Depression is an unfortunately common ailment in today’s world. What’s more, the statistics show that it is only becoming more common. The reasons for this are various and complex, and a discussion for another day. But there is good news for anybody who is prone to the illness: there are positive changes you can make to reduce the likelihood of it reoccurring. Even if you are currently experiencing a depressive episode, there are steps you can take to improve it and get out of it quicker.
The truth about depression is that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As such, it is not something which can easily be predicted. But there are plenty of coping strategies, as well as techniques for keeping the symptoms away. If you are someone who struggles with this illness from time to time, then this is for you. Here are the most effective habits for keeping depression at bay.
Table of Contents
An Exercise Regime
Far and away your most effective weapon in the battle against depression is exercise. Exercise increases your brain’s production of serotonin and other endorphins. These chemicals are the so-called ‘feel-good’ chemicals – they literally make you feel better.
However, it is not good enough to just go for a run once in a while. For exercise to have its proper benefits, you need to develop a strict regime. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself to do anything you don’t want to do. It does, however, require that you make a conscious effort to get a certain amount of exercise in your life.
Thirty minutes every other day is probably a good amount to start with. Then you can gradually increase it as you see fit. If you find that stress is a recurring problem for you, then this is the solution.
Water is the life-giving substance which makes most illnesses better. That includes depression and other mood disorders. You might be surprised to learn just how important water is for your mental health. The truth is, if you are not getting enough water, you are unlikely to be able to keep your mood in top shape. Your body is over 95% water, and dehydration can have some powerfully debilitating effects on the mind. Not having enough water can cause grumpiness, lethargy and headaches. Do yourself a favour and drink plenty of it every day. More on the importance of water here: http://www.nhs.uk/
There are few things more important for your mental health than the amount of sleep you get. In sleep, you reset your stress levels. This alone makes a huge difference to how you feel.
We all know the feeling when you have not had enough sleep, and this is only exacerbated by any depressive tendencies which you might have. If you are feeling depressed, try making changes to improve your quality and length of sleep. Get some exercise every day, avoid caffeine as much as possible, and ensure that your bed is comfortable. These simple changes can make a huge difference to your mental life in the long run.