Could a Cold Shower Prevent Depression?

cold showersCold Showers Have Amazing Benefits

Cold showers and ice baths?  How could those help me?  About a month ago, I attended a 5 day workshop with one of the world’s leading personal development coaches and speakers, Brendon Burchard.  He coaches Oprah and her team.

In sharing various techniques for maintaining energy and vitality, he explained how he took ice baths every night during the training, to reduce his inflammation and revitalize.  He said it made him feel twenty years younger.

Anthony Robbins plunges in a 57 degree pool for one minute every morning.
Famous athletes and performers like Lebron James and Usher use the same technique after events.

A bit horrified and intrigued, I decided to investigate.  I must say, I’ve been taking cold showers for a month and they really make a difference.  There’s no question that you have to get used to them, and some days, all I want is a hot shower.  But even then, I finish with the bracing cold to get my energy up.  It works.  It takes a while, but it works.  Here’s why:

How Cold Showers and Ice Baths Heal Your Body

1. They reduce inflammation.  Most all of us have it, believe it or not.  Pain, soreness, tense muscles, illness- all of that usually has inflammation associated with it.  Just like you put ice on a swollen ankle, cold water and ice baths lower inflammation levels significantly.

2. They get your circulation going, really.  Ask anyone who’s done the Polar Bear dip in the middle of winter into freezing water.  Cold showers and ice baths boost circulation and reboot your system.  They help you be clearer and more alert.

3. They clear out lactic acid and toxins in your body, according to Dr. Ben Kim.  LeBron James says his legs feel much better and fresher the day after.

4. And yes- they do relive symptoms of depression. Cryotherapy releases endorphins, the feel good hormones, and creates an analgesic effect.

Check with your doctor before you start a cold water  shower or ice bath regimen.  Im still not ready for an ice bath, but I do derive great value from my cold showers.  Try it yourself.  You may well find that it becomes one of the most valuable tools to start your day.

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photo from Aweber library

Could Ecotherapy (Being in Nature) Relieve Your Stress?

Nature:  Free and Easy Cure to Anxiety and Depression

Did you know that most Americans suffer from nature deficit disorder?  A typical American spends 80-90% of their time indoors- and sadly too much of that time is spent sitting.  The more time people spend inside, the more anxious an depressed they get.  The solution is simple and free: spend time outside in nature.   Doing so can:

• Cut anxiety and depression

• Boost feelings of well-being

• Improve your health and reduce blood pressire

• Increase your social interaction with others

• Improve your breathing and intake of Vitamin D if you spend 20 minutes in the sun

Gardeners have long understood this, as having your hands in soil relieves stress and connects you to the earth.  Doing so helps you get out of your head and your worries, and enables you to focus on the present- one of the keys to being happier.

David Strayer, a psychologist at the University of Utah, takes students out in nature  to reconnect with their creative problem-solving and mental clarity.  With so many distractions and constant technological stimulation, our brains get tired and don’t function as clearly as they should.  His backpacking group of Outward Bound participants did 50 percent better on creative problem-solving after only three days in the wilderness.1

So the next time you are feeling down or overwhelmed, get outside in nature.  Just 20 minutes can revive your body, mind and spirit.

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Surviving Winter Stress

About 1/2 of all Americans report feeling depressed in winter. Seasonal affective disorder can cause energy loss, grumpy moods and carb craving. Here’s how to beat the stress of winter!

Beat the Stress of Winter Blues

For over two decades, I lived in New England and battled the grey, cold, snowy winters every year. Then I moved to Florida where we have sunshine regularly- I love the sun! I have been infinitely happier. Not only because I prefer warmth, but because all that grey depressed me.  And lately we have been having Northeasters in Florida which create similar grey days. Enough to give me the blues.

And I’m not the only one. About 1/2 of all Americans report feeling depressed in winter. Seasonal affective disorder can cause energy loss, grumpy moods and carb craving.

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” Steve Martin

How to Beat the Winter Blues

Go outside. Yes- even if it is cold out, spending time in nature boosts your mood. Try 20 minutes a day without sun block. (After that, slather up.) Many people are deficient in Vitamin D3, which you normally get from the sun. This vitamin is critical to your overall health and mood. Consider taking D3 supplements and have your doctor test your levels. I get it in liquid form.

Take vacations in the winter to someplace warm

Try light therapy with a 10,000 lux lamp – 30 minutes a day significantly boosts mood and energy

Exercise- A most powerful mood booster made even better when you do it with others. Socializing helps you feel better.

Use aromatherapy. Peppermint boosts alertness, as do orange and lemon scents.

• Do something you love every day.

Remember, unless you live in Alaska, winter is only a few months long. Take care of yourself and get Fired Up!


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Can You Really Feel Better By Helping Someone?

Relieve Your Stress and Depression through Volunteering

Holding the hand of another“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia

One of the last things you might think of doing when you are very stressed is to take the time to help someone else, volunteering. But it can truly be the best thing you can do. I know this from my own personal experience.

Not too long ago, I was tired, frustrated and upset over a business issue, not sure what to do about it.  I was very stressed. Heading home with my husband that night, we turned down our street. He said, “There’s a girl sitting on the corner crying.” We immediately stopped the car and I got out to talk to her. Turns out, she was working for one of those magazine sales companies where they drop off youths and pick them up at the end of the day. She had no phone and no money; her ride was two hours late. So we called her manager and he said a ride was on its way. She waited in the car with us, shared her tragic life story, and when no ride arrived after 45 minutes, we turned around and drove her the half hour distance to her motel. When we arrived, I spoke to the manager about taking better care of this young woman (she was 20,) gave her some money and hugged her goodbye with some encouraging words. As we drove home again, all thoughts about my problems had completely vanished. My concerns were for her and how I could help others like her in the future. I realized my problems were far less pressing. There are those who are struggling to get by every day on the streets. It gave me a whole new appreciation of how fortunate I am.

A new study by Dr. Suzanne Richards and the University of Exeter Medical School, UK, confirms what other studies have said in the past:  volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being, and a 22 % reduction in dying.

There are infinite ways to volunteer:
• mentor a child • help a neighbor repair their home
• organize a fundraiser for the arts
• work at a soup kitchen
• help at a homeless shelter
• participate in a “clean up your park” project
• volunteer at an animal shelter
• read to seniors at a senior center or hospital
• collect diapers for newborn centers
• help out at elementary schools
• collect books for literacy programs and then read for them

Try it.  No matter how upset you are about your life, you will experience an instant turn-around.  Always come from your heart and volunteer for something that matters to you.  And just like that, your problems will seem insignificant.

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here  This will also subscribe you to Kindlings, my weekly email newsletter.

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Eat Walnuts and Eggs to Prevent Depression

Stop Depression Naturally Through The Right Foods

Walnuts from Stress ExpressThe World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease as a worldwide health issue. 38% of women who experience depression have low folic acid. Eggs “contain the highest-quality food protein known to mankind….egg protein is often the standard by which all other proteins are judged,” says dietitian Carolyn Snyder of the Cleveland Clinic.

Harvard Science Review published a study by McClean Behavioral Genetics Laboratory citing that walnuts are powerful antidepressants. (Molasses and beets also work.)  So increase your intake of both eggs and walnuts to boost your mood and improve your stress. (Always consult your doctor first.)


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