Depression is a serious health condition that affects millions of women. Depression could create several problems at your work place, in the family and in your society. Depression could cause unhappiness, hopelessness, worthlessness, decreased life energy, restlessness, irritability, sleep disorders, changes in eating patterns, reduced memory and concentration, negative feelings and even thoughts about suicide. It is well known that depression prevention is better and easier than cure.
Several factors could trigger depression in women including different types of stress, hormonal and genetic factors. Scientists discovered that women with depression have very specific brain chemistry that predisposes them to depression. Several scientific studies have confirmed that certain chemical imbalances, especially concerned with serotonin, are responsible for depression.
Depression prevention is not a magic – it is just a commitment, hard work, patience and follow up of healthy lifestyle including balanced diet, sleep hygiene, regular physical exercises, positive thinking, being always occupied (job, hobbies, family, friends), avoiding stress and stressful situations, building healthy positive relations and managing mood swings.
Depression prevention strategies
- Discover personal depression risk factors (problems at work place, difficult unhappy relations, family conflicts, complicated and/or life threatening diseases, etc.);
- Avoid negative habits (smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse);
- Be always positive – try to identify positive elements in everything happening around (job, relations, events, health);
- Build personal strong support system (social network, close friends, spiritual support, loving and caring relatives);
- Change your lifestyle and follow only healthy lifestyle (healthy diet, regular exercises, absence of any addictions, active positive life position);
- Take care of your sleep patterns (enough deep sleep, comfortable pillows, silent environment).
Depression prevention recommendations
Eat healthy food
Nutrition is a crucial component in depression prevention. “You are what you eat”.
What is healthy food? What women should eat to be sure that it will prevent depression?
Actually healthy products should be low in fat, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals. Specific dietary factors that could be beneficial during depression are the B-complex vitamins (whole grains) and omega-3 fatty acids (fish, fish oil, flax seeds).
Not only healthy food is important but eating habits are also very important. Avoid food additions, irregular food consumption (very often, very rare), starving or overeating! You even cannot imagine how damaging could be abnormal eating habits.
You can follow healthy diet and normal eating habits but if you would not drink enough water every day and would not eat fresh vegetables and fruits, you could start facing problems.
So if you would like prevent depression, just buy only healthy food, eat regularly (3-5 times a day) in small portions, always eat fresh vegetables and fruits (every day) and drink 1.5-2.5 liters of water every day.
Avoid stress and learn stress management
Stress and post-traumatic stress disorders are recognized as common causes (triggers) of the depression in women and as risk factors for depression development.
All depression specialists always recommend avoid stressful situations and reduce the stress including stressful life, complicated stressful relations, emotional trauma, pressure at work place, difficult and complicated career development, sexual abuse at work place or in the family, etc.
Most effective stress management techniques include meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, yoga, and biofeedback. Most effective stress management equipment include stress eraser, personal stress reliever, stress thermometer and stress balls.
Get adequate deep relaxed sleep
It is well known that depression could be a cause of sleep disorders, but not adequate sleep (short sleep, disturbed sleep, superficial sleep, interrupted sleep, etc.) also could be a cause of depression.
You need to have adequate reasonable amount of sleep every night (about 8-9 hours). Discover all components of sleep hygiene.
Regular exercises can control your normal healthy weight, increase muscle tone, strengthen your high self-esteem and help in deep relaxation. Regular exercises can also relieve stress and prevent or reduce depression symptoms.
Aerobic exercises and yoga experiences were recognized as the most effective in preventing depression mood. It was discovered that aerobic exercises can raise the levels of brain chemicals that affect mood, such as endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine.
In general, any kind of physical exercises help release endorphins which relax muscles, reduce stress and insure adequate relaxed good sleep. Therefore, by exercising regularly, you can easily reduce the risk of depression and prevent all possible depression symptoms.
Get rid of body toxins
Different types of body toxins (including body build up toxins) are considered as risk factors for depression.
Our body is forced to rid of toxins every day, every hour and every minute – this is a normal body “cleaning” biological process which keeps us healthy. It was discovered that the amount of body toxins increases with lack of physical activities (physical exercises), lack of adequate deep sleep, lack of healthy food and unhealthy eating habits. Therefore, regular exercises, adequate sleep patterns, healthy food and healthy eating habits are crucial for body detoxication and depression prevention.
Don’t keep your problems, don’t try to solve all problems alone and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Always discuss your problems with trusted people and share your feelings with loved once.
Several observations show that women share happy moments of life and joys easily but not all women like sharing problems and sorrows. Very often women try to hide negative and vulnerable sides of their life. All internal negative feelings could end up occupying a huge chunk of space in the subconscious which could trigger depression.
Accumulated emotional negative feelings could be also considered as “emotional toxins” which can trigger depression. You should start flushing them out! Depression specialists mentioned that “emotional toxins” are in fact far more dangerous than physical toxins, and getting rid of them is an essential part of depression prevention.
If you are full of “emotional toxins”, you will experience bad dreams, nightmares, and fear, which in turn become one of the main reasons for sleep disturbances, worries without any objective reasons, tension and anxiety. Everything is happening at subconscious level. So, express yourself, don’t hide your negative feelings, clean your body from “emotional toxins” – get “emotional toxins” out of your chest and you will experience relief and feel much lighter. This is how you can prevent depression.
Always keep yourself busy
Occupied people have no time for negative feelings, mood swings and depression.
Keeping yourself busy with different activities (job, sport, hobby, travel, meetings, events) is another important depression prevention strategy.
Depression prevention with natural supplements
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is known for centuries as a useful herb for depression treatment. Some professionals suggested that the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort is very similar to depression treatment with standard medication (not during severe depression!). The difference is that standard drugs have several serious side effects but St. John’s Wort actually doesn’t have any visible side effects.
Scientists discovered that St. John’s Wort re-balancing levels of brain chemicals linked to mood, like dopamine and serotonin. It should be mentioned that St. John’s Wort should not be used with antidepressants because it could interact with medications and create problems.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids were identified in fish oil which is effective during certain types of depression – actually Omega-3 Fatty Acids can improve mood disturbances through brain chemical interactions.
It was noted that Omega-3 Fatty Acids can also improve some other symptoms of depression.
SAMe (naturally occurring element in human body) is known as serotonin and dopamine booster in brain cells (specific brain chemistry). As deficit of serotonin and dopamine are recognized as main causes for development of depression symptoms, increased levels of mentioned neurotransmitters could improve all symptoms of depression.
Scientific studies show that during depression SAMe can be as effective as many antidepressants.
5-HTP is the abbreviation for 5-hydroxytryptophan – it is considered very natural treatment because it is produced by human body and in human brain it can be converted to serotonin. During depression the 5-hydroxytryptophan can increase the level of serotonin which is lacking during depression.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) can be extracted from African plant called “Griffonia simplicifolia”.
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