I used to be in a very terrible state of mind. Depressed (or occasionally manic) and neurotic six ways to Sunday, a few years ago. I once saw a therapist for it, and I enjoyed their company somewhat, but they had no clue what the bulk of my problems were. Now, I did have a very rough way of things in my childhood, and the talks did help me unravel that a little bit, but the things that happened in my childhood never really depressed me. Baffled me a little, maybe. Left me wanting to figure them out, but not really shook.
The real problem was my food sensitivities. I was like most other millenial kids growing up, eating and drinking whatever I pleased. Of course, almost all of it was garbage. A triple stack nutella sandwich was my favorite bedtime snack, and I drank soda like it was going out of style. Somehow I never became overweight -- likely due to a lower than average lipid count in my genetics -- but I still paid a price that I was unaware at the time. Because I'd been on the good old See Food And Eat It Diet all my life, I didn't know how bad I was feeling relative to how good I could have been feeling. Both in my body and especially in my mind. I thought that was simply how my body was. I had no clue I could feel truly good every day, because I didn't even really know what good was. It'd gotten so bad that I dropped out of high school, because I gave absolutely no shits about it and almost no shits for life in general. I never had the vigour for life because I never felt up to the challenge of facing every day head on.
A couple years ago I fell down the Youtube rabbit hole of health videos, thanks to my brother who had become a personal trainer for a large gym chain. If it wasn't for him, that might not of happened, but it did and I'm very thankful for it. Things like only eating once a day for a couple of hours, the keto paradigm, cutting out everything sweet, meditation, etc...seemed kind of bullshit to me at first. But I threw caution to the wind and took the plunge in the off chance I could somehow feel 'better'.
Best decision of my entire life so far. I've NEVER felt better in body and mind. As I'm typing, I'm standing on my porch, laptop on the railing, and I basically don't feel my body. I barely feel the weight in my soles, there's not a single ache or pain in my body, and I've typed all of this so far in about five minutes because my mind is so sharp. I NEVER run out of energy in a day except when it's time for sleep, and even then my body is still firing on all cylinders, my mind just needs to rest. If something unexpected happens in a day, it's basically like the old trick with the plates and table sheet. The table sheet is yanked out from under the plates but the plates hardly move. Surprises barely faze me because I'm ready for them. Lastly but not least, I'm always just so happy. I've only been in a bad mood like, once, in the past two months.
So...what exactly have I done to be feeling so good?
MOST IMPORTANT: Diet. This is above all else. The ketogenic/paleo diet is the way for me. I mostly do keto but sometimes I'll have a paleo meal that may or may not kick me out of dietary ketosis, but it's all good either way because...
Intermittent fasting. I time my food intake to mimic how my genetic ancestors might have done. Which is to say, a hard day's work of procuring game and finally feasting on it at night time. I only consume calories in a 2-3 hour window, and only have water, tea, and coffee outside of that.
Exercise. If anyone these days still doubts the validity of the benefits of exercise, well, I'm not very sure what to tell you. What can't be doubted, at least, is growing more confident in your physique (and therefore your interaction with the world) as you sculpt it into what pleases you. I started out for the mental benefits, but now my body is shaping up very nicely and it makes me happy.
Sleep. Most days need eight hours of sleep for their brain to be firing on all cylinders, and some can get away with only six. Sleep is not optional for productivity. Just ask Jeff Bezos. He's an advocate for a solid eight hours.
A meaningful job. The most difficult of this list to do, I imagine. I have a job that I both enjoy and can grow in, with a very good boss. It's a nutrition store, which is right up my alley in case anyone can't tell by now...most of my posts having been in this subforum.
These five things have transformed me into a borderline manic asshole pretty much 24/7. I have so much energy and happiness I honestly can't control myself sometimes, and kind of come off as rude because I'm so in the zone and confident with everything. I've done this all myself without the help of doctors or their prescriptions, and I highly believe most people can do the same.
I've run out of time right now, but later I'll post links to things regarding the list. But do feel free to do your own research.