Feeling Suicidal? Drink Coffee!

 

coffee helps suicidal depressed people

So you feel really depressed right now and want to take your life? Have some coffee first! It might just save you.

It reads like a joke, but it’s actually true. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found out that drinking 2-4 cups of coffee a day (equal to 400 mg of caffeine/day) reduces the risk of suicide by about 50%.

Apparently, caffeine helps to stimulate the central nervous system, while at the same time acting as a mild antidepressant.

This makes me wonder whether Starbucks customers are generally happier than the non-coffee drinking population…

References:
– Drinking Coffee May Reduce Risk of Suicide in Adults

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

walking away from dreadful job

Walk away from your dreadful job and start living your life

When you’re stuck in a job you hate, you suffer. Not just during your work hours but all the time. The thought how much you want to escape this situation is always in the back of your head, even when you’re not actively thinking about it.

Then why do so many people put up with this? Why don’t they wave their job good-bye and move on to something they actually enjoy?

Fear is one of the biggest roadblocks, often being overwhelming and leaving you paralyzed. Questions such as “What if I can’t find another job? Will I end up on the streets?” are scary.

It is true that your success is not guaranteed. You might or might not find a decent job you enjoy. You might be poor for a while or even a long time. You might lose friends, might have to move into a smaller apartment.

Or maybe not. Maybe you hit the jackpot instead, finding yourself in the job of your dreams. Happiness could be just around the corner.

You will never find out what’s possible if you don’t try. Yes, it’s risky. And yes, it can be damn scary. But if you don’t take the leap, you will always be stuck in a dreadful job.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

comparing others depressed

…until you stop comparing.

Everybody does it every now and then. Comparing yourself to others seems to come naturally to us, but do we benefit from it or does it simply make us miserable?

Pros
You could say that comparing your efforts to other people’s efforts might make you more motivated and driven when you see what’s possible. This can certainly be helpful when you’re competing in sports for example.

Cons
Comparisons can easily turn against you when they lead to negative self-talk. Do you ever compare your clothes/car/house to other people’s? How often does it end in “I’m so grateful for my life”? Probably not too often. Instead, feelings of unfairness and jealousy will fill your heart, making you sad and resentful.

Wanting to grow and become better is a natural urge. We want to strive for the best. This doesn’t need to involve comparing ourselves to others though.

Why don’t we simply look at our past achievements if we decide to compare. How well did you do ten or five years ago? How far have you come since then? Focussing on your personal path will give you more realistic and helpful feedback, guaranteed.

References:
– A Helpful Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Feeling Unmotivated? Do This!

pick one household chore

Look at those pretty sponges! It certainly makes cleaning up more fun.

Do you ever feel like everyday tasks, such as making dinner or doing the laundry, are overwhelming? Just the thought of all the preparation that goes into each task can be too much.

Sometimes I still get this feeling, even though I know that doing household chores is really not a big deal.

So what can you do to snap out of this apathy?

Pick ONE thing you need to do, e.g. taking out the trash. Don’t worry about all the other tasks that are screaming for your attention. Simply focus on this one chore. Don’t complain, don’t pity yourself – just do it.

Now that you’ve completed that task, how do you feel? Better than before, right? Perfect! Then go on to do the next task. Use the momentum you’ve created to tackle the rest of the chores.

When you break down your mental to-do list (instead of looking at the whole picture), you realize that taking small steps is easy and doesn’t take too much energy. You might even end up liking the process, wondering why you ever felt so unmotivated in the first place.

So remember: focus on one thing and get the ball rolling.

The Past is the Past

leave past behind heal depression

Obsessive thinking about what you should or shouldn’t have done in the past will not add any happiness to your life. On the contrary, it will make you feel remorseful, sad or even angry.

The past should stay where it is – in the past.

Whether you like or don’t like the decisions you’ve made and all the things that happened to you, it’s important to move on. Bad experiences can help you get motivated to change your life for the better. Don’t play the victim role, as tempting as it is, but take responsibility for everything in your life.

Time is very powerful, it’s your friend. What hurt like hell a few days ago will only prick a little next year.

Focus on the life you want, don’t keep dwelling on your past. You don’t want to miss all the great things that are ahead of you because you’re too busy looking back.

