Change Your Posture, Change Your Life

We all know that bad posture is bad for our health. If you slouch, you end up with pains and aches, and possibly a hunchback. What we tend to forget is that our posture also affects our mood (and vice versa).

Whenever you make yourself physically small, i.e. you tense up, slouch, look down, you will feel weak and insecure.

The same goes for the opposite. Whenever you make yourself taller, i.e. stand straight, chin up, look ahead, you will feel strong and confident.

We can totally take advantage of this when we are depressed and want to feel better. Get your body into a position of confidence and power, and you can’t help but feel good. Your muscles communicate to your brain that you’re experiencing confidence. In return, your brain will produce the corresponding emotional chemicals, which make you feel happy. Add a smile to your face and it will work even better! :-)

Do this exercise on a regular basis and pay attention to the positive results showing up in your life.

No News for a Week Challenge

newspaper

I have a little experiment for you. Do not watch, read or listen to any news for a whole week!

I personally avoid the news quite frequently for several reasons:

1) They are mostly negative and indeed quite scary, which adds more fuel to depression

2) They distract you from what’s actually important in your life

3) They are not a valid representation of reality since you only get “filtered” information

4) Following the news can be addictive

I’m sure there are even more reasons to avoid the news. If you pay close attention to the headlines, you will notice a pattern. You read about violence, terrorism, death, diseases and suffering. But, hey, wait a minute – what about people helping each other, and gestures of kindness and love? Why do these uplifting stories only appear in the news once in a while and never on the front page? Maybe they are too boring?

Mainstream news are incredibly one-sided. If you follow them on a regular basis, you might think this world is a hostile and scary place. It’s not. There are many wonderful events happening around the world that never get reported.

So give it a try and don’t follow the news for a whole week (or two), and see what happens. Do you really miss out on anything? If anything truly important happens to mankind, you will certainly hear about it from a friend or neighbour. So don’t worry about it.

After you have successfully ended your little experiment, you might notice that you feel happier and less fearful. And think about how much time you saved for more important things in your life. It’s a win-win situation.

If You Feel This One Emotion, You Can’t Be Depressed

You can feel only one emotion at a time. You can choose to feel angry, upset, sad, depressed, or any other negative emotion. Or you can choose to feel happy, loving, or grateful. I don’t know about you, but I would certainly decide to spend most of my time in an emotional state that makes me feel good.
So when I start to feel bad energy in my body, I know it’s time to take a few deep breaths and change my emotional state.
As I said, in any given moment you can feel only one emotion, which is either a positive or a negative one.
There is one particular emotion that trumps all other emotions in terms of changing your state for the better: gratitude.
You can’t feel grateful and depressed at the same time. You can’t feel grateful and angry at the same time. It’s impossible.
So whenever you decide to focus on gratitude, all depressing thoughts will dissipate.
The more you practice feeling grateful, the better you will get at keeping this blissful state. Yes, it takes practice, and at first you might only get ten seconds of bliss. But once you make gratitude a constant part of your life, you will be in a much better place. Give it a try.

Falling in Love with Life Again

Don’t you just love it when you hear a baby’s genuine belly laugh? Or when you see children in awe of something new they just discovered? Our little ones learn more about life every single day, and they LOVE it. They can’t get enough it! They absorb every bit of new information like a sponge. Everything is exciting to them. Yet, not everything is rosy in a child’s world. They fall and hurt themselves. They lose toys. Adults set rules for them that they don’t like. Often they don’t get what they want. And yet, they are happy.

I think we can learn a lot from our children. We, too, can learn to love life again! Let’s not get discouraged by our failures and hardships but use them as valuable lessons. Let’s wake up every day with a smile and be grateful for another day we get to spend on this planet.

In other words: revive your inner child and enjoy life!

