Battling Depression: 5 Proven Ways to Keep the Blues at Bay
Depression is a silent but deadly battle that many of us face each day. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), major depressive disorder affects more than 16.1 million adults in the US alone. It’s a debilitating condition that affects many aspects of a person’s life, such as work, school, relationships, and even everyday functioning. It can also lead to a host of mental and physical problems.
Feeling down is not an uncommon experience—even people without major depressive disorder can battle the blues every once in a while. However, there are ways to mitigate the effects of these negative emotions. With this, here are some scientifically proven ways to combat depression:
1 – Get Quality Rest
Getting some shut-eye is necessary to maintain your overall health, including your mental and emotional well-being. Many studies have shown links between depression and a good night’s rest.
It’s a two-way street when it comes to sleep deprivation and feelings of being down. Insomnia is often a sign of depression, and a lack of rest also worsens other symptoms. To get a good night’s rest, you can consider following a set schedule—get some shut-eye and wake up at the same time each day. Also, make sure to keep the room as dark, cool, and quiet as possible to ensure your comfort.
2 – Manage Eating Habits
A healthy body is essential to keeping a healthy mind. Studies show that what you eat can significantly impact your mental well-being, with a better diet being linked to improvements in symptoms of depression. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish have been associated with lower risks of depressive symptoms, while diets rich in fats and sugars have the opposite effect.
3 – Engage in Exercise
Although it may be hard to move when you’re experiencing depression, a lack of physical activity can make the symptoms worse. Studies suggest that even a short amount of exercise can have antidepressant effects on a person. When it comes to working out, it’s best to start small and move up from there.
4 – Mitigate Stress
Stress is one of the most significant contributing factors when it comes to feeling down. When you experience stress, your body will release a chemical called cortisol. This fight-or-flight hormone is helpful in the short term because it helps you cope with the increasing demands when you face challenges. However, it can harm you in the long run by increasing your chances of developing psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.
5 – Seek Help
The battle between you and your anxiety and depression is not something you should face alone. Seeking the support of your friends and family will work wonders for your mental health. Keeping healthy relationships with people can improve your overall well-being.
It’s best to consult professionals if your negative thoughts and emotions start to affect your relationships and daily life. Getting psychotherapy can equip you with the skills to better manage symptoms of mental conditions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, can provide you with new ways of thinking and acting to control problematic thoughts and behaviors better.
Get the Professional Help You Need
Depression is a condition that needs to be taken seriously. It’s a silent battle that many of us face daily, but it’s a treatable ailment that can often be managed through lifestyle changes and proper support. When it starts to affect your ability to function every day, it’s crucial to seek help and turn to professionals.
If you’re looking for a therapist in New York, Miami, or Los Angeles, the Thriving Center of Psychology has you covered. We offer a range of treatment methods to assist you in managing depression and other mental health conditions. Reach out to us and get the help you need.