In a previous article, 3 Ways to Beat the Blues Naturally, I shared how smiling, being grateful, and putting a smile in your pocket could quickly brighten your day. Now I would like to share with you three more ideas you can use to today to begin feeling happier.
Drink more water.
Most people don’t reach for a glass of water until they are already dehydrated. In fact, your body doesn’t even send you a thirst signal until you are 1% to 2% dehydrated. That is all it takes for your body to begin suffering the consequences of not having enough fluid in it.
Amino acids are vital for the brain to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Because an adequate amount of water is needed to transport essential amino acids such as L- Tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier, when we are dehydrated we quickly begin to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Dehydration is also a major contributor to low energy levels, which is a major contributor to depression. When your brain is functioning well, and you are feeling up to life’s challenges, MRI scans show it has a balanced amount of activity. When you are feeling depressed, though, it is quite the opposite. A depressed brain shows very little activity, suggesting a lack of energy. Water is needed for your brain to produce the electric power required for optimal energy.
Eliminate caffeine from your diet.
Most people scoff at me when I suggest they stop drinking caffeinated beverages. Some even get angry. Almost all of them try to tell me how they need their caffeine to function. If you are addicted to caffeine, that is true. You need your coffee or pop just like a heroin or cigarette addict needs their drug of choice as well. You need it because you are addicted and in most cases quitting leads to withdrawals.
I used to be addicted to caffeine. When I didn’t have enough in my system, I would start feeling sluggish or get a headache. My day was a roller coaster caused by the caffeine rush I received from drinking it, to the energy crash I experienced as it exited my body.
Now that I am on a strict diet of water, I recognize how much better the quality of my life is without caffeine. As a result of only drinking water, my energy levels are more stable, my anxiety has dropped, and I just feel healthier all around.
Before you reject my claim that life without caffeine is better, put it to the test. What do you have to lose? Just be prepared. The first week or two can be quite challenging. Once you have cleansed your body of one of the most abused drugs in society, I believe you will start to feel as if you have been born again.
Take vitamin D.
Low levels of vitamin D has been linked to depression. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD which is seen more in the winter and places that receive small amounts of sunlight during the day is often treated with vitamin D therapy with promising results.
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D naturally. But in today’s world where most people aren’t receiving enough direct sunlight, taking a vitamin D supplement can be very beneficial.
Your doctor can check your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test to see if your levels are low and instruct you on how much you should take. If you choose not to have the tests, start taking the supplement at its lowest dosage for about a week and slowly increase until you start to reap its benefits.
Please keep in mind that depression has many different factors that contribute to its causes. While one idea might work for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. That is why I provide many different ideas throughout my blog on how to combat it in your life. Just like a good artist knows, every color has a place on their canvas, every strategy to fight the blues has a place in your life. There is hardly ever one solution to a problem. Mix and match these ideas, using as many as you can until you find the combination for a happy life.
Question: What are some strategies you use to beat the blues? You can leave a comment by clicking here.