When depression takes hold of your life it can be a long, hard road back to happiness and full mental health. Out of habit and not knowing there are now better options available many people end up on antidepressant drugs that come with their own list side effects that we will talk about another time.
But there are many simple, natural ways to not only help overcome depression but also prevent it from taking control in the first place. So if you’re suffering from depression or would simply like to build your defenses against this debilitating mental illness, here’s a list of daily activities that can help you beat depression
1. Exercise Regularly
Not only is regular exercise great for your physical health but it also improves your mental health as well.
Even just 20 minutes of activity has been proven to…
- Stimulate the release of feel-good chemical neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids
- Reduces stress
- Boosts self esteem
- Improves sleep
There are many studies to support this such as a recent article from the Harvard University website http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-and-depression-report-excerpt, which stated…
“A study published in 2005 found that walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms.”
2. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep alone has not been directly linked to causing depression but it does make symptoms worse and it can also help to brings on depression when other factors are present. Ensuring you get enough sleep is vital to living a full, healthy life.
A few ways to help improve your sleep patterns are to…
- Go to bed the same time each night
- Avoid looking at screens at least half an hour before going to bed (and definitely do not look at your phone or computer when in bed)
- Avoid naps (especially in the afternoon)
- Meditate or do some kind of relaxation technique before bed
3. Avoid High Sugar Foods
You would’ve noticed the difference in how you feel when you eat a light, nutritious and healthy meal compared to when you devour a quarter pounder meal from Mcdonald’s.
And science also shows that eating food that is high in refined sugar and carbohydrates can increase your risk of depression by up to 58%.
“A study of 3,456 middle-aged civil servants, published in British Journal of Psychiatry found that those who had a diet which contained a lot of processed foods had a 58% increased risk for depression, whereas those whose diet could be described as containing more whole foods had a 26% reduced risk for depression.”
Depression Fighting Diet Tips:
- Increase your omega-3 fats
- Increase your intake of B vitamins
- Boost your serotonin with amino acids
- Balance your blood sugar
4. Have Something You’re Passionate About
Having a purpose in life or something that you enjoy doing on a regular basis is a great way to fight off depression.
This doesn’t have to be some great big goal or achievement you’re working towards it can be as simple as…
- Growing a nice herb garden
- Improving your fitness levels
- Learning a language or new skill
- Volunteer to a cause you care about
Anything that keeps you motivated and brings joy into your life will help give you a sense of purpose.
5. List All Your Little Accomplishments Each Day
Often when suffering from depression it can be easy to focus on all the negative things in your life. By taking time to focus on all the little accomplishments and moments of joy from each day you will give your brain some relief from this negativity.
Again these can be very small such as being nice to a stranger, or feeling the sunshine on your face. Maybe you did something well at work or in school, or helped out a friend or family member. Did you do some exercise or meditate?
Taking joy from life’s simple pleasures your small daily accomplishments will build your sense of self worth and optimism.
Life can sometimes feel so serious, so it’s important to be able to take a step back and simply laugh at the small things. Even laughing about how serious life is can be a great way to bring some perspective into your current situation.
Studies have found that regular meditation can halve the risk of future clinical depression and that it’s affects are just as powerful as antidepressant drugs (without the side effects).
There are many classes and courses that can help you learn to meditate and give your mind some quite relief from the constant demands of our fast paced modern lives.
8. Seek Professional Help
If you’re already dealing with depression then many of these small daily tasks can seem like completely out of reach. If this is the case then you need to seek professional help to get you back to a balanced and happy state of mind before you can implement the suggestions above.
The Brain Wellness Spa is a Perth based clinic that has a 98% success rate* in dealing with mental illness and can help you overcome your depression with a proven, drug free treatment. View our depression treatment program.
*Based upon a client self-assessment survey, results may vary from person to person