Beat Your Depression

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Archive for the ‘Natural cures for depression’

More about choices and depression

April 03, 2008 By: John Category: Depression Information, Depression Stories, Natural cures for depression 4 Comments →

I would like to elaborate on the subject of choices available to us as a follow on from a previous article relating to choices. There are usually at least two choices that we can make on any subject that we choose to think about [another choice]. We can even choose not to make a choice, and that in itself is making a choice to do nothing.

There is generally a direct opposite to nearly everything that we can think of in life, and many degrees in between. Take, for example, the atmospheric temperature and consider it to be perfectly comfortable. If the temperature increases it will become warm, then warmer until it becomes hot, then hotter and so on until it becomes unbearably hot. If the temperature decreases it will become cool, then cooler and so on until it becomes cold, colder, and then eventually freezing.

The extremes are referred to as being of opposite polarity. An example of this is the axis of the Earth with it’s North Pole and South Pole being at extreme ends of the axis. This is also why the condition where a person may be deeply depressed for a while, return to being contented, and then swing to being deliriously exuberant and unreasonably overconfident [manic], is called “bi-polar disorder.”

This used to be known as manic depression. Between the extremes the person may have passed through being very sad, sad, disillusioned, unhappy, discontented, joyful, happy, very happy, and ecstatic. [Amongst other feelings or emotions]

As it says in the book, “As a Man Thinketh,” we tend to become what we think about. Therefore we have a choice. Do we focus on negative things in our lives or our past and be miserable, or do we focus on pleasant things associated with our lives, including our achievements, no matter how insignificant? We really DO have a choice you know!

Have you ever noticed how it is hard to be depressed when you are happy? Conversely, it is hard to be happy when you are depressed. But you CAN learn several ways how to find happiness. One of the best ways is to focus on being grateful for all of the good things in your life. By doing this, we can re-program our brains into being happy just as we can re-program a computer to overcome a glitch.

If you take just a few moments each day, preferably just after you awaken, to think of several things that you are grateful for, you will be off to a good start for the rest of the day.

You can be grateful for making it through the night, your good health, your cozy bed, your comfortable home, your caring partner, the fact that there is food in the refrigerator, etc. etc. If it is raining you can be grateful for the plants and crops getting a good drink and the reservoirs being topped up with water. If it is sunny you can be grateful for the plants and crops getting good light for growth via photosynthesis.

If you think of your friends you can be grateful for their friendship, and if you happen to think about somebody you do not like you can be grateful that you are not like them. Be grateful for your job if you have one and the fact that it provides you with money to cater for many of your needs. If you do not have a job you can be grateful that you have managed to survive and that you live in a land of opportunity where you should be able to find a job. Your new disposition may help you to get a job over a person who is gloomy or pessimistic by choice [not by nature.]

What about some of the achievements and experiences that you have had to date? Think of some of the lovely sunsets that you have witnessed. Be grateful for your vision. Remember, you won the sperm race to enable you to be born. You managed to beat all of those other sperm to the egg and fertilized it. So you are a winner! 🙂

Even if you have had experiences that you would prefer to forget, be grateful for the fact that you have the opportunity to forge a better future. The list is almost endless if you apply yourself to thinking this way.

Why not write down in an exercise book the things that you are grateful for? Be prepared to buy several more books as time passes as you should fill them up quite quickly once you get the gist of thinking of things to be grateful about. You will be amazed at how powerful this simple exercise can be. If ever you find yourself feeling a little disconsolate you can get out your book(s) and jog your memory into being grateful again.

Another action that you can use to find happiness is to look at yourself in the mirror and smile, even if you do not feel like doing it. Tell yourself that you love yourself and that you are improving your lot in life each and every day. You can even give yourself a congratulatory pat on the shoulder. 🙂 When I did this exercise to overcome my depression I would often sing a little rollicking ditty that I learned a long time ago at school. I am 65 years old and so I must have a good [long term] memory. Here are the words to the ditty that certainly helped to get my days off to a good start:-

“Good morning brother Sunshine!

