Dealing with depression

How often do you feel sad?
How often do you feel like you cant cope?
How often do you feel unmotivated?
How often do you feel tired?
How often do you feel alone in the world? How often do you wonder “what’s the point?”

Virtually everyone feels these emotions at some stage in their life including myself. For some these emotions are all consuming and any feelings of happiness begin to seem like a distant memory.

Only when we begin to talk to others about feeling down do we realise there are many others in the same boat.

It is reported that around 1 in 10 people in the UK will suffer with a mixture of anxiety and depression.

It’s not always obvious who is feeling this way. Someone can appear to have ‘everything’. The money, the career, the family, the great health and the looks. This can mean nothing to someone who is not happy internally. In a world where some are suffering awful illnesses, natural disasters and huge turmoil, this can lead to feelings of guilt in these people.

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On the flip side there are many individuals who live a more simple life and are the happiest people. The monks are a perfect example of this. The work ‘monk’ comes from the Greek for ‘solitary’. Monks voluntarily leave mainstream society and live their life in prayer and contemplation. They live a simple life and have found their inner peace and happiness.

We live in a society where we tend to crave acceptance and recognition from others. Social media perhaps has escalated this. If you have more followers and likes on our selfies does this really make us happy? So what happens if someone has a negative comment to say? Surely this will bring us down in the same way?

So what’s the answer? That’s the million dollar question!
For myself I have always found exercising to be a great stress reliever and a great way of taking my brain elsewhere for an hour or so in my day.

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There is scientific proof to confirm this.
When we exercise the chemical dopamine is released in our systems. This is known as the ‘happy chemical’. As we age our dopamine stores are thought to naturally decrease, so keeping these stores topped up is imperative!

Regular exercise helps us to feel more energised on a daily basis. How many times have you found yourself saying you’re too tired and worn out to train? Then manage to drag yourself out for a run or down the gym to hear yourself saying how much better you feel for it afterwards!

Exercising can help boost our confidence. Not only do well feel better about ourselves physically but exercising also makes us feel stronger and independent. A confidence boost is sure to lead to a natural boost in our happiness levels!

Regular exercise helps massively to regulate sleep patterns. It has been proved on many occasions to help people who suffer with insomnia. We all know the benefits we feel after a good nights sleep.

A healthy balanced diet is also key when fighting any type of depression or anxiety. We can naturally deal with stress more effectively when we are eating well.

A few great tips are:
Eat regularly to avoid over stressing your system and fluctuating your blood sugar levels.
Avoid over processed foods where possible.
Eat a good mix of whole nutritious foods on a daily basis.
Keep caffeine to a minimum, this naturally puts your system into a heightened state which we want to avoid.
Try to avoid using food as a stress reliever or as a comfort.

Keeping our Vitamin D stores up is vital to improve our happy levels! We get vitamin D when we expose our bare skin to sunlight. Another way is by taking a D3 supplement. It’s very hard for us to get enough Vitamin D from our foods so sunlight or supplementation is the way forward on this. Remember to use sun protection when out in those rays!

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Always remember the power of the mind, it can take us to dark places, but also has the ability to take us to much higher places. Our minds can hugely help to heal and recover physical and mental disorders if we allow it to.

There are many therapies and medications on offer to treat depression. Finding what suits you personally is important. Communicating how you feel is vital. Keeping your sadness locked inside only leads to more sadness! I have finally learnt this!

We need to find our own joy. It is not found in possessions, achievements or indeed in other people. These need to become the cherry on the cake of our internal happiness.

Much love and health,
Kelly Sephton