This archived article was written by: Zak Konakis
Happiness is an emotion directly affected by personal surroundings, but joy is a choice to keep going even when you can’t force a smile. The choice to keep going is always an easy one when nothing is really standing in your way, but what happens when it stops being easy, or even fun?
During the changing of seasons from summer to fall and winter, a phenomenon occurs. I get indescribably sad. Depressed, really and it seems that I am not alone, many people have noticed that once they hit the cold months more than the thermometer drop; they notice a decrease in energy and an altering in mood, like one minute you are cruising in the fast lane and then you kick it back into first gear and your world is turned on its head. In the latest issue of Men’s Health, the writers gave ideas for beating the winter blues.
It’s never easy to bust the blues and some people love having them, but if you’re wondering why this occurs it could have something to do with a drop in Vitamin D, because you are not getting the sunlight you need or are used to. Tanning beds offer a placebo effect if you’re not looking to hike up your intake of the Vitamin in the form of pills, food or even intravenous units of the stuff. You can always have the blood work done, however, to know if this is the reason you’ve hit the brick wall.
EPA and DHA are two types of fatty acids that may also be your answer, because high levels of DHA are also linked to increased levels of the feel good chemical serotonin, though if you start hitting the seafood aisle in the supermarket tomorrow, it may take up to eight weeks before you feel the effects.
These mood boosters may take time, but they are safer than the alternatives, I promise. Though medicines may have the speed advantage, they are prescribed way too often and the side effect to benefit ratio does not favor anti-depressants, especially when it comes to mild and seasonal depression. Utah leads the nation in antidepressant prescription rates and is seventh for overall prescription medication.