Good morning sister Song!

I beg your humble pardon if you’ve waited very long.

I thought I heard you knocking.

To lock you out was sin.

My heart is standing open.

Won’t you walk right in?

Good morning! Won’t you walk right in?


Good morning sister Gladness!

Good morning brother Smile!

They told me you were coming. So I waited on a while.

‘Twas lonely here without you.

A weary time it’s been.

My heart is standing open.

Won’t you walk right in?

Good morning! Won’t you walk right in? ”

I have promised to record this ditty and will do so soon when I overcome my self consciousness and pluck up the courage to do so.

Another way to kick start being happy is to listen to your favorite music and, better still, dance to it. This is how the ancient Greeks cured melancholia. Dancing and other forms of exercising, even walking, produce the “feel good” hormone, beta-endorphin.

Or you could adopt the methods used by author Norman Cousins and watch comedy movies to promote good belly laughs. Told that he had little chance of surviving from debilitating illness, Cousins developed a recovery program incorporating Vitamin C, along with a positive attitude, love, faith, hope, and laughter induced by Marx Brothers films.

Why not try all of the above? What have you to lose? Better still, think of what you have to gain!

Stop the presses! Listen to Stephen Pierce.

February 07, 2008 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Depression Stories, Natural cures for depression No Comments →

Below is an email that I have just received. It is from Stephen Pierce who is an internet marketing genius and people motivator.

If you ever hear Stephen’s history you will be truly amazed at what he has done with his life after being expelled from school several times, going bankrupt several times, living on the streets, and even being shot with a bullet that is still in his leg.

Stephen, and his wife Alecia, truly do love to help people to help themselves.

This short address has the potential to help you in all aspects of your life and I immediately saw the benefits that it could bring to sufferers of depression and anxiety etc., and to those people who may even be contemplating self harm. The talk discusses “true” and “the truth.” It may sound a little confusing the first time through and so I recommend that you listen to it with an open mind a couple of times to get the important message contained therein. Perhaps you, like me, can relate to this.

Enjoy and learn:-


I spent what felt like a lifetime starving
for success, while standing in a pool of
opportunity that seemed to always recede
away from me every time I reached out for

And the moment I was able to take hold of
something, it seem to always turn to dust.

I had an inverted Midas Touch at the time.

That means, what I touched didn’t turn to
gold… it turned into dust.

I was shattered inside, lonely, heartbroken
and desperate.

What looked like a promising future seemed
to fade away quickly into a cold, dark
valley of nothingness.

It got to the point where the only thing
I could think about is what was true at
the time.

What wasn’t working.
What I didn’t have.
Who was better than me.
What others thought about me.
And “I could of” and “I should of.”

Does this sound like you, or someone you

If so, stick with me here.


One day I read a phrase. A phrase that would
liberate my soul and recalibrate my thinking.

After reading this phrase I had one of my
life’s most shocking illuminations.

And right now I want to share both the phrase
and the illumination with you so that YOU can
feel freedom in your soul and rip the chains
of bondage off your life.

Now prepare yourself, because the first few
minutes of this TalkBack may seem rather

However, you need to stick with me and hold
on because it’s just following that heaviness
that your burden will be lifted.

…all in just 9 minutes and 34 seconds.

So let’s get started.

God Bless YOU and YOURS,
Stephen Pierce

P.S. Today’s DTAlpha TalkBack will blast you
into an orbit of outstanding success and

Be ready for your ILLUMINATION!

If you liked that, you may also like to listen to the following message as well:-


If it’s true, that change happens in
a moment.



The few people who previewed today’s
TalkBack say it’s the most powerful
15 minutes of the new year so far.

God Bless YOU and YOURS,
Stephen Pierce

P.S. This is an unforgettable 15 minutes.
You owe it to yourself to experience it
right now.

Check out the rest of the site for other beneficial information whilst you are there.

Tending the Mind Garden

January 30, 2008 By: John Category: Attitude, Natural cures for depression 4 Comments →

I am a great believer that depression and similar afflictions such as anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder are caused by the way we think, and therefore they can be treated by controlling the way that we think. In fact I have demonstrated this to myself on several occasions, and in particular on one occasion when I was feeling quite morose from some inward thinking until my wife came home from the local gymnasium with symptoms resembling heart problems.

Suddenly, I forgot my perceived problems and dealt with the real problem of getting my wife medical attention as soon as possible. The good news is that medical tests revealed that she did not have any heart problems. It appears that her problem was a reaction to stress and I am convinced that this stress would have been caused by MY depressed inward thinking and outward actions.

This shows how depression, and related problems, has an effect on friends and family as well as the person who suffers from the affliction.

More good news is that since then I have not had any more bouts of depression. When I realized how much my depression was affecting my loved ones, I made a decision to take control of my thoughts. My thinking and values have now been restored to normal.

James Allen, in the early 1900s, wrote several books about self improvement. Amongst them was his classic book entitled “As a Man Thinketh. Here is an extract that demonstrates that he believed we can, and should, control our character, circumstances, and destiny by controlling our thoughts.

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth…

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits, which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in shaping his character, circumstances, and destiny.”

This is just a snippet of the many words of wisdom found in this masterpiece that has formed the basis of many modern self improvement teachings. You can learn more and get your own free copy of, “As a Man Thinketh” by clicking here.

We cannot stop various thoughts from continually entering our heads, but we can decide which thoughts we choose to allow to remain there, and those that we wish to weed out. Some speakers I have heard have used the analogy that we may not be able to stop birds from flying over our head, but we can stop them from building a nest on our head.

If you want to change your life for the better, consider changing your thinking!

Improve YOUR thinking! Get your free copy of “As a Man Thinketh” now!

Good Mood Foods. Chocolate

January 24, 2008 By: John Category: Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression No Comments →

One of the most powerful mood elevators is chocolate, says psychologist David Benton of Britain’s University of Wales.

In studies, he played music that put students into a depressed mood. Then he offered them either milk chocolate or carob, an imitation chocolate. Chocolate improved their moods; carob didn’t.

Also, chocolate cravings rose as moods sank. Benton says chocolate contains not just serotonin-boosting sugar and mind-soothing fat, but also other chemicals that favorably affect brain messengers controlling mood.

The bad news is that there are critics of this theory. They say that the benefits of eating chocolate are offset by the fact that eating chocolate gives a quick fix, of short duration, because of the rapid release of energy from the refined sugars and fats, and you can just as quickly experience a flat period until your next meal, or snack. They prefer that you eat low GI food and snacks that will provide a gradual release of energy and level out the highs and lows of feel-good and feel-tired moods.

Everything needs to be taken in moderation, even natural cures for depression. Take care, as too much chocolate may cause weight gains that could cause depression. Luckily, you can enjoy some chocolate and keep your weight under control as only small amounts are needed to produce the desired effect.

Other ways to combat depression naturally can be found here.

Good Mood Foods. Feel-Good Fat

January 22, 2008 By: John Category: Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression No Comments →

A low-fat diet may make you grumpy.

British researchers assessed the moods of 20 people, ages 20-37, before and after eating either a daily total of 41 percent or 25 percent of calories from fat. After a month, the lower-fat eaters were rated as more hostile and depressed. Those on the higher-fat diet exhibited better moods and less tension and anxiety.

One explanation is that fat stimulates hormones that influence activity of the brain chemical serotonin, important in governing mood. Low serotonin is linked with increased aggression and depression. One solution: Many experts say it’s OK to get your quota of feel-good fat if it’s mainly monounsaturated fat (olive oil) and fish fat and not artery-destroying saturated animal fat.

As with all things, everything in moderation, even for natural cures for depression. Take care, as too much fat, whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, will cause weight gains that, in itself, could cause depression.

Other ways to combat depression naturally can be found here.

