Right now, 20 million Americans are in the midst of an episode of depression.
Some have the incapacitating symptoms of what doctors call major depression. These symptoms usually require professional attention because they are very severe and demoralizing. Feeling hopeless and worthless, a person with major depression may sleep and eat irregularly.
In the throes of severe depression, it is hard to concentrate, make decisions, or find the energy to do much of anything. Thoughts of suicide are common.
Depression primarily refers to a state of mind that is purely negative, with an inclination to insufficiency and a hopeless lack of interest to do things.
If someone has a minor depression, however, the problem is more manageable. Experts say that people who have some minor depression will feel lousy about themselves and lousy about their lives, but they are managing to function at a high level.
In fact, some of the newfound ways of battling the blues are related to what you do as well as what you feel. Here are some ways that you can prepare your body to help prevent minor depression:
1. Put some spring in your step
Regular exercise may be the most powerful natural antidepressant available. You should take a brisk walk. Exercise helps generate the release of brain chemicals called endorphins. When endorphin levels are low, depression occurs. Exercise also oxygenates the brain, keeping it healthy.
How much should you exercise? Thirty minutes, five or six days a week, at moderate intensity, is a nice level to aim for to help prevent the brain imbalances that can make you vulnerable to depression.
2. Nourish your brain
Virtually any nutrient deficiency can result in impaired mental function, including depression. To help prevent depression, health experts recommend that people should take high-potency multivitamins or mineral supplements. This will supply the brain with enough nutrients to keep it properly functioning and, thus, avoid some mental disorders such as depression.
3. Get enough sleep
Getting less than eight hours of sleep, night after night may lower levels of the brain chemical known as “serotonin,” which can make you more prone to depression. To sleep well, health practitioners recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends.
Relax before bedtime, perhaps with a hot bath. And for the soundest sleep, keep your bedroom quiet and dark.
4. Consider some alternate explanations
Your emotions, positive or negative, are created not by situations themselves, but by the way you interpret those situations. A very common situation can turn into a reason for hand wringing unless you take mental steps to prevent it.
Suppose a friend is going to pick you up so that the two of you can go somewhere and do something fun together. Now, suppose that time passes, and your friend does not arrive to get you. Your feelings change, quite literally, from moment to moment. If at first, you think of your friend as being insensitive and irresponsible, you will find yourself feeling angry at him. If you think that perhaps something bad has happened to him, you will naturally become concerned. If you think that this person does not care much about you and that is why he is late, you feel rejected, lonely, even depressed.
Although the situation does not change, and your friend is still delayed, you can have a whole range of feelings depending on how you interpret that event.
For this reason, experts contend that situations are usually ambiguous, open to any interpretation. Hence, your interpretation helps create your feelings about the situation. Positive interpretations lead to good feelings and enjoyment; negative interpretations lead to bad feelings and depression. To stay on the positive side, try to look for the positive interpretations.
Indeed, depressions can be very destructive if neglected. Hence, the best way to stop the development of depression is to always put a bright light on the blues and create a positive outlook in life.
Depression Management: How to Deal With Sorrow?
While the term depression has been commonly used that people tend not to take it seriously anymore, it is a very serious condition that could impair one’s life. Depression is very difficult. It can debilitate one’s normal functions, making even the most mundane tasks such as getting up from bed or eating breakfast seemingly difficult.
It is sad to think that a lot of depressed individuals are not treated because of the high costs of therapy. However, coping with depression is still possible without professional help if one knows depression management. Here are a few things that can help people deal with depression, it is important to note, however, that professional therapy is still very invaluable with serious depression. These steps are just suggestions for alleviating the condition.
Staying active is one way to take one’s mind off depression. Primarily, activities help distract people from whatever it is that is causing their depression and it also helps channel unspent energies that build up when one is depressed. Keeping active also releases endorphins – natural mood boosters that somehow cheer people up.
It is also important to take a rest. Being depressed can be very exhausting, so it is essential to regain strength and energy if one is to deal with depression. Relaxation techniques can help one be more attuned to the self and be more at peace. When resting, stressors should be kept away from the bedroom so that ample rest can be obtained.
Depressed people should also express their emotions. Depression usually results from suppressed emotions. People who are grieving can be prone to depression if they keep their emotions to themselves. A lot of people avoid crying because they think it might be a sign of weakness. However, it is important to cry because it releases one’s emotions.
When expressing feelings, it is important to avoid catharsis – venting up one’s anger by doing something violent like boxing, smashing things, and the like. Catharsis does not release one’s emotion, especially anger. Rather, it makes a person practice violence as an expression of emotion, and thus can be very dangerous.
Hang around with friends and loved ones. Depressed individuals need support very much. Other people can distract one from stressors. People can also remind a depressed individual that there can be more to life, and it is worth living even if it is simply because of the company of wonderful people.
Lastly, it is important to believe in oneself. A lot of people get depressed because they put themselves down. It is important to satisfy oneself and gain a sense of self-worth. It is good to do something that would make one happy. Prioritizing one’s self can help one to believe that one’s own life is important and can be enjoyed. Being kind to oneself is one of the most important steps to get away from a depressive state.
Depression management is possible and entails taking charge of one’s self. When dealing with depression, however, it is important not to rush. Sadness does not disappear overnight; it takes time to get back on one’s feet. Little by little, one can get out of depression and have a normal life once more.