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Depression does not discriminate between the young and the old. For example, in the 60s the average age for the onset of depression was 29. It is now 14. Depression is a problem that needs to be solved and luckily there is more and more research that suggests that it can be without the use of psychiatric medication.
The 5 best ways to prevent depression, according to scientific research:
Losing hours of sleep can lead to a depressive spiral. According to the American Sleep Foundation: “The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex. Depression can cause problems sleeping and sleep problems can cause and / or contribute to depressive disorders.”
When you lose hours of sleep you become more depressed. And being more depressed, you have more difficulty falling asleep. It is a vicious circle that gradually gets worse. The amount of perfect sleep for a person varies depending on lifestyle and age but normal is between 7 and 8 hours each night. If you can not sleep those hours, be sure to do so.
Pay the debts with your dream, your mental health will thank you.
During the last decades, much research has been done about physical exercise and well-being. Psychologists have realized how important it is to think about the body when we talk about depression.
Michael Babyak and his colleagues did a study on the effectiveness of exercise. He took a group of 156 patients with major depression where many of them suffered from insomnia, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. He divided them randomly into 3 groups and administered the following treatment:
- Group 1: 30 minutes of low intensity exercises for a week.
- Group 2: standard psychiatric medication.
- Group 3: exercise and medication.
The results were surprising for 2 reasons:
- 60% of the patients showed an improvement and there were no significant differences between the recovery rates of the groups.
- The exercise worked as well as the medications.
At 6 months, Babyak followed up to see relapse rates and found that 60% of recovered patients:
- 38% of the medication group relapsed.
- 31% of the medication and exercise group relapsed.
- Only 9% of the exercise group relapsed. Not only did the exercise work like medication, but it did it for a longer time.
Could the most important treatment to prevent depression still be underestimated?
Meditation has existed for thousands of years but most of that time has been practiced mainly by monks in spiritual retreats. Thanks to modern technology such as electroencephalography or magnetic resonance scans, scientists were able to study in depth the brains of people who have been meditating for decades. And it was discovered that:
- People who have greater activation on the left side of the prefrontal cortex tend to be happier while those with greater activation on the right tend to be more melancholic and depressed.
Most people are somewhere in between. When they examined the meditators, their scores came out of the table. The monks had a very high ratio between their left and right prefrontal cortex. They had extreme susceptibility to positive emotions and extreme resilience to negative ones.
We do not need to meditate 8 hours a day to notice the benefits of meditation like monks. 15 minutes a day for 8 weeks can produce incredible results. Meditation works. Have you already set to work?
Find your passion
People adapt very quickly to the pleasures and pains of life. If we earn a lot of money we feel at the top and then we get used to it. If we get fired, we fall into a hole and then eventually recover. There are some things, however, that we do not adapt to: passion.
I bet that many actors in the world would continue to act even being the richest on Earth. Or that the richest CEOs in the world use money as a measure of their success and not as a means to live luxuriously. You must find your passion. It is a well of happiness that never dries up. Whether writing, creating, helping people. If you want to live your life fully you have to do it with passion. And to live with passion you must first find it.
Regulate your blood sugar
And here is when you ask yourself: can regulating blood sugar help prevent depression? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there have been numerous murderers and thieves absolved of their crimes because they suffered from hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels).
A drop in sugar occurs after a high sugar. So the best way to avoid low sugar levels is to avoid high levels. All you have to do is release carbohydrates throughout the day, eat a lot of fiber and consume some protein and fat in your diet.
If you manage to follow these 5 steps, you will not only avoid depression in a natural way, but you will also feel happier.