Depression can be an agonizing and debilitating experience. It is estimated that approximately 10% of adults in the United States experience symptoms of depression each year, resulting in challenges within personal relationships, reduced productivity at work, and immense suffering for both the individual and their loved ones. While seeking professional medical care for depression, particularly in severe cases, is highly recommended, there are several non-medical measures that individuals can take to alleviate symptoms.
Having Some Exercise
Scientific studies have consistently shown that exercise is just as beneficial in addressing mild to severe depression as medication. In addition to relieving depressive symptoms, engaging in physical activity offers a range of positive outcomes, such as weight management, enhanced cardiovascular well-being, and a reduced likelihood of developing various chronic illnesses. Exercise plays a crucial role in boosting endorphin levels in the brain, which helps alleviate depressive symptoms. Even a small amount of light exercises each day can elevate your mood by increasing endorphin levels.
By Positive thinking
When someone is experiencing depression, negative thinking patterns often prevail. Individuals in a sad state often harbor thoughts like “I’m a failure,” “Nobody likes me,” or “I’ll never escape this feeling.” These pessimistic thoughts become ingrained habits and further contribute to the depth of depression. One effective strategy is to counteract negative thoughts with positive ones. For instance, when faced with the belief of “I’ll always feel this way,” questioning it by asking “How do I know that?”Alternatively, remembering a moment when you had a different outlook on life can be beneficial. We often accept our thoughts as absolute truths without questioning them, but there is profound wisdom in the saying, “Don’t believe everything you think.”
By Eating Healthy Food
Individuals who experience depression often develop unhealthy eating habits. Consuming junk food that is rich in sugar, salt and fat might offer temporary comfort, but in the long term, these foods contribute to elevated blood sugar levels, weight gain, and worsened depressive symptoms. Fresh fruits, salads, lean meats, oily fish like salmon, and whole-grain bread are all wholesome choices, provided you don’t have any food allergies or adverse reactions helping in reducing depression.
Having Appropriate Sleep
Insomnia, characterized by challenges in falling asleep and staying asleep, can be influenced by both depression and anxiety. Implementing modifications to your routine can assist in achieving a more peaceful and uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.
Here are some suggestions for improving your sleep quality:
- Establish a consistent bedtime every night.
- Don’t watch TV or use electronics in your bedroom.
- Refrain from eating at least one hour before going to bed.
- In your bedroom, create a quiet and gloomy atmosphere.
- Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages at least two hours before bedtime.
Consistently achieving a restful night’s sleep enhances overall health and boosts energy levels, potentially alleviating symptoms associated with depression.
Drink enough water
Consuming a sufficient amount of water each day aids in detoxification, enhances the performance of internal organs, and promotes clear thinking. Unfortunately, many individuals fail to meet their water intake requirements and instead rely on soft drinks, caffeinated beverages, and alcoholic drinks. These beverages have a dehydrating effect on the body, causing a loss of water and potential dehydration.
If you find it difficult to consume plain water, here are some alternative options to consider:
- Ice water
- Enhancing the taste of ice water by adding a slice of lemon, lime, or fresh ginger root
- Enjoying iced or hot herbal teas such as mint, chamomile, ginger, hibiscus, rooibos, or jasmine
- Improving the taste of water by adding a tablespoon or two of fruit juice
- By keeping your body adequately hydrated, you can help reduce feelings of depression and promote overall well-being.
- To do some changes in daily routine
When experiencing depression, individuals frequently fall into a pattern that reinforces the symptoms of their condition. For instance, a depressed person might establish a routine of waking up, going to work, returning home, watching the same TV shows every night, and indulging in unhealthy foods before bedtime. Such a repetitive schedule can perpetuate negative self-perception and contribute to a continued sense of distress.
For instance, rather than immediately turning on the TV after work, consider taking a brief walk as a first step. Opting for a healthier meal instead of an unhealthy dinner requires only a small effort. Even minor changes in routine can have a positive impact and yield favourable results.
Get a Routine
For certain individuals struggling with depression, the absence of a structured routine throughout their day can be a contributing factor. In such cases, introducing a more organized schedule can be beneficial in alleviating depressive symptoms. For instance, simply making the effort to get up and get dressed in the morning. Other ideas include reaching out to a friend each day, taking a short walk, engaging in journal writing, or dedicating half an hour to listening to enjoyable music. Establishing these new habits and routines also promotes increased dopamine levels, which can help reduce feelings of depression.
Laughing serves as another effective means of boosting dopamine levels in the brain. Engaging in activities such as watching comedy shows or movies, reading jokes, sharing laughter with others can all contribute to elevating dopamine levels and aiding in alleviating symptoms associated with depression.
By Helping others
During periods of depression, it is common to become excessively focused on our own problems, intensifying the sense of being overwhelmed. A straightforward remedy is to engage in acts of kindness towards others or take care of a pet. Initiating a phone call to inquire about a friend’s well-being, volunteering at a local charity, assisting a neighbour with yard work, or adopting a pet are just a few examples.
When we extend help to others, it boosts our self-esteem and diverts our attention away from personal troubles. Any break from the grip of depressive feelings can contribute to improving our mindset and uplifting our mood.
Taking incremental steps towards a healthier lifestyle on a daily basis can yield a significant impact in alleviating mild to moderate symptoms of depression.