There are many ways for a person to combat the depression they feel in their everyday lives. Simple things that are hard to see once the darkness of depression sets in and lingers. Here we discuss certain ways a person can control their depression and live a happier and healthier life.
This is perhaps the hardest way to combat depression as it takes the longest and is the most routine of all, but thinking positively about yourself and the opportunities you have is a major player in becoming a less depressed individual. Just think – depression is a state of the mind and your mind is something that everyone can control if they have the willpower to believe their thoughts and not let the negative outweigh the positive. You are so fortunate for things that you easily forget – health, intelligence, family, friends, being a US citizen even and not having to worry about the threats and simple safeties people in foreign countries have to undergo everyday. If someone constantly reminds themselves of the positive things in their life, their mind will start to resort to those and less on the negative and depressed feelings. But this is when it is the hardest – when you’re depressed you don’t want to or can’t possibly think of the positives in your life. That is easily understood, but if you just give it a try, you will see results. A few ways to focus on this:
- Wake up with positive thoughts – Everyday when you wake up and before you get out of bed, remind yourself of the positive aspects of your life and why today is worth getting up for.
- Write reminders – Place sticky notes on your computer, desk, bathroom mirror or wherever you will easily see them for those unexpected reminders that you are lucky for what you have.
- Friends/Family – Have friends and family re-enforce these positive thoughts you are telling yourself for outside reassurance.
This may seem like the last thing a depressed individual wants to do, but human contact and interaction is a big player to feeling better about yourself and less depressed. Just being in the company of other people will take your mind off of your thoughts and give you an alternative to being alone and having no choice but to ponder and think about your depression. Being around other people is proven to give a person more positive feelings both about life and about oneself. Knowing that everyone has obstacles to overcome in their life eliminates that feeling of loneliness and isolation. A few examples might be to:
- Join a club/team. There are many opportunities in each community to reach out and join a club or hobby that interest you where you can meet people with similar interests
- Coffee shop. If you’re in school and need to study or simply want to read a good book, do it at a local coffee shop in order to be around people.
- Friends. Call up friends or old acquaintances to go for a walk or discuss each others’ lives. Don’t focus on the negatives, but rather the positives to bring yourself up and out of your depressed state.
Understanding that depression is transient and will pass is huge in knowing you will eventually feel better. It is very easy to get in the mindset that the depressed state you feel is only going to keep spiraling down and down, that there is no end in sight, and that you are never going to feel better. That is what depression does, but knowing that none of that is true will give you a support structure to fall back on whether you believe it or not when you are experiencing a depressed episode. You know that you don’t feel depressed all of the time, so when you are suffering for an episode, think back to the most recent time you were happy and smiling and know that it is possible and will happen again. As previously stated with your mind – it’s all about what you tell yourself and making yourself believe in what you want to. Telling yourself this will pass, you have a lot of positives in your life and you will be a happy person will lessen the effects of depression and most likely allow you to sooner rise from the depressed state you feel at that time.
This is a big part of feeling better as it has been scientifically proven to directly affect ones mood. Exercising releases endorphins within your brain which literally do make you happier and feel better about yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long and strenuous workout, but just something to get the blood flowing and your mind churning. You will feel better about yourself when you are done and that feeling will continue as your brain keeps releasing those endorphins long after you workout. If you can get in the habit of exercising everyday, your body will get used to those endorphins and that will certainly prolong your positive feelings and detain your depression levels.
The way you eat and drink has arguably the biggest effect on how you feel. Eating healthy foods continuously throughout the day will give your body energy. Eating fatty foods and sugary desserts/candy will only give you a sudden jolt of energy and then bring you to a low where you’ll be even more depressed than you were before you ingested those bad foods. A healthy diet focusing on all of the major food groups and getting your share of daily fruits, vegetables, grains and protein will work wonders in you feeling better about yourself, your body and your life as whole. Combining that with a routine exercise program will only enhance the effects of both and you will notice a tremendous boost in your thoughts and self image in a very short period of time.
By following some simple everyday routines, a person can really combat the effects of depression and start their road to recovery. Understanding it is tough to routinely do all of the above, even starting off with one and adding to it slowly will allow one to get into a more positive daily routine which will directly suppress the thoughts of depression more and more. If you have followed the above and haven’t seen any results, we recommend talking to a professional to get a better understanding on your level of depression and possible medications to add to the above to facilitate your road to recovery. Whatever you decide, always know that there is an end to depression and that you certainly aren’t alone.