Happiness is a nine-letter word
In the Yahoo Health article, "Six Natural Ways to Feel Happier," the author discussed some basic and easy ways to overcome the blues.
Sweat away the sadness – Research proves that exercise can improve mental health. I wrote about my experiences with endorphins a few times. The article said that working out can relieve mild to moderate depression as well as antidepressant medication because it stimulates dopamine in the brain (the feel good chemical). Even exercises like Yoga or stretching can help keep depression at bay.
Eat good food – Fish that contains Omega 3 fatty acids enhances areas of the brain that effect moods. Just by eating salmon, char, sardines or other fish (low-mercury swimmers) twice a week can make a big difference in your mood. Having a baked potato will also help (dose of vitamin B6). Also, foods rich in folate (e.g., spinach, beans and oranges) are filled with serotonin that will break through most blues.
Have sweet dreams – getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is one of the best ways to beat the blues. People that have insomnia are five times more likely to experience depression. The article gives some helpful hints to help you go to sleep easier and stay asleep.
Claim some quiet time – Meditation is as good as most medications in reducing depression. From my personal experience, it does this and so much more. If you feel uncomfortable trying meditation, just try ten minutes of deep breathing each day. There are some deep breathing exercises in the Smart Exercise Guide.
See the light – Depressed people who experienced one hour of bright light each morning for five weeks experienced a 54 percent improvement in symptoms. Flick on an energy light to read the morning paper or spend some time in the early morning sun. Try sitting near a window where light streams in.
Phone a pal – It is not surprising that lonely people are more depressed. Strengthen bonds with at least three good friends. Set regular times where you meet at the park (or at the library or mall). Friends will make you feel better almost immediately.
I also recommend a hobby ... something that you enjoy and takes your mind off everything else.