6 Steps to Fight Depression Headaches
6 Steps to Fight Depression Headaches
By Anthony Cocco
Depression is no joking matter. It is estimated that roughly 121 million people around the world suffer from some form of depression. In the United States alone, depression affects one in ten Americans. Cheryl K. Olson, co-director of the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry states; “Many individuals who suffer from depression are not helped by the first drug and some never find a drug that will help.”
When we are depressed, we can have difficulty concentrating, feel helpless, have a loss of interest, emotionally eat and even experience thoughts of suicide. If the depression continues and goes unchecked, our body can face symptoms of aches and pains, cramps, digestive disorders, inflammation and even frequent headaches. As a former migraine sufferer, I know how depression and depression-related headaches can wreak havoc on our lives.
I want to take this opportunity to share some tips and tricks on how to fight depression and depression-related headaches, naturally. Hopefully, by implementing some of these things, you can begin to get some relief for yourself in the process.
Add Greens to Your Meal
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, roughly three-fourths of Americans are not consuming the recommended servings of vegetables per day. Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine healers believe that if the liver is out of balance we may experience anger, difficulty unwinding from daily activities, irritability and trouble letting go. Greens help strengthen your immune system; lift your spirit to eliminate depression; and even improve liver, gall bladder and kidney function.
Some of the greens I try and make a staple in my diet are: arugula, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, chard, chicory, collards, dandelion, kale, spinach and watercress. For anyone considering juicing dark leafy greens, watch Juicing: Dandelion Greens.
Boost Serotonin Naturally
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that relay information between our brain and body. When these are out of balance, adverse symptoms, such as depression are likely. Serotonin is responsible for managing appetite, dreaming, mood and sleep. When our serotonin levels are low, we are likely to experience anxiety, depression, become irritable, and have difficulty sleeping. If our serotonergic system is active and strong, our brain has the ability to control and process the flow of information, thoughts and regulate many of the governing activities.
To boost serotonin naturally, add or increase any of the following to your lifestyle: bananas, dark chocolate (raw cacao), flax seeds, leafy greens, smiling, spending time in nature, sunlight, walking and water.
Develop an Invigorating Routine
Until we make our health and well-being a legitimate priority, we will continue to go through the motions. When we have a daily routine that is mundane, we lose our spark. It is so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life. Going from task to task, we can easily lose track of the little things that make us feel alive! Leadership guru John Maxwell suggests, “The secret to success is determined in our daily agenda.” We all operate within the same system where every day has 1,440 minutes.
An invigorating routine should focus on ways to enhance your body (physical activity, nutritious eating, and sleep), mind (learning and using your imagination), and spirit (meditation, prayer, and positive relationships). Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to your routine. Find what works for you and stick to it.
Attitude of Gratitude
When you woke up this morning and opened your eyes, did you view today as an opportunity or was it just another day? From the moment we start our day, we have the capability to choose our attitude. What I know to be true is our attitude is directly linked to the quality of our life and the actions we make to achieve it. Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the easiest methods to stop depression. If we are grateful for each day, we are thankful and will openly express our appreciation. As a result, we are likely to be present in the moment.
Consider the words of Denis Waitley, “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”
The best way to adopt an attitude of gratitude is to get a journal and spend time each morning writing and reflecting what you are grateful for. For more information check out Drew’s Mindset Monday video.
Make Sleep a Priority
Without a doubt, when I suffered from migraines and depression, making sleep a priority was one of the most difficult lifestyle changes. However, once I did, my body and mind began to immediately thank me. A lack of sleep slows down the thinking process in the mind. When this happens, it becomes harder to focus or pay attention with little to no sleep. Once we have a good night’s rest, our brain is able to form new learning and memory pathways. People are able to learn new tasks and can remember what they learned with superb sleep. This is critical for those who experience depression because it may be tough to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.
If you have trouble sleeping, supplements such as melatonin and valerian may help. Additionally, chamomile, passion flower tea, and tart cherry juice have all helped me at one point or another.
Try Drew’s Seasonal Depression Juice
To fight depression, whether is it seasonal, chronic, or has manifested into other health symptoms, there is a mind and body connection. The sooner we come to this realization we can embark upon the journey to take back our life.
Regardless of where you live, we can all use a little liquid sunshine. Get the recipe here: Liquid Sunshine Juice Recipe
For almost two decades, Anthony suffered from a never-ending migraine. In October 2010, it was suggested by his neurologist to receive multiple Botox injections in his head and he immediately decided to take his health into his own hands. After months of trial and error he became migraine free on May 13, 2011, by implementing a holistic lifestyle. He has since dedicated his life’s work to creating programs that will work alongside healthcare professionals, focused on the holistic alternatives that are consistently overlooked.
Anthony is a Certified Health Coach, Leadership Coach, and former migraine sufferer. His passion can be found in helping individuals understand their unique body and become best prepared to overcome migraines and headaches.
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