Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Tips, Trivia, and Tidbits

Top ways to beat the "Winter Blues"

I searched the web for a list of tips for beating those nasty winter blues. I think that the best advice came from the Livestrong website. Here is what it said.....

Light Therapy... Increased exposure to full-spectrum light is now the Number One recommended treatment for SAD. This can include exposure to natural light [the sun] or artificial light. The light intensity should be at least 10,000 Lux for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes a day. Early-morning exposure appears to work best.

Vitamin D ...Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin," and improper levels of it have been linked to many illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Recent studies have also found that Vitamin D plays a significant role in depression and mood regulation. A blood test is required to determine a patient's vitamin D levels. Studies indicate that it can often take months of supplementation and sunlight exposure to bring low vitamin D levels to a healthy range. Talk to your doctor and get tested before you begin supplementation. It is very important that your doctor monitors your vitamin D levels via blood testing to make sure your levels are therapeutic and not toxic.

Omega 3...There is mounting evidence that the omega-3 acid DHA reduces symptoms of depression. Your brain needs a constant input of essential omega-3 fats for it to work properly. The richest sources of DHA are fatty fish--such as anchovies, bluefish, carp, catfish, halibut, herring, lake trout, mackerel, pompano, salmon, striped sea bass, tuna (albacore) and whitefish--and fish-oil capsules. Plant-derived sources like tofu/soybeans, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed oil and canola oil are also recommended.The recommended dosage varies from 1,000 to 4,500mg per day. The best omega-3 supplement is molecularly distilled fish oil that is higher in DHA than EPA. As with vitamin D, however, consult with your doctor before beginning supplementation.

  • NOTE: supplement with a high-quality cod liver oil, as it is "fish-plus": fish oils plus vitamin D and A. A high-quality cod liver oil may be more important than any other supplement you can take, because it is not a supplement at all: It is an essential food source.

Abstaining from Sugar, High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Artificial Sweeteners ... Sugar, high-fructose corn syrup [HFCS], and artificial sweeteners have a seriously detrimental impact on your brain function and mood states. There is a great book on the subject written by William Duffy called "The Sugar Blues." I suggest that you read it and begin making a conscious effort to eliminate these toxins from you diet.

Exercise... Regular physical activity has been shown to be as helpful in reducing symptoms of depression as are antidepressant medications, individual psychotherapy and group therapy. However, research shows that it may take at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for at least 3 to 5 weeks to significantly improve symptoms of depression. Smaller amounts of activity have been shown to improve mood states in the short term. One study, in which participants walked daily for 7 weeks, showed decreases in depressive symptoms over 5 months. Certainly, exercise has fewer side effects than medication.

Laughter... Laughter increases the production of "feel-good" chemicals in your body, while fostering a positive state of mind. It is a natural high that leaves us feeling uplifted, energized and in a more blissful state. Engaging in a minimum of 10 minutes of laughter a day (or approximately 100 "HO HO HA HA HA'"s is considered a healthy therapeutic dose.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy...Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be as effective in treating depression as are antidepressant medications, but without the side effects. CBT helps people change their beliefs and behaviors to be more positive, life-affirming and self-empowering.

Remember: What you focus on is what you get.

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"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi.