Tips on how to beat depression. Depression is a prolonged feeling of sadness, moodiness and hopelessness. It affects your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviours, and your overall physical health. It makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” ~Dorothy Rowe
When you’re depressed, it can feel like you’ll never get out from under a dark shadow. However, even the most severe depression is treatable. So, if your depression is keeping you from living the life you want to, don’t hesitate to seek help. Your condition may require medical attention; seek out your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
While beating depression is not an easy task, but it’s far from impossible. Although you can’t force yourself to stop feeling sad and upset, but along with seeking help to treat your condition, there are also number of tips on how to beat depression that may help you in overcoming and managing your condition. Developing self-help strategies to manage your depression in day to day life can make a huge difference to how well you are able to cope with your symptoms. “Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come”.
- Improve your support network. When you are depressed, you tend to withdraw from others, but staying connected with outside world is essential to depression recovery. Look for support from people who can listen to you compassionately, without judgement, and make you feel safe and cared for. Try to hold on to social activities even if you don’t feel like it, as being around other people will make you feel less depressed. Find a way to help others. Do something nice for someone else. Research shew that providing support to others improves our moods. Although noting can substitute the human connection, but caring for a pet can also shift your attention and your mind from sticking on depressing thoughts. And it will give you a sense of being needed which is a solution to depression.
- Boost your mood by regular exercise. When you are depressed, getting out of bed seems a daunting task, let alone being motivated to do some exercise. But study found that working out can relieve depression; as exercise enhances the action of endorphins, chemicals that circulate throughout the body, which can serve to improve your mood and alleviate depression. Find regular and continuous exercises like walking, swimming, dancing or weight lifting. In the beginning when you are depressed and exhausted, it can be difficult to start exercising, but once you keep up doing it, your energy level will rise and you will feel less tired. Practicing mindfulness can also improve depression symptoms, if your depression is caused by unsolved emotional trauma or negative thoughts.
- Make a gratitude list. Always concentrate on the little joys that happen in your life throughout a day, and allow those moments of delight carry you over the ones with sadness and hopelessness. Take up a former hobby or a sport you used to like. Show your feelings creatively through music, art, or writing. Take a daily trip to a park or a museum. Go out to dinner with a friend. And record these moments of your “joys” in a gratitude journal. This exercise forces you to open your eyes and have more appreciation for what is right in front of you.
- Choose to be happy and laugh. Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it”. I assume that is why some of the funniest people out there have journeyed through periods of torment. I believe by laughing we can send a message to our brain, saying that we can get through this. Studies indicate that human beings can heal from a host of different illnesses to a limited extent if they redirect their attention to the positive and learn how to laugh, as laughter boosts health-protecting hormones and chemicals. It’s been known for years that our thoughts can alter blood flow to the brain, but only recently have scientists discovered that how you think can also alter neurotransmitter levels.
- Learn to meditate. Although I am not a mental health professional, but I believe that meditation can be very helpful for depression; whether it is caused by external events, or by chemical imbalances in the brain. We all tend to bring to the forefront of our minds the thoughts and feelings that reflect our current mood. If you are sad, depressed or anxious, then you tend to remember the bad things that have happened to you and not the good. This drives you into a downward spiral that leads from sadness into a deeper depression. By educating ourselves to practice mindfulness meditation we can overcome suffering and recognizing natural wisdom; both our own and others.
- Develop a healthy sleep routine. Sleep has a huge effect on our physical and emotional health. It’s not just quantity of sleep that matters; it’s quality. Here are some tips which help improve your sleep and leave you feeling mentally sharp and emotionally balanced: Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day; avoid sleeping in, even on weekends; exercise regularly, as it improves the symptoms of insomnia, and increases the restorative stages of sleep; avoid big meals at nights and limit drinking caffeine; keep away from alcohol before bed; and practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing or gentle stretching in the evening which can reduce your stress and boost your mood.
- Pray. Faith and spirituality possess the ability to have a positive impact on mood and mental health. Faith creates optimism, enhances interpersonal relationships, generates support systems, and improves quality of life. According to new study and research, belief in GOD and having faith in a higher being has significant effect in treating people suffering from depression. Prayer is a form of meditation and can shift one’s focus onto higher levels of thought, quieting the mind, training the mind to be positive, and deepening a sense of calm and inner peace.
Life is too beautiful a gift to waste and if one will spend the majority of his or her life just moping around about every single little thing then what kind of life would that be? Depression may not kill one’s body but it’ll certainly kills one’s spirit if you’ll let it. Don’t be a victim. “Life is short, enjoy it, live it, love it. Share the wisdom but most of all learn to laugh and always smile. It is the best legacy anyone will ever leave behind” ~ Jasmina Siderovski