5 Ways Science Helps You Fight Depression Today!
Over the last hundred years or so, we have seen some huge changes in the world we live in.
The creation of the modern motor vehicle, the advancement of modern medicine, and of course, the amazing conception of HBO (on demand, I should add).
It is, for the most part, a truly wonderful time to be alive.
However, this isn’t to say that it’s without any downfalls.
While you no longer face the same physical stress that you would have a hundred years ago, you do face an incredible amount of mental stress every single day. Stress from work, from your morning commute, and even stress from your family and friends.
Really, is it any wonder that depression is now the most common cause of mental illness on the planet?
But fortunately for you (and the rest of population, for that matter), this is not a death sentence. Over the last few years here have been some incredibly important scientific breakthroughs that can help you improve your mental health and treat your depression.
So, without further ado – the best 5 ways science helps you fight depression.
#1. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
For the better part of a millennia, mindfulness and mediation has been used to improve mood, enhance wellbeing, and ultimately help one achieve spiritual enlightenment.
While this may sound a little farfetched (what even is spiritual enlightenment anyway?), there is a growing body of evidence showing that these types of mental exercises do have some benefit – particularly regarding your mental health.
You see, they can teach you how manage your emotions better, while also lowering your general levels of stress.
Which is exactly where mindfulness-based cognitive therapy enters the discussion.
As its name so aptly suggests, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (also known as MBCT for short) is a unique modality of therapy that uses mindfulness to help treat depression.
MBCT integrates aspects of mindfulness and meditation, with specific breathing exercises, to teach you how to reduce stress and react more effectively to everyday situations. As I am sure you can imagine, this not only improves your mood, but also does wonders for your mental health.
Speak about a high quality scientifically-based depression treatment.
#2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Next on the list we have cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT for short).
CBT is an extremely well-regarded depression treatment that essentially teaches you how to actively change both your internal thoughts and your daily behaviours.
You see, depression is often thought to develop via an unconscious and negative change in your mindset. This change results in you having a very negative and unhealthy outlook on simple everyday situations – which is where CBT really comes into its own.
When used appropriately, CBT teaches you how to actively turn these negative thoughts and feelings into something much more positive.
This entire process revolves around educating you on new ways of coping that are directly related to you as an individual. You will then be taught how to use these new coping mechanisms to change both your mindset and your behaviours.
CBT has been shown to act as an extremely effective means of improving mental health and treating depression – making it a fantastic option for anyone.
#3. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
I hope you are ready for some rather cool science (or maybe that’s just my inner science nerd talking… but, whatever).
Enter transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (commonly known as TMS) is an amazing depression treatment that revolves around the concept of using magnetic fields to activate specific nerve cells found within your brain.
While I appreciate that this sounds like something out of a movie, I’ll ask you to stick with me for a second – because these magnetic fields have been shown to have a seriously potent effect.
During a single treatment session of TMS, an electromagnetic pad is placed on your skull. This pad will then send a magnetic pulse into your skull, which has been shown to activate the nerve cells in your brain.
Now, if the pad is placed in the right location (just above the forehead), it will actually stimulate the sections of your brain that are responsible for controlling your mood and emotional responses.
This ultimately increases the activity of these brain sections, which has been shown to improve your mood and enhance feelings of general wellbeing.
“Both national statistics as well as data collected from my own practice have been able to consistently demonstrate that almost 45% of patients who undergo TMS therapy can achieve complete remission of their depression symptoms.” says Dr. Lindsay Israel, Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director for Success TMS, Florida’s largest provider of TMS therapy.
One of the cool things here is that this has also been shown to have a huge impact on depression.
#4. Light therapy
How’s this for an interesting fact – people who get a lot of sunlight tend to be both healthier and happier than those who don’t?
Pretty cool, right?
This ultimately comes down to the fact that natural light helps your body regulate hormone function and better manage your nervous system – both of which have huge implications for your mental and physical health.
However, as most of you would know, it is often pretty damn hard to get enough sunlight on a daily basis. Whether it is because of long work hours, the dark winter months, or life simply getting in the way, it’s tough to get enough light.
Which is where light therapy enters the equation.
Light therapy is honestly pretty simple.
All you need to do is stand next to what is known as a ‘light therapy box’ for as little as an hour per day. This box emits a light that very closely replicates sunlight, in which it has the same effect as sunlight on your mind and body.
With this in mind, light therapy has been shown to boost mood and seriously help depression.
#5. S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe)
Last but not least, we have SAMe (which is short for S-adenosyl-L-methionine… talk about a mouthful).
SAMe is a chemical found naturally occurring in your body. This unique compound helps in the production of key brain hormones. Amazingly, it has also been shown to actively help maintain the optimal health and function of your brain cells.
Interestingly, research has shown that people who suffer from depression tend to have lower levels of SAMe than those who do not.
As a result, simply choosing to take a SAMe supplement and increase the amount of it in your body has been shown to act as a super effective depression treatment – and a very simple one at that.
Take Home Message
Each and every day we are inundated with stress. Over time, this stress can take a huge toll on your mental health, even leading to the onset of depression.
But it doesn’t have to.
Over the last decade we have seen some amazing scientific advancements that can boost mental health and stave off depression for good – so what are you waiting for?
Give them a go and change your mental health for the better.