How to overcome depression: 6 things you can do now to make a meaningful impact
Do you feel like a part of your brain has been turned off and you are unable to enjoy the simple things anymore? Do you feel as if your brain has temporarily sucked up your personality and misplaced it somewhere else? Are the beautiful colours of the world now appearing black, grey and white to you?
For most people, feeling sad from time to time is just a natural part of life. However, for some people, feelings of sadness, despair and melancholia are present daily and can prevent you from living your normal lives. If you can relate to this, it could mean you may be suffering from depression and it is NOTHING to be ashamed of!
Did you know that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue in our lifetime, and depression is one of the most common illnesses. And yes, depression is not an emotion, it’s an illness. A completely and utterly illogical illness! But just like with flu, some flu’s can just be a mild head cold, while some flu’s can completely wipe you out and keep you out of action for a while. The point is, either way, you still have a valid flu and even those with the strongest immune systems can be hit by them.
Overcoming depression is not something you need to do alone. If you feel depressed, it’s best to do something about it — depression doesn’t just go away on its own.
Here are 6 things you can do to feel better and overcome depression:
1. Exercise regularly. Take a 15- to 30-minute brisk walk every day — or dance, jog, or bike if you prefer. People who are depressed may not feel much like being active. But make yourself do it anyway and ask a friend to exercise with you if you need to be motivated. Once you get in the exercise habit, it won’t take long to notice a difference in your mood as you clear you mind and boost your serotonin levels. Find out what some of the best exercises are to overcome depression
2. Nurture yourself with good nutrition. Depression can affect appetite. One person may not feel like eating at all, but another might overeat. If depression has affected your eating, you’ll need to be extra mindful of getting the right nourishment. Proper nutrition can influence a person’s mood and energy levels. So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get regular meals (even if you don’t feel hungry, try to eat something light, like a piece of fruit, to keep you going). Enriching your diet with serotonin-boosting foods may also help boost that feel-good hormone. WHAT you eat, may impact HOW you feel. Foods to fight the blues:
3. Identify troubles, but don’t dwell on them. Try to identify any situations that have contributed to your depression. When you know what’s got you feeling blue and why, talk about it with a caring friend. Talking is a way to release the feelings and to receive some understanding. Once you air out these thoughts and feelings, turn your attention to something positive. Take action to solve problems and ask for help if you need it. Feeling connected to friends and family can help relieve depression. It may also help them feel there’s something they can do instead of just watching you hurt. Mindfulness meditation is also a wonderful way to inhale the good energy, and expel the dark energy in your body. Everyday health has an interesting article on how to cope with depression.
4. Express yourself. With depression, a person’s creativity and sense of fun may seem blocked. Exercise your imagination (painting, drawing, doodling, sewing, writing, dancing, composing music, etc.) and you not only get those creative juices flowing, you also loosen up some positive emotions. Take time to play with a friend or a pet, or do something fun for yourself! Find something to laugh about — a funny movie, perhaps. Laughter helps lighten your mood, and remember to enjoy bright natural light. This article will help you express your feelings to help overcome depression.
5. Try to notice good things. “what you are aware of, you are in control of; what you are not aware of, is in control of you”. Depression affects a person’s thoughts, making everything seem dismal, negative, and hopeless. If depression has you noticing only the negative, make an effort to stop that train of thought and notice the good things in life. Try to notice one thing, then try to think of one more. Write down all of the negative thoughts and beliefs that are bothering you, and then write down all the positives. Read over those positives that you have written down and they can become your new affirmations. Consider your strengths, gifts and blessings and most of all, don’t forget to be patient with yourself. Depression takes time to heal. Practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life to see a big change
6. Take a 5-HTP supplement. 5-HTP is an amino acid which gets converted into serotonin (feel good hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) in the brain. Serotonin is one of the principal neurotransmitters involved in happiness and anti-depression, and low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain and other health problems. However, in order for 5-HTP to get converted into serotonin and melatonin, it needs supportive nutrients for this critical step. Vitamin B6, B12 and activated folate are essential nutrients for the conversion steps of 5-HTP and Tryptophan (amino acid from food) into serotonin and melatonin, so that you can feel better and have better sleep quality.
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There will always be someone who doesn’t see your worth, don’t let it be YOU.
By practicing these 6 steps, you can start the process of overcoming depression. Depression might be strong but you are much, much stronger!
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to implement these steps, we have provided a link to download the e-book of this article for your convenience.