Life Is Beautiful

Since there is a depression-related suicide in the news (RIP Robin Williams), I thought I would take the time to write about an alternative to taking your life. If you’re deeply depressed, like this famous actor appears to have been, the thought of committing suicide has probably crossed your mind at least once or twice. It seems like an “easy” solution to all your problems, all your pain. Indeed, it looks very attractive. No more suffering – poof. But is this really what you want? Leaving your loved ones behind mourning? Never reaching your goals? Never finding out what could have been, had you endured life a little longer? The more questions you ask, the more you see that suicide is a bad choice. It does not solve your problems. It’s an avoidance tactic. You have to do the opposite… take your life into your hands, take responsibility. Easier said than done, I know. You have to start by breaking your negative thought patterns. The more bad thoughts you foster, the worse your life seems to be. However, even if you’re stuck in a bad situation, this is no justification to become depressed. What appears to be the end of the world to you, could in fact be a blessing in disguise and a new opportunity to start living the life of your dreams. Instead of focusing on everything that’s wrong and painful, look for everything that is good in your life. Look in every nook and cranny. Pick up the crumbs of hope in your life and feast on them. If your life is miserable, do something about it. You’re the only one who can. Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective, a change of attitude. Surround yourself with happy people, watch kittens on YouTube, and by all means, do what you love. Life is short, don’t make it any shorter than it has to be.

Seaweed – The New Superfood?

There are thousands of varieties of seaweed on this planet, many of which are very nutritious and healing for the human body. Some of the better known seaweeds are nori, dulse and kelp.

Now what exactly makes seaweed so amazing? Here is your answer, short and simple:

“Sea vegetables provide all 56 minerals and trace elements required for your body’s physiological functions in quantities greatly exceeding those of land plants”

In other words, you could survive on seaweed alone!

The health benefits of seaweed have been known for centuries. It has been used to treat  depression, memory loss, low libido, radiation poisoning, and much more. It truly is amazing!

So why not include this healthy food in your diet? Whether it is in the form of nori rolls, dulse flakes or kelp noodles. You can add all kinds of sauces and spreads to make seaweed more tasty if you don’t like its natural flavour.

Be adventurous and try out new recipes, such as this one:

Raw Vegan Sushi

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 sheets of dried nori seaweed (un-toasted)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup julienned cucumber slivers
  • 1/2 to 1 cup julienned carrots slivers
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup thin-slices avocado
  • 2 to 3 cups sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, clover, etc.)
  • Soy sauce, sushi vinegar or miso to taste (or any vegan dressing)
  • 1 cup of water (to seal the edge of the nori sheet to the roll)

References:

- The Health Benefits of Seaweed

- SeaWeed FAQs

- Raw Vegan Sushi

Postpartum Depression

There is a significant number of women who suffer from postpartum depression. It might not be very obvious at first, especially since sleep deprivation is hard on all new parents and therefore a certain degree of unhappiness is to be expected. However, if it goes further than that and you feel disconnected, can’t seem to bond with your newborn and maybe even feel resentful, you might have a problem with depression.
But there is hope! You can try to cure your PPD naturally.
These are some quick tips:

- Consume Omega 3 fatty acids
– Get plenty of sunshine or try bright light therapy
– Exercise (20-30 minutes a day should suffice)
– Take folic acid

And always remember that you’re blessed with an amazingly cute and fascinating newborn who soon you will love more than anything else…

Rewire Your Brain

 

What if I could just teach myself to think positively every time unpleasant feelings come up? Wouldn’t that be an enormous relief?

It is much more realistic than you might think. A Stanford study showed some very interesting results regarding the rewiring of brains to prevent depression. You can read the article here.

While this particular study focused only on 10- to 14-year-old girls, I believe anyone would benefit from rewiring their brains to react better to negative situations. Since stress can cause diseases such as depression, training your brain not to overreact to negative stimuli would be extremely beneficial.

How to do this? Think of pleasant experiences every time bad feelings start to creep up on you. It sounds very simple, and indeed it is.