Depression is one of the leading mental health issues around the world.
When the weather is cold, sunlight is limited, and the days are short, depression is at an all-time high for the year.
Whether your depression is affected directly by the change of seasons or not, there's hope to reduce depression and feel like you have your life back.
Any tools for depression are best supported by mental health counseling, but if you are not ready for that step, then these will at least give you a good start as you begin to reduce depression.
Today we're going to look at a couple of supplements that have been scientifically proven to reduce depression when taken in the proper quantity and consistency.
These supplements are all-natural and can be as effective as some anti-depressants without the side-effects.
In addition, we'll discuss some practical daily tools you can implement right away that will help you feel more in control and productive.
Depression disrupts every aspect of your life.
It wreaks havoc on your sleep, kills your motivation, interrupts time with loved ones, and so much more.
Don't let depression control your life, now is the time to fight back and reduce depression today.
Our first tool to reduce depression is routine.
Not what you were expecting?
I'm not surprised, one of the last things people think about is their daily routine; it is one of those things that just kind of happens without you really noticing it.
Routine, or lack thereof, is both a contributing factor to the cause of depression, as well as a result of depression that worsens depression.
For this reason, it is important to begin any treatment of depression by analyzing your routine.
And, the best place to start a routine is with sleep.
Quality sleep plays a crucial role in mental health; it improves memory, problem-solving, and creativity, boosts our immune systems, fights off physical diseases, and reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
All of which contribute to strong mental health.
In order to get quality sleep, it is imperative that you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (or at the very least within the same hour or so).
Because depression significantly changes our sleeping patterns, getting your sleep regulated will make a noticeable improvement on your mood.
To help get your sleep back on track there are a few things you can do to help your body fall asleep when you want.
The first thing is to get natural sunlight into your eyes for 10-15 minutes in the morning.
Morning sunlight helps your mind and body regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
If you're having trouble falling asleep try taking melatonin for the first few days to help your body get back to a regular sleep time.
Do not use melatonin regularly, this inhibits your body's natural production and can lead you to become dependent on it to fall asleep.
A better supplement to help you sleep is ashwagandha root taken 30 minutes before bed.
Getting your sleep regulated will help you significantly reduce depression.
Our next tool to reduce depression is a daily supplement of, fish!
As it turns out, fish is packed with nutrients that are essential for positive mental health and is surprisingly effective in its ability to reduce depression.
Studies from Scandinavia revealed that during the cold months in particular, Scandinavians increase their intake of fish and reported high levels of happiness and life satisfaction despite long nights, short days, and extreme cold.
Further investigation revealed that EPAs found in fish oil reduce inflammation and stabilize key neural systems like dopamine which boosts mood, energy, and novelty-seeking patterns that all contribute to overall life satisfaction and a sense of meaning.
If you are not much of a fish person, that's fine.
Because they were able to identify that it was the EPAs specifically that act as an anti-depressant, that means you can skip the fish and go straight for the EPAs.
All fish oil supplements contain EPAs, you just have to look at the back of the bottle on the nutrition label and see how much EPA and DHA that particular supplement has.
The threshold for getting that anti-depressant effect is 1000 milligrams of EPA (the DHA content does not matter).
It can be difficult to find a fish oil with that concentration of EPA so you may have to take more than the labeled dosage amount.
But, it's also important to note that not all supplements are created equal.
Make sure your fish oil has the Good Manufacturing Product (GMP) stamp, and if you can, try and find one that says it is third-party tested.
Also, it may not say it on the bottle, but keep them refrigerated for maximum potency.
EPAs are tremendous and will undoubtedly help you reduce depression.
As with all supplements, talk to your doctor before taking them.
Our third tool to reduce depression is, as the Sunny Delight slogan used to say, "unleash the power of the sun."
That's right, sunshine, or what sunshine unlocks.
In my opinion, it is always better to go to the source than to use supplements, but I am not so naive as to not appreciate the convenience of quality supplements.
Getting 10-15 minutes of direct, natural sunlight has enormous mental health, as well as physical health, benefits.
The most important component that contributes to the health boost we get from the sun is vitamin D.
In case you did not know, here are some of the most important benefits of vitamin D:
All these benefits can come from 15 minutes of direct sun exposure per day.
Obviously, this is more of a challenge in during Winter, which is why vitamin D supplements are important.
When choosing a vitamin D supplement there are important things to pay attention to.
Like fish oils, find one that has the GMP stamp and is preferably third-party tested.
But, also look for one that is Vitamin D3 + K2.
K2 increases the bio-availability of D3 making sure your body is getting the absolute most out of the supplement.
The simple fact is, there is no flashy cure for mental health issues like depression.
In fact, the vast majority of mental health is quite simple.
Eat well, move your body, have a routine, and pursue things of value.
But that does not mean that it is easy.
We find ourselves in detrimental routines, we lose motivation, feel sad, and become isolated.
All those feelings make it even harder to implement positive changes.
It takes a lot of effort to create positive, lasting change that can reduce depression.
That is why it is important to find a mental health counselor to help you support the positive changes you want to make.
If you are not ready to take that step then a great place to start is making a daily routine.
Go to bed, and wake up at the same time every single day.
Get natural sunlight early in the morning for 10-15 minutes.
Start taking fish oil supplements to get 1000-2000 milligrams of EPAs every day.
Add extra vitamin D3+K2 supplements to maximize the benefits of vitamin D if you can't get direct sun exposure on a regular basis.
The power to reduce depression is in your hands.
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