These habits can cut the risk of depression in half, a new study finds

“I think the biggest surprise is that if you have a favorable lifestyle, you can reduce the risk of your getting depression by 57%, which is really quite a massive amount”

Barbara Sahakian (clinical psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge)

This article (also available a 4-minute podcast) by Allison Aubrey has been published by NPR (National Public Radio). It begins:

“If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, here’s a strategy that may help boost your mental health: Spend the next week observing your daily habits. You can jot them down in a journal to keep track.

How well are you sleeping? Are you eating foods that nourish you? Did you make time for a favorite hobby and exercise? Did you gather with friends or loved ones?

Your answers to these questions may help explain your mood — and your risk of depression too. In fact, a new study finds that people who maintain a broad range of healthy habits, from good sleep to physical activity to strong social connections, are significantly less likely to experience episodes of depression. Researchers used Mendelian randomization — using genetics to study behavior — to confirm a causal link between lifestyle and depression. They found a reduction in the risk of depression held up even among people who have genetic variants that make them more susceptible. …”

You can read more (or listen to the podcast) from here.

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