The weather might be picking up a little bit but we’ve still got a long wait until summer gets here, it’s going to be a while before the daylight hours stretch out into the evening and the sun is up before us in the morning. With the excitement of the holidays over it can seem like a lacklustre time of year and it’s easy to start feeling down or just a bit low but there’s plenty of simple and easy changes you can make to your life to pull that mood back around and rediscover that spring in your step.
Regulate Sleep Patterns
Sleep patterns can be a good indication of your mental state, too much sleep or not enough sleep or even erratic sleep patterns can be one of the major signs of depression. It’s natural for our brain to want a little more sleep in the autumn when the days start getting shorter but by the New Year our body has adjusted and you should be getting seven to eight hours sleep every night. If you’re finding it hard to drift off at night try writing down the things that are on your mind and doing a relaxing activity like reading or a word search to help your brain wind down. Try not to spend too much time lying in bed at the weekends, if you can make sure you’re going to bed and waking up at the same time every day to help your mind and your body get into a routine.
We all know the health benefits of regular exercise, it’s good for the heart and it helps with weight management. It’s also very good for people with any type of depression. When we exercise our brains release serotonin and endorphins which create a natural high. This high can also be found by eating too much sugar too quickly but the buzz you get from exercise will last longer and won’t have the sharp come down you experience from a sugar low. If you are feeling down this time of year try getting at least a few hours of regular exercise every week, whether it’s getting off the bus a couple of stops early and walking a bit more or getting down the swimming baths one evening a week and your overall mood will soon start to improve as well as your overall health.
Healthy eating goes hand in hand with regular exercise, we know we’re meant to eat healthy and we know the difference between food that’s good for us and food that isn’t. Junk food, ready meals and anything that’s process and full of additives and E numbers can leave us feeling lethargic and sluggish. You’re also going to get a sugar crash if you eat too much junk food so try swapping any snack foods for healthier alternatives and make as many of your meals as possible from scratch so you know what’s going into them. If time can be an issue or your simple don’t feel like preparing a meal when you come home at night try cooking at the weekend and storing your dinner for the week in the freezer or investing in a slow cooker so everything cooks while you’re out each day.
The science behind SAD suggests it’s the lack of light that brings our mood down. There’s very little natural light this time of year and for those of us that spend most our day in an artificially lit office we don’t see much day light at all. Research indicates that being exposed to short bursts of intense light can improve our mood. Unfortunately standing under the florescent lights in the office don’t have quite the same effect but you can buy a light box that emits almost three times the intensity of natural light on a dull day, obviously you wouldn’t look right into the light but facing it with your eyes closed two to three times a day will increase your overall mood and well being.
It’s often the thought of monotony that gets us down this time of year, everything we were looking forward to has passed and we’ve got a few months until the weather really starts to pick up. If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut find a new hobby or activity, take an evening course, learn a new language, start going to a workout class, find something that appeals to you and make that change. Before long this new hobby will come with its own goals and points to look forward to and this will be enough to outweigh any lacklustre feelings you have related to the time of year.
To help bring a healthy attitude into your home JTX Fitness have a selection of great value home gym equipment including cross trainers, vibration plates and cheap motorised treadmills
Millions of people live with extreme anxiety for years before seeking medical treatment. Others are taken to doctors at very young ages because their parents believe they are depressed and potentially dangerous to their own health. They then spend most of their lives taking prescription medications that alter their personalities. Not only are adults now taking these strong medications, but they are being prescribed to young children as well.
This is a tragedy, considering you can actually fight anxiety and depression with dietary choices. If that sounds too good to be true, let me introduce you to just a few of the foods that have been proven to relieve symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. There are many other foods where these came from!
Citrus fruits have been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol inside the body. Since cortisol is released as a response to stress, those with anxiety tend to have more of it patrolling their bodies. Citrus fruits can reduce these levels, reducing the tension of anxiety.
Besides eating fresh citrus fruits, you can drink pure fruit juices that contain citrus fruits. You may also make smoothies with an orange or grapefruit juice base. Citrus fruit juicing machines (manual and electric) can be found rather cheap on the market today. They allow you to make fresh juice without the preservatives you get with store-bought juices.
