7 (Semi-Specific) Ways to Beat the Wintertime Blues in Milwaukee – Milwaukee Magazine

Posted: December 30, 2019 at 8:48 pm


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SMILE, THOUGH YOUR HEART IS ACHIN

For years, weve been relying on the work of psychologists with their fancy Ph.D.s to help us understand the human mind, when we could have just listened to noted singer/comedian/ Frosty the Snowman Jimmy Durante, who sang, Youll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile. Smiling, even if its forced, causes the brain to release dopamine and serotonin, which are mood boosters and stress reducers. A University of Cardiff study found that patients who were physically unable to frown due to Botox injections reported being happier on average than their Botox-free companions.

To quote legendary nihilist Frederick Nietzsche, Without music, life would be a mistake. A Journal of Positive Psychology study found that participants who listened to upbeat music could improve their mood within two weeks. Unfortunately for us Radiohead lovers, the same did not apply when participants listened to sad music.

This one might not be as fun as listening to happy music, but an article in Medical Hypotheses proposed that cold showers can help stave off depressive symptoms. According to the article, cold exposure activates the sympathetic nervous system and releases noradrenaline and endorphins, which help improve mood.

Pet owners, on average, have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, and they are less likely to suffer from depression. The physical affection, regular schedule and loving companionship that come with pet ownership all tend to have positive effects on our mental and physical well-being.

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At this point, everyone has heard that exercise boosts mood and helps fight depression. So Ill just say it again in all caps: EXERCISE BOOSTS MOOD AND HELPS FIGHT DEPRESSION. And guess what? A study from JAMA Psychiatry found that only 15 minutes a day of high-intensity exercise, like running, or even just one hour of moderate-intensity exercise, like a brisk walk, are enough to boost your mood.

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that people who regularly meet with family and friends are roughly half as likely to report symptoms of depression compared with those who dont. Heres the catch: Phone calls and email dont count. Depression symptoms were mitigated only through frequent face-to-face contact.

Fish, my dudes. You gotta get those omega-3 fatty acids. The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health went through 26 previous studies to see what correlation existed between eating fish and depression, and it found that people who ate lots of fish were less likely to suffer depressive symptoms.

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7 (Semi-Specific) Ways to Beat the Wintertime Blues in Milwaukee - Milwaukee Magazine

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December 30th, 2019 at 8:48 pm

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