Home
Newsletter
Events
Blogs
Reports
Infographics
RSS
About Us
Contact Us
Write for Us
Media Info
Advertising Info
Winter blues

Beat the winter blues with these tips

Thursday, November 07, 2013 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: winter blues, seasonal affective disorder, mental health

Most Viewed Articles
https://www.naturalnews.com/042817_winter_blues_seasonal_affective_disorder_mental_health.html
Delicious
diaspora
Print
Email
Share

(NaturalNews) With shorter days and fewer hours of sunlight available in autumn and winter, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) rears its unpleasant head in up to 20 percent of the American population. Characterized by moodiness, depression, cravings for simple carbohydrates, weight gain, fatigue and melancholy, the condition can range from simple "wintertime blues" to full blown incapacitation. The affliction tends to be more prominent in young people and women.

Defeating seasonal malaise

Several natural remedies are helpful in alleviating SAD. Short of traveling south every winter for a hearty dose of sunshine, the methods below offer practical solutions for curbing this distressing syndrome.

Exercise and fresh air - Even when the weather is overcast and uninspiring, it's important to spend at least a small amount of time outdoors during the day. Research has found that those with seasonal affective disorder derive the same benefits from spending 30 minutes daily in the open air (regardless of direct sunlight) as individuals who use a light box for several hours per day.

Full-spectrum light - When the weather absolutely prohibits venturing outside, a full-spectrum light box is the next best option. Studies have shown blue light to be the most successful in diminishing seasonal depression. A minimum of 45 minutes per day in the morning is recommended to normalize circadian rhythms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy - A study held at the University of Vermont found cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to be a superior remedy for seasonal affective disorder compared to daily full-spectrum light sessions. Approximately one year after acute treatment, only 7 percent of the CBT group suffered a relapse of seasonal depression, while participants who continued light therapy experienced a 36.7 percent reoccurrence.

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, cognitive behavioral therapy involves the following steps:

  1. Identify disturbing situations or conditions in your life.
  2. Become aware of your thoughts, beliefs and emotions regarding these situations or conditions.
  3. Recognize negative, inaccurate or flawed thinking.
  4. Challenge the faulty thoughts.

The theory as to why CBT is more successful long term than other therapies in healing seasonal depression is that it substantially modifies thinking patterns associated with the disorder, thereby positively influencing brain chemistry.

Supplements that encourage the production of serotonin are also beneficial. Dr. Ray Sahelian recommends 5-HTP, SAM-e and/or St. John's wort. Small doses of melatonin (under 0.5 mg) in the afternoon are helpful as well to regulate sleep/wake cycles, which tend to be disrupted in those suffering from SAD.

Furthermore, avoiding caffeine, stimulants, refined sugar and alcohol is helpful in balancing depressive mental states. Instead, focus on fatty fish (including fish oil supplements), turkey, chicken, eggs, complex carbohydrates, a variety of vegetables and adequate B vitamins - all of which encourage a bright and positive mind.

Sources:

http://science.naturalnews.com

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

http://www.mayoclinic.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.raysahelian.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Thrive-Living/4995788...

For Pinterest fans: www.pinterest.com/thriveliving/

Find at Google+: www.goo.gl/cEZiyR

Diaspora*: [email protected]

Tsu: www.tsu.co/ThriveLiving

and Twitter: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living

Read her other articles on Natural News here:

www.naturalnews.com/Author1183.html

Receive Our Free Email Newsletter

Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.


comments powered by Disqus


Natural News Wire (Sponsored Content)

Science.News
Science News & Studies
Medicine.News
Medicine News and Information
Food.News
Food News & Studies
Health.News
Health News & Studies
Herbs.News
Herbs News & Information
Pollution.News
Pollution News & Studies
Cancer.News
Cancer News & Studies
Climate.News
Climate News & Studies
Survival.News
Survival News & Information
Gear.News
Gear News & Information
Glitch.News
News covering technology, stocks, hackers, and more