Dark Green Vegetables
Next time you make a salad, skip the iceberg lettuce. Instead, go for a nice bed of baby spinach and other deep green colored leaves. Next time you select a side for your grilled chicken, reach for asparagus or broccoli. Vegetables that are dark green in color are packed with B vitamins that have shown to bring up energy levels while bringing down depression.
Remember, avocados are nice and green so you can throw in some guacamole as a green vegetable that is also a source of healthy fat.
All of the dark green vegetables are beneficial to your overall health, but they may be even more important to those suffering from depression. B1 has proven to increase energy and control mood swings. B3 has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, much like citrus fruits. B6 is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Those with anxiety may benefit from a diet rich in dark green vegetables as well, since they can reduce cortisol levels.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a bit of a wonder. The human body (especially the brain) depends on them for proper functioning. Yet, the human body is not capable of producing these healthy fats on its own. One of the amazing benefits of consuming high concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids is better mental functioning. Some studies are showing a connection between depression relief and the amount of these healthy fats found inside the body.
You can get small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids through healthy plant foods, but the higher concentrations needed for maximum health benefits are found in fatty fishes like salmon. You just have to be very aware of high metal content in some bodies of water where these fatty fish are found. Stick with high quality supplements made with fish from safe waterways.
There is no guarantee that any of these foods will completely relieve your depression or chase away your anxiety. Yet, they happen to be among the healthiest foods for weight loss, muscle building, and fat burning. What do you have to lose?
Please visit The Personal Development Company To Learn More About Food Matters by Permacology Productions
One of the most effective ways of treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children is by adhering to a diet for hyperactive children. According to specialists, this diet is the second line of treatment for ADHD next to medicine. Healthy nutrition for hyperactive kids can improve concentration and focus and eliminate behavioral problems without having to resort to the use of drugs.
It is necessary for parents to pay attention to the food their kids are eating both at home and at school. Children who suffer from ADHD are easily affected by the type of food they consume. Most of the symptoms of this condition are related directly to the food and beverages consumed by kids. Food allergies are known to upset ADHD children and cause hyperactivity. As such, a menu for hyperactive children must be developed to effectively counteract the symptoms of such conditions.
There has always been a connection between diet and hyperactivity. Sugary treats are especially cited for triggering ADHD among children. Such foods not only trigger hyperactivity, they also make symptoms more difficult to manage. Unfortunately, some parents are ill advised on the most suitable diet for their children with ADHD. Some are completely unaware that a meal plan for hyperactive children is necessary to manage the condition.
Lack of a suitable diet coupled with poor parenting skills for ADHD children can worsen the problem. Nutritionists have established special diets for ADHD children. Serving recommended portions of the particular food can lessen the hospital visits and eliminate the need for medication.
The best choice of food for hyperactive children may entail the following:
The use of organic products that excludes foodstuff grown with the application of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Organic foodstuff is wholesome and does not contain chemical compounds which may cause allergic reactions in the child suffering from ADHD.
The child must take sufficient beverages especially water. The brain is composed of almost 90 percent water and it is crucial to replenish the body whenever possible.
The diet should also include raw fruits and vegetables.
The diet must be composed mostly of home cooked meals. Experiment with different recipes so that they do not get bored with the same dishes.
Hyperactive kids with low appetite and poor eating habits should be given multivitamins and protein supplements.
A diet for hyperactive children must include foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. This includes flax seed, fish and fish oils that are beneficial for the growth and development of the brain tissue and nerves.
There are some natural or herbal supplements that have been found to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD.
Suitable meals for hyperactive kids must avoid processed foods, snacks and sugary treats and dairy products. Basically, any food that has extra sugar and calories must be avoided at all costs. ADHD symptoms are closely related to intake of such foods. Children must be egged on and praised for eating healthy foods. The best way to do this is by adopting healthy foods for the whole family. Kids can find it challenging to avoid some types of food, but with support and encouragement from the rest of the family, they will enjoy eating healthy and get better with time.
