In today’s society, almost everyone is on, or knows someone who is on antidepressants, but these medications only treat the symptoms of depression – not necessarily the causes.
Diet, exercise, positivity, and light can all play a role in mood and energy levels. But sometimes more is needed.
Like most recurring problems, the Bulletproof approach is to try what should work, if that works, great. If no, then do what “shouldn’t” work. Drugs are supposed to be some sort of cure all for depression and mood disorders, but most of them don’t work very well. Here’s what you can do to help prevent and fight depression without turning to medication:
1. Practice pleasure. Use meditation or Heart Math training to learn to “turn on” a state of happiness that can replace sadness. At a minimum, take some time out of your day to focus on everything you love in life. Get therapy if these things don’t help.
2. Be in nature, or at least pretend to be. Humans evolved over millions of years living outside. Only in the last several thousand have we migrated into the sheet rock caves that we now call offices. Bright light therapy has been shown in several trials to helps alleviate depressive symptoms. If you can, install some bright lights inside your workspace. Being outside is even better, because you’ll also increase your vitamin D levels naturally. At least add a few plants to your work space.
3. Exercise. The right kind of exercise can do wonders for your body and mind. Not only will it get you leaner, stronger, and help you live longer, it also improves your mood. Use a plan like the Bulletproof Body or Body by Science to strengthen your mental and physical abilities.
4. Eat the Bulletproof Diet. Avoiding toxins and getting enough – but not too much – tryptophan will help your mood. The Bulletproof Diet also optimizes your omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratios, which improves your brain performance and overall health.
Using a combination of high doses of fun, bright lights or nature exposure, the right kind of exercise, and the Bulletproof Diet, you can help fight mild depression and optimize your mental performance.
How do you take care of yourself when you are down? What has worked for you?
Believe it or not, the best antidepressants on Earth don’t come from a pill bottle. From getting more sleep to taking up a hobby, making these simple changes in your life can help boost your mood and prevent depression.