While not every habit may be helpful for you in fighting back your depression, I’ve found that if I do the following 5 things daily, I can generally keep my downs from spiraling out of control:
Exercise produces natural endorphins, which help put us in a good mood. There is a lot of research that shows that exercise improves mood. Your ability to learn also improves immediately following exercise. John Ratey has done fascinating research on children and exercise, so if you don’t know much about it read his work.
4. Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration is often overlooked, but our body is made up of 95 percent water. When it does not have enough we often feel lethargic, grumpy, and get headaches. We also tend to mistake hunger for thirst, so before getting that bag of chips out drink a glass or two of water. Soda, lemonade or flavored drinks do not count as water.
3. Meditation or prayer.
Most people think of prayer as religious, but it does not have to be. If you hold on to all of your problems, it can easily get overwhelming and trigger hopelessness that spirals out of control. So take some time to let things go, think good thoughts about others, and bring your mind to a peaceful place.
2. Giving thanks.
Three thank-yous a day. Every day. Every single person in this world has something to be thankful about every day, no matter how dire their situation. When we focus on the positive, it helps bring more positive into our life. Even when times are bad, it is important to remember the good.
1. Eating fruits and vegetables.
What we eat nourishes our body, including our brain. If we eat well our brain feels it, just as it does when we drink a lot of coffee and consume a lot of sugar. There are so many farmers’ markets now, and people selling locally-grown food through co-ops, that getting fresh fruit and veggies should not be hard to do.
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