Here is a recipe for a mood-boosting dessert

Milk, bananas, chocolate and almonds all have nutrients that help regulate brain cells.


3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa
3 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. sugar
2 cups 1 percent milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a heavy saucepan or double boiler, combine cocoa, cornstarch and sugar. Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer, still stirring, till pudding thickens, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Let pudding cool. Stir in bananas. Serve in dessert dishes, topped with almonds. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 225 calories, 7g protein, 6.5g fat (1.6g saturated), 38g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 64mg sodium.

What Foods Can Combat Depression, Anxiety and Stress?

December 19, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Information, Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression, Stress matters 12 Comments →

Perhaps the question should be, “Can foods combat depression, anxiety and stress?” or, “How to use food to combat depression, anxiety and stress?”

There are quite a lot of foods that are said to be conducive to combating depression, anxiety and stress. Psychologist, David Benton, of Britain’s University of Wales has conducted studies showing that chocolate is one of the most powerful mood elevators. Benton says chocolate contains not just serotonin-boosting sugar and mind-soothing fat, but also other chemicals that favorably affect brain messengers [neurotransmitters] controlling mood.

However, Professor Robert Sapolsky [Ph.D. Neuroendocrinology] of Stanford University states, in his lectures on “Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality”, that neurotransmitters are constructed from cheap and plentiful precursors – simple amino acids that you get in your diet in huge amounts. He also advises that they can be constructed very quickly and can be recycled. So it appears that there may be something, other than the composition of mood enhancing foods, that has a beneficial effect.

There is no doubt that most people enjoy eating. We consume a variety of foods and treats, including highly processed “junk foods”. We enjoy eating so much that we may indulge in restaurant meals, often as a special treat to celebrate occasions such as a birthday, a promotion at work, for a romantic interlude, or for no specific reason at all, other than to enjoy the experience. Just think of the many other occasions when we partake of food, including beverages, at social gatherings viz: following christenings, weddings, office parties, and even wakes when we celebrate the life of a departed friend or relative.

The enjoyment of eating can make a person feel good and have a beneficial effect on the mood of the consumer. This increase in feeling happy or contented has a corresponding reduction in the feelings of being depressed, anxious, or stressed. Even believing that certain foods can improve a person’s mood can do just that by virtue of the placebo effect. The placebo effect is the result of how our bodies react to what we believe in, either consciously or subconsciously, even when that is not necessarily the case. The saying, “If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t,” is quite valid and shows just how powerful our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings (all closely related) can be and how they can impact, in a positive or negative manner, on our bodies.

I believe that any foods that produce an enjoyable feeling may be useful in combating depression, anxiety and stress. So what may be beneficial foods for one person may not have the same impact on another. It is the enjoyment gained from eating that matters most as it is this feeling that triggers our neurons to release neurotransmitters such as seratonin, which is our body’s narural opiate.

Food and drink with a high GI [glycemic index] rating also provide us with a relatively quick burst of energy that can make us feel better.

Unfortunately, the benefits of eating foods with a high GI rating give a quick fix of short duration. The refined sugars and fats are considered to be empty calories as they provide the rapid, unsustained, release of energy. When this energy dissipates a period of lethargy follows. When this occurs you will often get an urge to eat more of the high GI foods to increase your energy levels and replenish feelings of well-being again. Eating low GI food and snacks will provide a gradual release of energy that prevents the “yo-yo” effect, or highs and lows, associated with high GI foods.

It is not only the highly refined foods that have a high GI rating; sodas are right up there with them as sodas invariably have a high sugar content, especially sports drinks.

If necessary, a compromise may be to eat a banana [high GI] to get a quick impact plus a few almonds [low GI] as a snack to obtain a sustained benefit.

Everything needs to be taken in moderation, even natural cures for depression. Take care, as too much chocolate, caffeine, or sodas may result in weight gain that could have the opposite effect and cause depression. Luckily, you can enjoy some chocolate and keep your weight under control as it is claimed that only small amounts are needed to produce the desired effect.

