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Beat Depression With Five Blues Busters

By Jim Brackin

It's perfectly natural for everyone has periods when they feel down. Bad moods are simply a part of life and some would say that they help you to appreciate the good times. But depression is something quite different. One sign of depression is that your "down time goes on for more than a couple of hours per day. The other is if you have two or more of the symptoms on a consistent or regular basis: Low Self-Esteem, Fatigue, Sleep Problems, Appetite Changes, Weight Swings, Feelings of Guilt, Worthlessness, Suicide or a general loss of interest in your normal activities. Then consider doing something to break the cycle and get out of it, below are five things you can do right now to effect a change in how you feel.

Change your posture. There is a definite body posture that triggers or deepens depression. The signs are, moving slowly or lethargically, shoulders slumped, head down looking at the ground. These postures are known to increase negative thoughts and emotions. When you break out of this posture - even by doing something as simple as looking up towards the sky or jumping up and down - you interrupt this pattern and change your way of thinking.

Reduce the sugar in your diet. Just by reducing your intake of cakes, biscuits, chocolate and processed foods could make you feel better. In a study at the University of South Alabama, Professor Larry Christenden found that reducing the sugar levels in the blood helped to lift the mood of 25% of patients.

Laugh. Laughter is known to increase the levels of endorphins and stimulate the left frontal lobe of the brain where happy thoughts and feelings are created. Simply laughing out loud for no good reason, watching a comedy programme, or being with people who smile will have the right effect.

Share the problem. A problem shared is a problem halved. Talking through a problem with someone will help you gain a fresh perspective. If there's nobody around then listening to a self-help programme would work in the same way.

Go for a walk. Studies have proven that exercise is just as effective as Prozac in reducing the symptoms of depression. In fact Professor Tylee of Maudsley Hospital, London says "It's top of the list of things we're recommending doctors "prescribe to patients". Try it and you'll find that three 45-minute sessions every week will work wonders.

The key here is to take some action to break the pattern. Whilst these techniques may not necessarily treat the root cause of the problem they will certainly help to reduce the effect of depression long enough to help you find a way to beat it long-term.

About The Author
Jim Brackin contributes tips, help and advice on popular psychology to variety of magazines like Cosomopolitan and Women's Own. He is the body language expert for Sky News (UK).

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