Get An Energy Boost with Vitamin B12

b12

Did you know that depression can be one of the early symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

If you experience mental fogginess, memory problems, mood swings and fatigue, chances are you’re deficient in B12. Vegetarians, people over 50, heavy coffee drinkers, and people who take certain prescription drugs are especially at risk.

If this sounds like you, please have your B12 levels checked. Whether your levels are low or within the normal range, it is a good idea to consume more vitamin B12 (you can’t overdose).

Natural sources include beef, beef liver, chicken and eggs. All of these should ideally be organic. However, sometimes you need a bit more B12 than what you can get from your food, especially when you’re severely deficient. In that case, supplementation is a safe alternative.

Look for a B12 supplement that contains methylcobalamin, which is superior to the more common cyanocobalamin.

I’m quite happy with my sublingual B12 supplement, which I take once in a while. Every time I do take it, I notice a boost of energy and improved mood. It’s certainly an investment well worth it.

References:
– Potentially Life Threatening Vitamin Deficiency Affects 25% of Adults
– A Shot in Time Saves Mind

The 100-Hour Rule

helping others make us happy

The path to happiness doesn’t need to be selfish. You don’t have to focus solely on yourself. In fact, it would be very beneficial to forget about yourself for a while and focus on other people instead.

Helping others is one of the most satisfying things you can do to fight depression.

Here are 4 reasons why you should consider volunteering:

1) It gives your self-esteem a healthy boost. Since you are doing good for others, your life automatically becomes more meaningful and fulfilling.

2) It is great for making new friends. When you’re socially isolated, it is much more likely to fall into depression. Being around other people will keep you cheerful.

3) It is fun. Pick a volunteer opportunity that matches your goals and interests in order to have the most enjoyable experience.

4) It keeps you healthy. Interestingly, volunteering is not only good for your mental health but also your physical health. It can lessen symptoms of chronic pain and heart disease among other things.

Some people say 100 hours of volunteering a year (that’s two hours a week) is the magic number, but I wouldn’t take that too seriously. Any amount of time spent helping others will make you feel better about yourself. Guaranteed.

References:
– Volunteering and Its Surprising Benefits
– 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy

You Are What You Wear

clean socks depression

What do you wear when you feel down? Do you reach for a hoody and sweatpants, or do you choose a nice suit or dress?

If you’re like me, you would probably put on comfy casual clothes. However, that might not be the best decision.

I came across an article that mentioned a study on the link between clothing choices and emotional states:

“Women who are depressed or sad are more likely to wear baggy tops, jeans, and a sweatshirt or jumper. Women who are happy or positive are more likely to wear a favorite dress, jewelry, and jeans. These clothing choices seem to mean that women who are feeling down put less effort into what they’re wearing, and women who are in a good mood tend to try and look nicer to match their mood.”

One of the researchers suggests “we should give more thought to what we wear and even dress for happiness, irrespective of how we are feeling.”

I think this is a wonderful idea, because I know from personal experience how important it is to feel good in your clothes. If my clothes don’t fit properly, are dirty or mismatched or simply too casual, I tend to feel less confident.

So next time you feel sad, dress up! It might just make you feel better.

References:
– The Link Between Clothing Choices and Emotional States

Fruit Can Prevent Heart Disease and Depression

fruit prevents heart disease depression

We’ve all heard the famous saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now there is proof for it.

The consumption of apples keeps your arteries squeaky clean as a 2012 study of healthy middle-aged adults found out. The participants ate an apple every day for 4 weeks, which “lowered by 40 percent blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the arteries.” This is great news if you want to prevent heart disease.

But how about depression?

An Australian study surveying 6,000 women over a 6-year period found that eating at least two servings of fruit a day lowers the risk of becoming depressed. Apparently, eating vegetables did not have the same effect, probably because they are not as high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds as fruit.

Now I’m going to enjoy my daily apple even more.

References:
An Apple a Day Lowers Level of Blood Chemical Linked to Hardening of the Arteries
 Fruit Is a Depression Buster for Women

Gratitude for a Happier Life

thanks

Gratitude is an interesting emotion.
Whenever we count our blessings, we feel an instant boost of happiness. It is almost like an antidote to sadness, lifting our spirits out of the darkness.

Just imagine what our lives would be like if instead of reaching for pills, alcohol or junk food we reached for pen and paper to write down what we’re grateful for?

Gratitude is powerful.
It makes life brighter and more meaningful.

Let’s make it a point to practice gratitude every day.