Whilst eating your favorite foods may improve your mood substantially, a shift away from negative thoughts, may be all that is needed to correct the “chemical imbalance” that many medical practitioners quickly blame for states of depression and anxiety etc? You may end up being a happier person without the need to resort to drugs that have dubious benefits and may result in a life long addiction to them!

“You Are What You Eat” applies to depression

December 18, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression 1 Comment →

There may be some truth to the adage “You are what you eat.”

Do you happen to be moody or depressed, in need of revitalization and energy, or notice your behavior and mood changes from day to day? For example you may feel on top of the world one day whereas on other days you feel like you are at the bottom of a pit. Then your mood and energy levels may be related to your diet.

It has been demonstrated that what you eat affects your mental functioning and, by choosing foods wisely, you may be better able to stabilize your emotional and mental health. Just as putting the right fuel into your automobile is very important, [You would not like the problems associated with diesel fuel in a gasoline tank.] putting the right food in your body may make the difference between a happy day and a grumpy day, and it may improve your overall performance.

Food can make us feel good. There is no doubt about that as many people eat food for pleasure more than for nutritional needs. The food we eat has the ability to alter the production or release of neurotransmitters within our bodies. These neurotransmitters are chemicals that the body uses to relay, amplify and modulate the transmission of our thoughts and actions to the brain, and other tissues such as muscles, via interfaces, known as synapses, between nerve endings [neurons]. There are very many neurotransmitters doing a variety of jobs.

Some examples of neurotransmitter action:

  • Acetylcholine – voluntary movement of the muscles
  • Norepinephrine – wakefulness or arousal
  • Dopamine – voluntary movement and motivation, “wanting”, pleasure, associated with addiction and love
  • Serotonin – memory, emotions, wakefulness, sleep and temperature regulation
  • GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) – inhibition of motor neurons
  • Glycine – spinal reflexes and motor behaviour
  • Neuromodulators – sensory transmission-especially pain

It is important to appreciate that it is the receptors on the ends of neurons that dictate the neurotransmitter’s effect. This will be expanded upon later when discussing addiction and withdrawal symptons and how they are caused.

The food we eat affects the neurotransmitters and thus our moods. These neurotransmitters also tell us when we are full, if a food is too hot, and how it tastes. There is a theory that the nutrients in foods are precursors to the neurotransmitters, deciding how much of the neurotransmitter is produced. Foods are made of many nutrients that interact together and this can complicate matters. This is also why some foods produce natural reactions, and maybe even remedies, that commercial extracts from the food, or synthesized chemicals, are unable to mirror.

Physiological and psychological interactions make up the mood-food connection. It may be that a food is comforting because it reminds us of a pleasurable association with family meals while growing up. It may be the temperature of the “comfort” food, like warm hot chocolate, that is the comforting element helping you to relax or fall asleep.

It is interesting that a little warm milk before bedtime also increases the levels of seratonin. As mom may have told you, it helps you to sleep. Serotonin is a derivative of tryptophan, which is found in milk. The “warm” part is just for comfort!

More about mood foods in the next post.

Good Humor Counters Depression and Anxiety

December 17, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Depression Treatment, Natural cures for depression 1 Comment →

“Good humor is tonic for the mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment. ” – Grenville Kleiser

With the benefit of hindsight I now realize that good humor has helped me to stave off depression on many occasions over the years. In fact, it is only when I allowed circumstances to overcome my sense of humor that depression set in.

Notice that I said, “when I allowed circumstances,” and did not blame prevailing circumstances for my predicament at the time! This is because we all have choices as to how we react, or respond, to what happens in our lives.

Make sure that the choices that you make are in YOUR best interests.

Healthy Hugs

November 28, 2007 By: John Category: Healthy Hugs, Natural cures for depression 10 Comments →

What better way could there be to help us to overcome our depression than by giving and receiving healthy hugs?

