DO NOT waste any more of your life NOT treating your depression! One researcher validates what both my own research and my personal experience has already proven to me.
Exercise and nutrition is absolutely essential for conquering depression!
Clinical psychologist Stephen Ilardi describes what those of us with depression already know: that depression is incredibly painful. Depression activates the pain centers of the brain, making it emotional and physical torment.
Depression rates are increasing with every generation. Prescription of depression medication is at an all-time high, but depression rates are not declining.
Let me be absolutely clear that I am in no way against medication. Like Dr. Ilardi, I believe in fighting depression with every tool possible. BUT! Research has proven that depression CAN be overcome without medication.
If you are taking medication because you are not able to live well without it, this could just be a step toward eventually being medication-free. It does not indicate weakness in any form.
Moreover, if you are taking medication to overcome depression, and are not eating an anti-inflammatory diet and being physically active, you are doing yourself a scientifically-proven disservice.
Why would you do that?!
I strongly believe that every single person owes it to themselves to be informed of the mountain of clear evidence about depression. Watching this video is one of the easiest ways to do that. In one video, this experienced scientist describes six factors that are PROVEN to fight depression.
This is one of the best talks on the topic of depression that I’ve seen. Here are the major takeaway points:
Depression is runaway stress response. The stress response is a biological mechanism designed to save our lives from imminent danger. But in civilization today, stress responses often last for weeks, months, and years. When this stress is chronic, it can physically and chemically damage the brain.
Biologically, we are designed to be physically active, eat nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory foods, sleep plenty, and be social. We are not designed to live the lifestyle we have today.
6 Factors that Conquer Depression
In the video, Dr. Ilardi covers three of the six factors that are proven to change neurochemistry and protect the brain from depression.
“Exercise is medicine. And I’m not speaking metaphorically. Exercise LITERALLY is medicine. It changes the brain and the body in beneficial ways that are more powerful than any pill you can take,” says Ilardi. Exercise is miraculous.
You don’t need to become a fitness model or bodybuilder to reap the enormous benefits. All you need to do is brisk walking. Do it with friends or family. Just 30 minutes, 3 times a week of brisk walking has been proven to be just as effective as Zoloft in the long term.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A brain with inflammation is a brain with depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, and over a dozen research trials have shown that omega-3s are antidepressant. EPA is the best type of Omega-3s for depression, so look for foods or supplements with high doses of EPAs.
3. Social Connection
Depression tells us to pull away and withdraw, but it is the worst thing for us. We are designed to have several hours of face-to-face time with people we care about and people who care about us. More face-to-face social support prevents depression, so make it a priority.
The other three factors not covered in the video are:
4. Bright Light
5. Healthy Sleep
6. Avoiding Rumination (dwelling on negative thoughts)
You can read about the depression fighting properties of bright light and avoiding rumination in my article about depression hacks here.
With this much clear evidence on how to conquer depression, there is no excuse not to begin to incorporate these factors in your life. How could you not? You owe it to yourself!