Depression can feel like a trap for anyone who ever experienced its devastating effects. Negative thinking can overpower your thoughts both emotionally and mentally. Researchers found that proteins linked to heart disease are exacerbated by dwelling on negative thoughts. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression can shorten a person’s lifespan by an average of 14-32 years. To clarify, this isn’t just due to suicide, but it can come from depression alone.
People with severe mental illnesses are more likely to have chronic diseases relating to addiction, obesity and poverty. Research also shows that when a person’s physical and mental health intertwine, it can affect cardiovascular health too. A study from 2011 of 5,661 middle-aged men found that when interleukin-18 (IL-18) increases in the blood, it has worse results. It increases risk of cardiovascular disease. The association is modest though and the research suggests that sadness can raise IL-18 levels too.
A University of Texas Health Science Center research also found that a person’s mood can affect their physical health. The study examined the differences in the brains of 28 women, 13 of whom had untreated depression. They also included those with higher levels of the IL-18 and the opioids. The results found that the neurotransmitters acted to reduce the stress on the body. Encouraging the women to think neutral thoughts resulted in dramatic decrease in levels of IL-18 along with their opioids.
The IL-18 levels in depressed women also increased after thinking about sad events. However, they were not to previous levels as observed before the experiment began. The neutral thoughts lowered the IL-18 and this effect lingered even when the women thought of sad things.
“The sad moods result in a substantial increase in plasma IL-18 concentration. This is a potential response to heightened levels of perceived emotional stress when recalling previously sad events,” researchers wrote.
Researchers also suggested that therapies could boost moods and lower IL-18 levels in the process. The indication is that it could lower the risk for chronic illness in the long term. However, more research needs to confirm these findings.
Keeping a healthy and positive mental state is vital if you want to avoid depression and live a long and healthy life. The steps below can help with the symptoms of depression:
- Eat a healthy diet rich in green vegetables, dark skinned fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and oily fish.
- Take regular daily exercise such as walking, swimming or rebounding on a mini trampoline.
- Get out into the sunlight to get Vitamin D or take a Vitamin D3 supplement such as this Vitamin D3/K2 Spray from Good Health Naturally.
- Taking a L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine supplement can aid relaxation while a proprietary blend of 5-HTP, melatonin, valerian root and passiflora can help with anxiety and insomnia. The recommended supplements for these are Relaxwell® for the former and SleepWell™ for the latter, both available from Good Health Naturally.
- For depression follow the recommended health plan.
- To improve heart health, you should follow this recommended heart health plan.