Together, many small lifestyle changes can add up to a significant reduction in chronic pain and depression. This article describes 12 holistic changes people can make. Items 1 to 5 are available here; items 6 to 12 are listed below.
- Eat Mediterranean. Consuming a healthy diet can improve mental and physical health. While there are many variables that influence dietary outcomes, some research indicates that the Cretan Mediterranean Diet improves cognitive outcomes, including lower rates of depression, in healthy older adults. This diet consists of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, legumes, fish, whole grain cereals, nuts and seeds; moderate red wine, and low consumption of processed foods, dairy products, red meat and vegetable oils.9
In This Article:
- 12 Ways to Cope with Chronic Pain and Depression
- More Holistic Life Changes for Pain and Depression
While each of these holistic life changes may seem minor, the can make discernable differences in everyday life, especially when used together. For example, people who have active social calendars, exercise, eat healthful diets, get sufficient sleep, and are regularly engaged in something uplifting—such as bird-watching, painting, listening to music, or taking virtual tours of art galleries—will typically report less pain and depression than people who are isolated, neglect their health, and do not participate in activities that bring them joy.
In addition to making holistic life changes, people who experience chronic arthritis pain and depression are encouraged to seek medical treatments for both the pain and depression.
- PubMed.gov. A randomised controlled intervention trial evaluating the efficacy of a Mediterranean dietary pattern on cognitive function and psychological wellbeing in healthy older adults: the MedLey study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25928696. Accessed May 13, 2015.
- PubMed.gov. Sleep and depression--results from psychobiological studies: an overview. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11454435. Accessed on May 13, 2015.
- National Institute of Mental Health. Depression. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-easy-to-read/index.shtml. Accessed on May 14, 2015.