How to Deal With Depression

According to MayoClinic, Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.  It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

A depressed mood is a normal and temporary reaction to life events, such as loss of a loved one. Sometimes it makes you feel as if life is not worth living.

Here are tips to help you feel better when depressed:

Eat healthily

There is no magic diet that fixes depression. It’s a good idea to watch what you eat, though. If depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of your eating will help you feel better.

Although nothing is definitive, Cook says there’s evidence that foods with omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) could help ease depression.

Maintain a good support network

Rear view of a group of friends hugging.

Support from people who love and care about you is an important part of the healing process. Tell people you trust that you’re depressed and would appreciate their understanding and sympathy. It is far harder for people to help you if you’re secretive and do things that seem inexplicably strange. Knowing will help people to make allowances and support you as best they can.

  • Be willing, to be honest about your irritability and reclusive behaviour with those you trust. They need to know it’s not personal, but that you need space or time out every now and then.

Exercise

Exercise temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It may also have long-term benefits for people with depression. Regular exercise seems to encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways.

Expose yourself to funny and lighthearted entertainment:

 It may seem too simple but even watching a funny movie or reading a book more suited to a lazy Sunday than a classroom discussion can help you combat depression by making you smile and laugh, pulling you out of depression for a short while.

If you’re suffering from depression and are still in the process of getting professional help, trying these different self-help techniques can lessen your symptoms and help you recover a sense of normalcy in your life. However, it is best to note that these are meant to be temporary and supplementary tips for a professional treatment plan.

Challenge negative emotions:

It’s important to actively think of your depression and depressive thoughts (e.g. you’re not good enough, nothing good is happening in your life, etc.) are separate from you. These thoughts and symptoms are not an accurate view of who you are and how your life is going. So, while difficult, it’s important to try to challenge negative thoughts stemming from your depression and find positive thoughts to focus on instead.

Get enough sleep:

Depression can make it hard to get enough shut-eye, and too little sleep can make depression worse.

 Do something new:

When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take a language class.

“When we challenge ourselves to do something different, there are chemical changes in the brain,” Cook says. “Trying something new alters the levels of [the brain chemical] dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment, and learning.”

Reduce Your Stress

When you’re under stress, your body produces more of a hormone called cortisol. In the short-term, this is a good thing because it helps you gear up to cope with whatever is causing the stress in your life.

Over the long run, however, it can cause many problems for you, including depression. The more you use techniques to reduce stress, the better because it will reduce your risk of becoming depressed.

Avoid Procrastination

The symptoms of depression, such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating, make procrastination tempting.

But putting things off fuels depression. It can lead to increased guilt, worry, and stress.

It’s important to set deadlines and manage your time well. Establish short-term goals and work hard to get the most important things done first. Each task you successfully complete will help you break through the habit of procrastination.

Try to have fun:

If you’re depressed, make time for things you enjoy. What if nothing seems fun anymore? “That’s just a symptom of depression,” Cook says. You have to keep trying anyway.

 

 

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