Treating Stress & Depression
In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants, I want to talk about treating stress, anxiety and depression. The stress of modern life style is becoming more and more severe and mood disorders, fatigue and depression are becoming more and more dominant than before. The fast pace of modern life causes reduction of neurotransmitter called serotonin in the body and reduction of serotonin can cause depression. Many people have turned to antidepressants and other related drugs for treating depression. But you will be surprised that you can fight depression and daily stress bychanging some of your habits. Here are some tips to boost serotonin level in order to manage stress and depression:
Get more sun: I know that sounds like dream come true in North West, but we still have some sunny days that you can enjoy and do some fun outdoor activities. Buying a light box can be a good idea for darker days when you’re exercising, watching TV or reading. Be aware that light boxes cannot be used for people with retinal disease.
Seek negative ions: Air concentrated with negative ions is highly related to positivity. In most cities the negative ions are 10 times less than the country side. In offices with air conditioner the ion concentration is even lower. Having a negative ion generator can boost the level of serotonin in the brain which helps moodiness and sleeping disorders.
Change your eating habits: Try to lower your cholesterol level, but keep in mind that cholesterol level below 160 can increse the risk of suicide and depression. It appears that low cholesterol level interferes with regulation of serotonin. That doesn’t mean you should go on a saturated fatty diet. Carbohydrates quickly increase the level of blood sugar and insulin. High level of insulin stores fat in the body and the body has less energy to exercise. Insulin also boosts prostaglandins linked to depression.
Have a diet high on fruits and vegetable. If you want to eat grain, consume whole grain. Whole grain and wheat have less effect on increase of blood sugar than white bread or white rice. In every meal try to have 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates. Try to eat more regularly throughout the day and skip red meat and egg yolk for a while and if you fancy them try to have them only once a week. These foods stimulate releasing the chemicals in the brain that are related to depression. Do not eat big portions after 6 pm, especially 3 hours before sleeping. Drinking herbal tea, taking herbs, herb superfoods, herbal remedies and natural herbal remedies can help depression and anxiety.
Avoid negative thoughts: I do truly believe that your “attitude is altitude”. Despite the circumstances in your life, try to stay positive. Keep in mind that the limit to your abilities is your own believes. Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When you deeply believe that you can achieve something in your life, your attitude will be more positive, and you can think more clearly and make better decisions.
Get a good night’s sleep: Most people need at least eight hours of sleep but nearly 50% of Americans get less than 8 hours of sleep. Sleeping disorder reduces the level of serotonin and causes depression. Try to get enough sleep at night. Keep your bed room cool and dark and stop working or watching TV an hour before going to bed. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol, especially before going to bed.
Get regular exercise: A natural and great way to boost serotonin is to exercise. Our bodies need at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 days a week. Find an exercise that you enjoy, however it’s better to do different exercises than focusing on only one exercise that you like to do.