7 Ways to Beat Depression
1. Avoid stress
There is considered to be a relationship between stress in a person’s life and depression or anxiety. A sustained or chronic stress, in particular, leads to elevated hormones such as cortisol, the “stress hormone,” and reduced serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, which has been linked to depression. When these chemical systems are working normally, they regulate biological processes like sleep, appetite, energy, and sex drive, and permit expression of normal moods and emotions.
When the stress response fails to shut off and reset after a difficult situation has passed, it can lead to depression in susceptible people.
Believe it or not physical exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and enhance your mood. It can also help you deal with other psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. I know people who get up early and exercise and it changes their mood for the whole day.
It is known that during physical exercises, our brains produce and release chemicals, namely dopamine and serotonin, at a faster rate than during inactivity. Thanks to them, happiness and good mood are encouraged.
Also, physical activity increases the supply of endorphins. These chemicals are responsible for encouraging a satisfactory feeling.
Physical exercising has also been proven to lower stress hormones such as cortisol, which is responsible for slowing down our cognitive capabilities. Therefore, exercise also allows us to think more positive and without distractions. If you can get exercise into your regular routine it will have huge benefits for you.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating and drinking healthy is a key to a healthy body and mind, and ultimately your happiness. There are foods and drinks that you should try to avoid or cut back on, as much as possible, including:
- Coffee and other drinks containing high levels of caffeine
- Processed foods, as they lack essential nutrients and are generally bad for your body
A proper diet is a must if you aim to combat stress in the long term. Make sure that your body receives sufficient amount of proteins, good fats, healthy carbs, minerals, and vitamins. It will make your mood change and be good for your body.
Speaking of minerals and vitamins, these are the most important for managing stress:
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
Tip: If you are dealing with a stressful day, eat less but more often. This way, your metabolism will keep on working and your energy will be well distributed. Blood sugar will also be more stable and in return, stress will be managed easier.
4. Get Enough Sleep
This one is quite simple, if you don’t sleep, you will be more prone to stress and negativity. Make sure that you get sufficient sleep during the night, and enough rest during the day. Tkae a lunch break, cut down on screen time just before bed.
If you are having troubles getting enough sleep, try going to bed earlier. It may be hard to fall asleep early at the beginning but once your body gets used to it, things will get easier.
Consider listening to relaxing music, turn off all gadgets, and add a few drops of lavender oil to your diffuser.
5. Avoid alcohol and drugs
There is a close link between depression, as well as anxiety disorders, and alcohol or other substance-use disorders.
We know that there is a connection – self-harm and suicide are much more common in people with alcohol problems. It seems that it can work in two ways:
- you regularly drink too much including (including ‘binge drinking’) which makes you feel depressed OR
- you drink to relieve anxiety or depression.
- Alcohol affects the chemistry of the brain, increasing the risk of depression.
- Hangovers can create a cycle of waking up feeling ill, anxious, jittery and guilty.
- Life gets depressing – arguments with family or friends, trouble at work, memory and sexual problems.
6. Try talking therapy
Counselling is an effective way in which talking is used to help people with depression and, in many cases, it has been found to be more effective than medication.
For many adults it may be the same or more effective than medication.
7. Avoid common triggers.
This is not always simple, and in some cases, it can be impossible. For example, if a particular person or group of people are a trigger, you will have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of avoiding them.