Take a page out of groundbreaking research to prevent the blues, naturally. A new study  found mindful therapy to be as effective as anti-depressants in some patients.

Being mindful means living fully in the present – conscious of your life and what’s happening in it.  These actions are easier said than done, but not impossible.

Here are five practices to change the way you live your life… and prevent the blues for life.

Family: Be Present
If you’re more connected to your smart phone than your spouse at dinnertime, it is time to tune out those texts and tune into what matters most. Making eye contact, discussing your day, and listening are all ways to make family time mindful.  You feel more connected, loved, and affirmed in these relationships, which helps prevent the blues.

Work: Turn Off AutoPilot
Start your day with a clear focus on what you want to accomplish.  Try having just three goals a day, and get laser focused on accomplishing just those goals – even write them down.  Successfully checking off those your accomplishment keeps you more up than down, because you feel actual change happening, rather than stuck.

Personal Time: Be Proactive
Be mindful of how you spend your personal time.  Choose activities that feed your mind, body, and soul. Plan a soulful vacation or create your own healing rituals. Keep a one-week detailed log of how you spend your time and discover ways to lift yourself up daily.

Physical Health: Listen to Your Body
Listen to your body, it’ll tell you a ton. First, it likes to move.  You can start with yoga, which is as mindful as it gets for exercise. Next, notice what you put in your body. Do you feel better after greasy fish and chips, or after  healthy fruits and vegetables?   If you’re mindful you’ll gradually lean towards wanting to feel good, which usually entails making healthier choices.  Go for foods high in Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C  and E, which fight depression by providing antioxidant qualities to support brain health.

Savor Your Travels
Traveling can be terrific and trying all at once.  Be mindful of both.  Slow down on vacation and savor the seconds.  Instead of snapping a picture every 10 seconds, take mental photographs.  Journal on vacation, and include three things you are grateful for each day. Gratitude, practiced regularly, can boost mental health.

Mindfulness takes practices and patience, but can do wonders for a positive perspective on life.  As always, consult a doctor if dealing with symptoms and issues of depression.