Depression is a common mental condition that has its roots globally. It can be debilitating and very different from just feeling unhappy. It is a lot more complex, a pervasive feeling that might or might not have a reason to feel low.
Genetics also play a major contributing factor to depression. Those having a family history of depression are more vulnerable to catching it. One must not feel helpless as there are plenty of strategies present that help prevent depression.
If you have suffered from depression before, there are likely chances that you will face recurring episodes in the future. This article is practical insight into the world of depression and how to prevent it. This guide is helpful for individuals with a past history of depression as well as those who are at the receiving end for the first time.
How to Prevent Depression
These effective ways to prevent future bouts will definitely prove helpful for those who are vulnerable to depression.
Practicing relaxation techniques on a daily basis can help relieve stress that might be the reason for depression. In today’s world, it is way too easy to feel stressed. The relaxation techniques below will benefit you.
- Warm bath
- Soft music
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
Take out at least 15-20 minutes of a ‘Me Time’ daily from your hectic routine and practice these relaxation techniques to have proven results. Recognizing the stressors and taking efforts to reduce them in your life can help prevent future bouts of depression.
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is considered a mood-friendly diet as it helps in boosting mood positively. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, yogurt, and many more to think of. If you are finding it hard to eat food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, there are a lot of supplements available for all age groups. The mood-friendly diet is proven to be helpful for individuals prone to depression as well as those having the symptoms.
Physical exercise is a natural antidepressant. Take care of your body, include exercise in your daily routine, and get the most out of a workout. Exercise is beneficial for preventing depression as it helps boost mood by releasing endorphins hormone in the brain. Exercise also creates new neural connections in the brain which is healthy for the body. Also, individuals who have a past history of depression can help themselves a great deal by exercising regularly.
Get Enough Sleep
Inadequate sleep can reduce your performance and mental capacity to function daily making you more prone to stress. Sleep is a mood regulator and getting enough sleep can help your body function at its best. To keep your mind and body in shape, physicians suggest a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep in a day. This also depends on your body, you need to figure out your body’s need for sleep and try your best to reach that goal for optimum performance. Enough sleep can get rid of the things that are taking a toll on your brain.
Monitor Your Overall Health
Depression is a mental condition that can occur in comorbidity with other health conditions. The more physical ailments you are suffering from, the more the likelihood of depression. It is advised to monitor your overall health regularly to stay on top of your health.
Adopt Optimistic Attitude
To prevent depression, focus on having a positive attitude. If you think negatively, there is a likelihood that the event will turn out negative for you. To avoid all the odds, try to have an optimistic attitude. There are a lot of strategies present to avoid yourself from thinking negatively. One of them is to put your brain to a stop and introduce positive thinking to wave off a negative effect.
Think of what you are grateful for. Make it a part of your daily routine. Practice thinking about 3-5 things that you are grateful for. It is also good if you write them down. Adopt this strategy to practice early in the morning to have a fresh start to a day. This way, it will automatically become part of you. Writing them down and creating a journal is helpful as you will be able to review all the wonderful things to be grateful for whenever you feel a low mood.
Get Close to Loved Ones
Keep those that love you, close. They can be your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone. Without genuine people, all of us are prone to depression. Support is always required in stressful times, at least someone who could listen to us. This does not at all makes us any weak. This is a human need and one should not feel any shame in it.
Know Your Vulnerabilities
Mood swings are part of our lives. Knowing your mood swings beforehand can help you counteract bad moods and feelings of vulnerability. Bad moods can be associated with specific events. In that case, distract yourself from those feelings by surrounding others and making plans. Knowing your feelings can make it easier for you to handle your emotions and condition.
Join Support Group
For those having a family history of depression as well as those who have had a past episode, joining a support group is a good enough option. Support groups help you realize that you are not alone in this journey. Like all others, you can practice coping skills and gain motivation to become better and better mentally.
If you feel that the stressors are getting out of your control and you feel helpless, consulting a psychologist is a fair option to consider. Visit a psychologist who is experienced and has expertise in treating depressive symptoms. Through talk therapy, psychologists help relieve 50% of the mental stress and this is known as Catharsis. Along with that, psychologists are trained in practicing relaxation techniques with their clients. For clients having severe symptoms, Cognitive Behavior Therapy is fruitful.
Most individuals believe that depression can be easily treated with medicines just like other physical ailments. Believe it or not, mental illness, if not taken seriously, can turn out to be really detrimental. Medicines for mental illnesses should be the last resort. One must try hard to overcome depressive symptoms with other strategies. The reason behind approaching medicine as the last option is because antidepressants, although effective, do have some serious side effects. Another important thing to notice is that these antidepressants must be taken according to the psychiatrist’s recommendation. There are important instructions for the recommended dose and time frame, and when the symptoms get better, the medicines must be tapered off gradually to avoid any harsh side effects.
Things to Remember
- Consulting a psychologist does not make you mad. Just like we take medicines for other physical ailments, consulting a psychologist for mental ailments is a good approach before your condition gets worsens.
- Depression-prone individuals are especially advised to stay close to their loved ones.
- Depression is always manageable at its best.
Depression has no face. Be kind to even the smiling faces!