They are environmentally friendly, can be found wherever there are people, cost nothing other than a moment of time, have no adverse side effects, and you cannot give one without receiving one in return. However, they can be contagious and addictive.

Years ago, in the early eighties, I was given a sheet of paper with a very short version of the power and value of hugs. I still have it somewhere in my memorabilia. It was titled “Healthy Hugs” and I used to keep a copy with me to show people so that I could solicit some hugs without being considered to be somewhat strange or a pervert.

There is no doubt that hugs give a person a mental lift and a feeling of well being. I can also understand the benefits of hugs in relation to raising children and the maternal instinct of mothers, and other women, to cuddle babies. “Cuddling and caressing make the growing child feel secure and is known to aid in self-esteem,” claims Dr Achal Bhagat, a Deli-based psychiatrist.

It is unfortunate that many men are reluctant to embrace each other with a hug as they are concerned that such actions may be considered not to be macho. It is time that this misconception is changed!

I admire those communities that are not affected by this perception. I, too, used to be concerned about the possibility of being misinterpreted or misunderstood when soliciting a hug. This has now changed, and I am fortunate that my adult children [two sons and a daughter] and my grandchildren offer to hug me.

Recently, I did a little research on this topic and found that there is considerable scientific evidence supporting the immense health benefits of hugging. Amongst this evidence is:-

The America Psychosomatic Association released a report in 2003 that found hugs make people healthier. It was a study conducted by psychological researchers at the University of North Carolina to figure out the correlation between hugs and health. They put 100 couples together and asked 50 couples each to watch fun videos holding hands and hug for 20 seconds afterwards.

The other 50 couples were told to watch movies without any physical contact. Later, all the participants were asked to talk about stress they recently experienced for two to three minutes.

The result showed that couples with no physical bonding had twice as high blood pressures and heartbeats than their counterparts.

The level of cortisol, a hormone secreted in response to stress, also went up [in those couples that had no physical bonding]. The effect of physical contact, or bonding, to unwind the body was scientifically proven.


We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth
—Virginia Satir, family therapist

So try it for yourself! Hug somebody, or at least hold hands for a while.

How To Find Happiness

November 02, 2007 By: John Category: Attitude, Natural cures for depression, Recovery from depression, Stress matters 2 Comments →

There is no doubt that happy and contented people seem to have very few problems with depression. They are generally calm, except when they are excited from having a good time, and they seldom seem to get stressed out. On the other hand, those people who suffer from depression are often stressed, withdrawn, melancholy, continually tired or exhausted, sad, and worry a lot, amongst other things.

This leads me to believe that, if people suffering from depression can become happy, perhaps their dark cloud of depression will lift and fade away. After all, the ancient Greeks believed [rightly so] that the best cure for melancholia was singing and dancing.

Now I know that there are some morbid and sad songs about and there are some theatrical dance routines that depict tragedy and pathos, but The ancient Greeks and I are referring to pleasant, happy music and dancing. Both singing and dancing stimulate the body to produce endorphins that are the body’s answer to opiates. The endorphins give us a natural high and make us feel good. This is why it is best to stop moping around if you happen to be depressed and DO something physical.

It is also good to take time out to do something new, or something that we have not allowed ourselves time for recently, but we thoroughly enjoy the activity. This compels us to concentrate on the activity at hand and to stop the continual re-visiting the past and ruminating about what should have been done, what could have been done, and what I should have said, blaming oneself for being foolish, etc. etc. ad nauseum. If you suffer, or have ever suffered, from depression, you will know what I am talking about.

I believe that we should always endeavor to be happy, calm, and contented, and live our lives in the present rather than in the past.

This is why I recommend the e-book, How To Find Happiness, written by Jennifer Summers. It is a great guide to health and happiness as attested to by Doctor Phyllis Gold, author of “Happiness – do what it takes” who said about How To Find Happiness:-

“If you want to increase your confidence and reduce the stress and anxiety in your life, then this program is second to none. It will make you happier and therefore healthier!”