Depression is said to be the single largest contributor of non-fatal health loss, globally. Depression is a common and serious mental illness that affects a person’s mood, thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical health. Being depressed can not only harm your health and overall well-being, it can also affect your career to a large extent.
Unfortunately, people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. Depression is a real illness that requires medical attention. Depression affects people in different ways, and hence symptoms can vary — ranging from mild to severe. At its mildest, a person may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make an individual feel suicidal. Many people with depression may also show symptoms related to anxiety.
But the good news is that along with medications, you can do a lot more to fight back and overcome feelings of sadness, hopelessness, isolation, and having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities. Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live a happier, healthier life. Here are a few tips to help you overcome sadness and depression naturally:
Although there is no magic diet that fixes depression, eating a healthy and balanced diet can help you manage your depression. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) has been shown to have beneficial effects on depression. This shows that keeping physically fit means keeping mentally fit as well – indicating that diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health. Being depressed can also make you eat more, so it’s a good idea to watch what you eat, though.
Regular exercise not just helps prevent and improve a number of health conditions, it increases the amount of endorphins released in your body. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers that block pain and are responsible for happiness. Even if you don’t find much time to exercise, just walking a few times a week can be helpful.
Get enough sleep
Depression can affect many types of brain functions, including sleep-wake cycle, but getting too little shut-eye can worsen your symptoms. Get on a sleep schedule such as setting a regular sleep and wake times. Avoid taking nap during the daytime. Also, do not use gadgets an hour before bed if you want to get a good night’s rest.
You may feel like you can’t achieve anything when you are depressed and feeling down. Daily goal setting can help you push back and achieve your personal goal and objectives.
Challenge negative thinking
You might feel like you are the most worthless person on the planet. It’s natural to feel down and leap to the worst possible conditions when you are depressed. Although learning to challenge the barrage of negativity is certainly not an easy task, you can do it with time and practice. When the voice inside your head seems to turn bad, try to replace it with something more positive.
Talk to family and friends
For many people struggling with depression, discussing their problems with others poses a great challenge. But when you are able to share your problems with others, you realise you’re not alone. Perhaps, knowing that there are people you can rely on can be immensely helpful.
While the above-suggested tips can be extremely beneficial for dealing with stress, depression and anxiety, you should always seek medical help and get it treated by a doctor if you think you are suffering from depression.