Health & Fitness

Six tips for fighting the blues

Written by: Hiyaguha Cohen

March 15, 2021

Health blog

Article overview:

Nearly seven percent of adults in the United States will have major clinical depression at some point. One thing about depression, whether mild or severe, is that it tends to color the day from the moment you wake up. Tips for living your mood include waking up earlier, drinking water, positivity, less technique, exercise, and spiritual connection.

Research on Depression

Nearly seven percent of adults in the United States will have major clinical depression at some point. Fifteen percent of us will endure debilitating depression at some point in our lives. And 18 percent of us have an anxiety disorder at any point in time. These numbers don’t include those of us who just feel blue or unmotivated, or slightly unimpressed with life. Major depression is more serious, long-lasting (lasts at least two weeks), and is more likely to lead to suicide.

One thing about depression, whether mild or severe, is that it tends to color the day from the moment you wake up. When you are depressed, you will pull out of bed in the morning and fear about the next day. Depression marks your day before you even walk out the door. It’s like building a house on a cracked foundation or making soup with a spoiled broth. Everything that is added later is spoiled because the base is not solid. Also, starting the day on a funk is a major health risk.

Jon Barron emphasizes in his book Lessons from the Miracle Doctors: “Statistically, it turns out that people die more often on Monday mornings before work than at any other time of the week. There has been much speculation as to why this is happening. But in general, most people agree that this is: “Most people have a heart attack on Monday morning because they are stressed about going back to jobs that they can no longer take after a weekend off.”

Six tips to lighten the mood

Instead of starting your day desperately, here is a place where you can do simple things that can help lift your spirits.

Get up earlier. Research that was just completed from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Brigham and the Women’s Hospital in Boston found that early risers women have a lower incidence of depression than their peers. The study followed 32,000 nurses who were Not initially depressed for two years. After checking the length of sleep, quality of sleep, work shifts, exposure to light, weight, exercise, etc., the researchers concluded that those who went to bed early and woke up early were up to 27 percent less likely to get depressed than the night owls. Getting in on your own earlier may not wipe out the blues, but it can give you a little boost. Experts point out that your preference for waking up early or late, or “chronotype,” may depend on genetics, but also things like exposure to natural light, diet, and exercise. Start with water. If you’re one of those people who goes to the coffee maker and sips a cup or so before you can function, drinking water first can benefit you. Water gives your kidneys, liver, and digestive system a flush to get rid of toxins that have built up overnight. If you are dehydrated, drinking water will take care of that. Experts say warm lemon water is the best to get the job done. Coffee, on the other hand, acts as a diuretic and dehydrates you even more. Coffee also stimulates the digestive system to produce hydrochloric acid, especially when consumed on an empty stomach. This can affect the system’s ability to produce sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid later when you eat, which can lead to digestive problems and mineral deficiencies. Above all, according to author Julia Ross, who wrote The Mood Cure, drinking coffee is the first to lead to an underproduction of serotonin, which regulates mood. This is because coffee is an appetite suppressant and can cause breakfast to be skipped or delayed, which is likely to affect serotonin production. Ms. Ross suggests waiting for the first cup of joe until after breakfast. Use neuroscience to put your brain in order. We have already written about the fact that the brain has a negative tendency. In other words, it clings to bad experiences and tends to discard good ones, which is reflected in the fact that 62 percent of words describing emotions in the English language have negative associations, while only 32 percent are positive. If you are already depressed, this negative tendency becomes even more pronounced. You are constantly feeding your mind on negative stories, and those stories keep building up in your psyche and the prejudices are so strong that it is useless just to tell yourself to cheer up. Fortunately, neuroscience has discovered that we can create new, more positive neuropathies in the brain by learning to focus on the positive. The key is that you spend enough time looking at the positives for your brain to “digest” it. This means that you need to spend at least 12 seconds “feeding in” every positive experience you go through. Otherwise, the brain simply throws the positive experience and returns to the negative state. It is helpful to start with a deliberate program each day to deal with the positives, whether you are creating a gratitude journal or simply listing happy memories from the day before. A great tool to get you started on this path is a book called Just One Thing by Rick Hanson, who also wrote the Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom. The book offers one technique per day for a year to recolor your psyche in more optimistic colors. Hanson also sends out free techniques weekly when you log into their website. Ban technology. We recently wrote that at least 25 percent of adults in the United States check their phones within a minute of waking and 80 percent check their phones within 15 minutes. As we mentioned in this article, “there is ample evidence that too much machine time leads to depression and brain changes” as well as “stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, heart failure, and coronary artery disease”. Instead of reaching for the phone or laptop, do your brain rewiring exercises and see how the day goes on. Do your exercise. There are arguments to suggest that you will fit into your exercise later in the day, but there are numerous benefits to those who do this first. For one, research shows that those who exercise early in the day are more likely to adopt a regular exercise program and tend to be more consistent. And as we wrote earlier, “Morning exercise has psychological benefits as it increases the mood-enhancing hormones and endorphins to start the day and the effects last for hours. When Dr. [Dr. Cedric Bryant of the American Council of Exercise] Says, “Morning exercise will result in better energy levels throughout the day and will give you more mental alertness and sharpness. Also, morning exercises can help you sleep better at night. A 2011 study at Appalachian State University found that participants who exercised at 7 a.m. reduced daytime blood pressure by 10 percent and evening blood pressure by 25 percent. They also slept longer and better than those who exercised at other times of the day. “Also, morning exercisers in the weight loss department had better results than those who exercised later. Feed your mind. This is not the same as setting your brain right with positive programming. As you nourish your spirit, you underscore your connection to beauty, goodness and, if you tend to, to purpose in the universe. You can accomplish this by meditating, listening to inspirational music, or even praying.

There are many other things you can do first thing in the morning to promote wellbeing. If you are really depressed, it makes sense to seek advice and take helpful nutritional supplements as well. But even if you adopt just one of these six practices, you will likely see positive results sooner than usual. That said, the more of them you make a part of your life, the more positive the results you are likely to experience.

Related Articles