About the Author: Haliyma Barrow has worked as a staff writer for a student newspaper at Indiana University of Pennsylvania starting from 2004. Beyond campus setting, Haliyma has contributed articles on various child health issues such as chronic coughs and toddler constipation.
Under the bravado and macho exterior of our male population lies a hidden truth, that men too fall prey to bouts of depression. This mental health problem affects an average of 1 in every 7 American men, yet this problem has remained to be unrecognized and unaccepted in the realm of male machismo. But with the revelations in light of Heath Ledger’s death, Owen Wilson’s attempted suicide, along with a long list of depressed celebrities, depression has become an open problem and a source of great concern.
Depression in fact affects both men and women at any given age, though how they respond and manifest this disorder may differ as men often exhibit the physical symptoms of depression while women delve on the emotional aspects. Recent depression news revealed that 40% of middle aged men are suffering from depression, significantly higher than women who are pegged at only 25%. Depression in men is also harder to recognize as men are not prone to be expressive of their emotions and as such it is essential that we learn to diagnose these depression symptoms to help the men that we love recognize and seek immediate help to counter this disorder.
Depression in men, especially when left undetected, can lead to a string of other social and health problems ranging from loss of work, to divorce, as well as cardiovascular problems and suicide. As a matter of fact, 80% of all recorded suicides are men and most likely caused by undiagnosed depression.
Identifying Male Depression
Men and women exhibits depression in a highly different manner, while men resort to acting out their moods, women turns to verbal outbursts. According to the latest research, the most common signs of depression in our Adam population includes increased anger and irritability, reduced ego, constant blaming of others, paranoia, restlessness, compulsive behaviors, insomnia, feelings of self disgust, becomes overly conscious and controlling, turns to alcohol and substance abuse for temporary relief and violent behavior.
As men are more likely to deny that they have a severe mental condition, it can prove to be much more difficult and complex to diagnose and treat, experts say that it take 3 health professionals to cure 1 depressed man. Medical experts also agree that men do not respond well to traditional anti depressants and medication of which may even lead to more serious depression issues. Most experts suggests regular exercise, healthy diet and a strong social support system to help ease the treatment and recovery process for depressed men.
You may be wondering how you can turn your life around. If only I had a secret bullet, you say, where I could simultaneously deal with the several areas I’d like to improve; my health, my productivity at work, and my personal creativity could all use a boost, and the general feel of lag that comes around the holiday season isn’t helping.
Deep down, your probably recognize that your seeming inability to achieve the goals you want stems from some more vital source than just being too busy to work out or not having the time to finish that book of short stories. Self-doubt and a general lack of self-confidence is likely attacking your motivation and keeping you from believing that you can get what you want, on a fundamental level. Let me show you how nurturing your self-confidence can manifest itself throughout your entire life.
• Exercise and Health: Remember how good it feels to have worked out for an extended period of time? That increased muscle tone and the satisfaction of taking care of yourself made you want to keep going to the gym, to push those results even further. Making positive choices inspired you to make even more, to keep that positivity flowing.
• Happiness: One source of happiness is emotional stability. Being confident in your life choices and the general direction of your life will let you enjoy your partner and your social life on a much deeper level. Instead of constantly comparing yourself to others and worrying about being “good enough” you’ll find yourself enjoying your friends’ accomplishments as much as your own. You won’t have to worry as much about emotional instability, sudden mood swings, and a lack of control over your internal state.
• Creativity: Having self-confidence in your own abilities will help you fully explore and hone your skills with a higher level of self-control. Refusing to be overly harsh when judging your own work will free you up to be more productive and to develop your skills. Self-doubt slows down the creative process like molasses, and keeps you from making interesting breakthroughs. Self-confidence will inspire you to trust your work; this trust will give you the drive to keep coming back and making it better.
Cultivating Self Confidence
You can see the benefits that can happen from really gaining a sense of self-confidence in your life. Getting to that state isn’t always easy, however. Here are some posts to get you started.
Does Raising Self-Esteem Improve Your Quality of Life?
How to Gain Confidence and Take a Fearless Step
Joy Paley is a science and technology writer based in Berkeley, California. She is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and writes onaccredited online degrees for Guide to Online Schools.