It is estimated that more than 19 million people suffer from depression in the US alone. Here are seven effective ways to overcome depression:
1. Change your lifestyle
A simple lifestyle change is one of the best anti-depression strategies. Every day, think of a new way to make a positive difference to your anxiety.
Depression can take away your energy, so renew your strength by taking a short walk around the block. Proactive measures like this help you to recover from depression.
Address any negative habits that make you feel down. Be honest as you try to figure out what the triggers are.
Treat these unhealthy habits and emotions by thinking positive, communicating effectively and sharpening your problem-solving skills.
Strive to use humour to solve your problems instead of wallowing in misery.
2. Do not rely too much on medicine
Most depression medication acts well to fix the chemical imbalance that often occurs with depression. But as with all medicine, you should not expect too much or become too dependent on it.
Counselling and a coordinated effort to be healthy and happy is a better long term solution. Try to avoid negative people.
Even if you don’t suffer from depression, you will dwell on your negative thoughts if you already have a pessimistic view of life by hanging out with people like this.
Instead, strive to be around high-spirited people. Focus on past high achievements if you are suffering from depression.
It is easy to forget all the good things you’ve done in your life after a failure. Concentrate on your talents and draw strength from these past achievements.
3. Express yourself
Posting your story in a series of blog posts can do wonders for your anxiety. It is encouraging to express your feelings and opinions in print.
You can identify the specific causes which make you react in that way when your emotions and thoughts are documented, particularly when your symptoms are intense.
Depression takes place in all shapes and forms. The first thing you need to realise is that you don’t have to be afraid of feeling sad.
You should never feel like you’re a weak person or that you’ve made mistakes. Do seek professional help and a support group if you find it helpful.
A good way to deal with anxiety is to ensure that every doubt you have is adequately dealt with. This is important to prevent being overwhelmed. The positive feeling you gain from addressing doubts will make you feel great.
A good start to overcoming sadness is to be thankful. Be grateful for every blessing in your life and your mind-set will change positively too.
4. Stay busy to overcome anxiety
The more you keep busy, the less time you have to feel anxious. However be mindful of exhaustion, which can cause anxiety too.
Integrate constructive tasks with recreational activities so that your day is structured and you are in the best possible mood.
Another way to avoid anxiety is to ensure that you keep to a well-balanced and healthy diet.
To maintain your serotonin levels, your diet must include plenty of raw fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts. A low concentration of serotonin plays a major factor in depression.
5. Don’t let your anxiety drive people away
If you’re in a bad mood, postpone your appointments for the day. You need to make sure you’re not pushing people away, because your contacts are important to you.
Pretend you’re pleased. Most times, you can really change your attitude by putting on a smile and acting happy.
As you outlook changes, the amount of gladness-inducing chemicals actually increase, which allows you to feel real joy.
By recognising that you cannot control everything, you can come to terms with your anxiety.
Most people think that to overcome depression, individual changes like more income or a new relationship will solve their problems. Unfortunately these are false hopes.
Learning to accept your doubts and concerns leads to recovery and mental well-being.
6. Monitor your emotions
Do not be discouraged when negative thoughts are rife in your mind. Instead, replace each negative thought with an optimistic one.
Gradually, you will begin to feel more positive about your life and feel better.
Try to avoid stressful situations. The worst thing you can do is to burden yourself with something that you cannot resolve alone.
7. Try something new
Depressed people end up worrying too much. Boldly attempt something you’ve never done before, to divert your emotions and sadness.
Try baking or gardening or any activity you that you never thought you would do. This way, you’re forced to focus on something new and occupy yourself productively.
Do not take this disorder lightly. If you suffer from anxiety, use the advice above and take action immediately to resolve this condition.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg and host of The DRH Show. You can connect with him on Twitter @drelojo_howell