While research indicates use of prescription anti-depressants such as Prozac, Effexor, Paxil, and Zoloft have increased greatly in recent years, this norm is not necessarily in step with a healthy, productive lifestyle. Even Harvard University researchers have agreed with what professionals in the industry have known for some time: American’s are addicted to anti-depressants. Making these 5 natural lifestyle changes will help you feel better while avoiding harmful side-effects and the steep costs of unneeded medications.
1. Get MovingOne easy way to boost happiness and feel better immediately is with exercise. Any type of exercise will do wonders, whether it’s a simple cardio routine, yoga, or even 10 minutes throwing a Frisbee with your dog. These types of exercise naturally boost two hormones, dopamine and oxytocin, responsible for happiness, satisfaction, and love. One minimizes feelings of pain, while the other brings on feelings of bliss. Numerous studies prove just moving your body improves well-being. Instead of suffering side-effects like migraines and possibly increased suicidal-thinking from anti-depressants, grab your running shoes or hit the gym!
2. Find Time For Family And FriendsHumans are social creatures. We crave friendships and intimacy. Spending time with friends and family, even if only through social media, allows us to build strong, supportive relationships. These interactions boost seratonin and oxytocin levels naturally and help you live a longer, more fulfilled life. If you’re not sure where to start and you’ve been hiding at home, volunteering offers a quick, low-stress means of getting out. Friendly social gathering, family dinners, and possibly even a date are other great examples. Not only are friends waiting for your company, but a better mood is waiting for you too.
3. Take A HikeYou’ve heard the phrase, “take a hike,” but there’s truth in it! New York-based Naturopathic doctor Alan Logan discovered with his co-author Dr. Eva Selhub that getting outdoors has tremendous benefits. In their book Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality, they outline how energy from trees, plants, water, and mountains can improve sleep and overall mental outlook. There’s no need to abandon city life completely to go live in the woods. Anything natural will boost your health and happiness. Try finding a nearby park for a walk or a lake with an amazing view.
4. You’re Getting SleepyIt’s not common knowledge that the human body has natural sleep cycles. These cycles, known as circadian rhythms, regulate many hormones in the body responsible for keeping us alert to helping us relax after a stressful situation. Lost sleep can age your brain significantly faster. More sleep that is regular will improve your mood almost every time. You look tired; get some sleep!
5. You Are What You EatBig Pharma says you should just eat a pill for depression. But if you’re eating tons of refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and no “living foods” like organic fruits and vegetables, you won’t feel or look so great. Your body needs proper levels of B12 vitamins, found in items like fish and eggs, to promote “good” brain pathways for neuronal communication. Additionally, fiber helps avoid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, spikes leading to depression. Look for foods with folate to keep your brain bathed in cerebrospinal fluid, iron to make sure your blood transports oxygen correctly, iodine to increase memory and lower depression, and calcium to lower anxiety and curb depression. This list is only the beginning. Skip the junk food. Try leafy greens, nuts, and foods high in Omega 3s to get an immediate boost in happiness. With better health, your body and mind will thank you.
Source: The Mind Unleashed
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