It’s normal to feel a little blue, or down in the dumps from time to time. Ups and downs are just a normal part of the human experience. But if you find yourself feeling down more often than not, it may be time to do something about it.
Experiencing mild depression or a long-lasting case of the blues can have a significant impact in your life. Besides decreasing your quality of life it can impact your ability to make good decisions, including how and what you eat, how you take care of yourself and it can even impact your perception of the positive things going on around you at any given time.
On a positive note there are a number of relatively simple things you can do to help improve your outlook on life.
Take A Rhodiola Rosea Supplement
As discussed on this site, studies have shown that taking a quality rhodiola rosea supplement may be able to help boost your mood and give you a boost of energy to boot. Read more in my article on Rhodiola and Depression.
Rhodiola rosea has also been studied for its ability to help with stress relief. Finding relief from stress is important because it can be a trigger or a fuel for bad moods. Finding an effective way to deal with stress can make a world of difference in your outlook on life.
Eat Food To Boost Your Mood
The foods you choose to eat can have both an emotional and physical impact on your state of mind. The act of taking good care of yourself can make you feel better about yourself and it can help promote self confidence. On the other hand giving in to cravings too often can help feed negative feelings and feelings of low self-esteem.
On the physical side eating too much fatty, fried, sugary or processed food may lead to body-wide or chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation is known to contribute to a number of health problems, but more evidence shows that it may also impact mood.
To help feed your body, mind and brain eat mostly whole foods and concentrate on vegetables, fruits and healthy fats like those found in nuts, olive oil and flax or chia seeds. Keep in mind you don’t want to overdo healthy fats either, but including some healthy fats in your diet is important for brain health.
Put A Little Spring In Your Step With Exercise
Getting regular exercise can be beneficial for your mood in a few different ways. For starters getting regular exercise is a great way to help counteract stress, which can contribute to mild depression. While a little stress can actually be beneficial, too much stress can cause increasing levels of damaging chemicals like cortisol, but it can also decrease levels of mood lifting chemicals like serotonin. Regular exercise can help minimize these side effects of stress.
Getting regular exercise can also help boost your confidence levels and improve your energy levels. It often has a domino effect; once you start seeing and feeling the positive effects of regular exercise you’ll start feeling even better about yourself.
And finally getting regular exercise can also help improve your sleep, which is important if you are battling the blues. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day at least 5 days a week.
Give Yourself The Gift Of Sleep
Sometimes when people feel down they sleep too much, but in other cases a lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can be a contributing factor for depression. If you are trying to improve your mood it is important to aim for around 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
A consistent lack of sleep can have a number of negative effects on your body. It can increase your risk of heart problems, diabetes, stroke or high blood pressure to name a few, but it can also impact your cognitive abilities and your mood.
To help improve your sleep trying going to bed and getting up around the same time every day. This helps your body get into a rhythm. Keep all things stressful out of your bedroom as much as possible. Try to wind down and relax about a half hour before going to bed so it is easier to fall asleep, and don’t eat a heavy meal before going to bed. If you feel you may have a sleep disorder seek professional help.
Focus On The Positive
When you are feeling down it is easy to think about all of the things in your life that aren’t going as well as you’d like, but focusing on the negative will only make your mood worse, and often these feelings get blown out of proportion. Instead focus on the positive. Think about the people and the things that you are thankful to have in your life. Consider keeping a daily list of things you are thankful for, and don’t forget the little things that may have happened throughout the day. Focusing on the positive can really help you achieve a more positive outlook.
Know When To Get Help
While it is important to take steps to help improve your state of mind, it is also important to know when to seek help. Depression is a serious condition that shouldn’t be ignored. If you have the following symptoms continually for two weeks or longer it may be time to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional.
- A loss of interest in things you typically enjoy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- A sudden change in weight (gain or loss)
Feeling a little down occasionally is normal just try not to let it consume you. If it does seek help. If you know you just have a case of the blahs try some of these tips. Not only can they help improve your outlook, but they are also good for your overall health. Try not to focus on the negative and instead try getting back to a happier place.