**Note from the editor. All opinions expressed by our writers are their own. It does not replace guidance from a registered mental health professional. Now, let’s get on to our article…
I have had depression for what seems to be on and off my entire 31 years. Though I am an intelligent, kind, and fun-loving person with integrity, it still continues to creep back into my life from time to time. I have never taken prescription medicine for it though, as that is against my religion. So what can we do from here? I believe self-love or self-acceptance is integral part in addressing any emotional issue, as to not look at it from a self-blaming (emotional) perspective but from a mental (knowledgeable) stand point.
That being said, I view depression as natural part of the human emotional experience. Just as rain storms occur regularly, our teary and dark emotions need to be released as well. This is where observation comes in to play. Crucial elements are needed to release and absorb serotonin, mainly diet and exercise.
The latest science reveals that the majority of serotonin is released by the solar plexus, “our 2nd brain” and absorbed through the large intestines.
With that knowledge it is easy to see how inorganic foods and overeating can disrupt the absorption of serotonin. With this awareness a change of diet can dramatically enrich the positive aspects of your life. I also recommend looking into your family history, where you come from, and what they ate. We might live in a modern society with availability to anything and everything to eat, but your DNA comes from somewhere, and that place had specific diet restrictions due to what was possible to grow in the region.
Getting in tune with native foods culturally and locally can give you the specific nutrients you need to thrive as well as connect you to your natural environment. Visiting a farmers market not only is fun, but you can purchase foods you have never seen in a grocery store, bringing you nutrients you’ve never had. Learning also stimulates the brain which will occur as you figure out how to cook these natural foods.
Exercise doesn’t need to be exhausting or at a gym. Simple yoga poses can be held for up to 20 breaths, which is much more than 20 seconds. When you start a yoga posture you may only be able to stay in it for 3-5 breaths. Daily practice only needs to be 10 minutes at a time, am and pm, and can be considered an active meditation- a way to calm and focus your internal energy- and develops strength and aligns the spine.
Never underestimate the power of “planks” as there are So many variations: resting on elbows and knees or either. Or pull one leg up for some serious abs, bent knee leg up. When in full plank position you can bring your knee up and in towards your belly button or shoulder, opposite shoulder, back to full plank and lift your leg up and to the back.
Calisthenics are done regularly in many countries at work and school just like lunch break is offered, exercise is as well. And never underestimate the JOY that is jumping jacks or jump rope, which are used in MMA training. For the record, men: Pilates was created by a Male German Boxer, and women were not allowed to do yoga for hundreds of years, it was created by men. And there is definitely no need to have a certain body type or the right (and fashionable) yoga outfit to step onto the mat.
These simple changes to a depressed routine can ignite much more happiness into the body and help you start living a happier and healthier life.
What alternative methods helped you deal with depression? How has it worked for you? Tell us in the comments below.
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