be a way to save some money and feel accomplished at the same time.

As quoted by Julie Myerson

Gardening has shaken me up and slowed me down. It’s the only activity I can still do when I’m worried or angry or sad. Tending a garden is a meditative, humbling experience: you can’t force anything, you just have to wait. And yet every time you put something in the ground, it feels like a pronouncement of faith in the future – or at least in the next few months.”

#5 Eating better can help your body chemistry become more stable. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods as much as possible. Lentils and beans can be a cost effective replacement for meat, while helping you with iron levels. Grow your own food to gain the maximum nutrients from fruits and veggies.

 

#6 Laugh. It costs nothing, and makes you feel better.

 

#7 Help someone in need. Quite often depression can cause us to lose perspective and become quite self centred. We may be too busy mentally berating ourselves over personal failures to notice someone else in need. Observe others, and remember, even helping with small things can make both you and the person you’ve helped feel better.

Sources

http://www.viva-lite.us/blog/health-happiness-and-sunlight-closely-linked/

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/11-ways-to-beat-depression-naturally

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/mar/26/gardening-secret-of-happiness-julie-myerson

 

In the immortal words of that large corporation

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