If you're feeling moody, Jonathan Ellerby, Ph.D., of the famed US Canyon Ranch in Arizona, recommends a few easy tips before seeking medication or diagnosis.

A regular contributor to the US-based Psychology Today website, Ellerby is the spiritual program director for the Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, Arizona, and author of the recent Inspiration Deficit Disorder. He blogged on October 19 that moodiness could be a biological issue in the brain or hormones of the body, but recommends examining a few other areas of your life before seeking treatment.

"In short, sleep, exercise, diet, exposure to natural light, meaningful relationships, and an overall sense that your life choices are reflective of your true values are the foundations of wellbeing, mood stability, and a positive outlook," he wrote. The good news, he adds, is that if you do in fact have a medical condition, these steps will only help you manage the problem. "Many psychiatrists are convinced that this short list of factors along with some therapy and meditation tools [are] really all it takes to manage most forms of depression."

Depression is one of the most common types of mental disorders, affecting about 340 million people around the world. Yet, about half of all cases of depression go undiagnosed and untreated, although experts says depression is the most treatable form of mental illness. It occurs in all age groups, but depression affects 25 percent of women and about 10 percent of men.

Core symptoms include moodiness, feelings of anxiety or hopelessness, a change in appetite or sleeping patterns, and a lack of energy.

American author and physician Andrew Weil, MD, suggests regular aerobic exercise as the best cure for the blues. He recommends 30 minutes of continuous activity at least five days a week. He also suggests cutting caffeine and checking your medications to see if any over-the-counter or prescription drugs might be contributing to depression.

To read Ellerby's blog post: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inspiration-deficit-disorder/201010/mood-mysteries

For more tips from Weil: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00696/depression-treatment