Depression and anxiety are fast becoming some of the most prevalent health concerns of the 21st century. Numerous campaigns both home and abroad have been initiated in raising awareness about the issue in the recent past. According to a latest study, people who spend some time only with themselves may easily reduce their stress level and lower the risk of depression and anxiety by engaging in something creative. The researchers said that this creative engagement would take their attention away from the depressive spells that often suspends their thoughts and actions.
The study noted that some solitude may actually do more good than harm for those struggling with depression nd anxiety. Fostering creativity may improve the psychological health by improving the function of the brain.
The researchers explained, that creativity reduces stress by helping "us reach a flow state", in this state the brain works at optimal efficiency, in order to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotional responses that further rewards us for both creating and solving problems in the process.
While social interaction also plays a 'central role' in both mental and physical health. But a company of too many people, is not the most conducive environment for the creative energies to flow.
"When people think about the costs associated with social withdrawal, often times they adopt a developmental perspective," said Julie Bowker, Professor at the University of Buffalo in the US.
"Shy and avoidant individuals may be unable to use their solitude time happily and productively, maybe because they are distracted by their negative cognitions and fears."
For the study, the team examined 300 people, who were in a habit of spending time a decent amount of 'me time' , and asked them questions related to their behavior. The findings revealed that those who felt timid or fearful around other people tended to make less productive use of their alone time, while the others preferred to be alone because it gave them an opportunity to work on creative pursuits.
This reduction in anxiety, also translated in better heart health and a reduced risk in dementia, the researchers noted.
Anxiety is one of the symptoms of depression, therefore, in order to avoid increasing the risk of developing depression, it is imperative to also look after your diet that will help you stay relieved from excess anxiety. Here are the foods that you should include to your diet.
1. Tryptophan rich foods
Tryptophan may have a positive effect on stress and anxiety because this amino acid helps your brain produce feel good chemicals. Eat chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, nuts and sesame seeds to beat anxiety.
2. Foods rich in Vitamin B
Studies have shown a link between B vitamins, including thiamin and vitamin B1 and mood. A deficiency in B vitamins can trigger depression in some people. Have chicken, green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes, rice, nuts, eggs and citrus fruits more often.
3. High protein foods
Protein helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which carry impulses between cells. Eat foods like eggs, nuts, soy, lentils, fish, meats, Greek yogurt, et al.
4. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids
Consuming omega-3 fatty acids may help uplift and enhance your mood. Include salmons, sardines, green leafy vegetables, et al in your daily diet.
With Inputs from IANS