Depression and anxiety are like the two sides of the same coin, they often occur in an overlap as they share the same symptoms and treatment. Both are characterized by sadness and lack of interest.
Sadness is a difficult feeling to deal with. Sadness is, however, a natural human emotion. Most times it occurs as a result of loss, bereavement, disappointment or helplessness. When this occurs for weeks or months on end, it becomes a concern.
According to the National Network of Depression Centers, it has been found that one in five persons will be impacted by depression during their lifetime.
While most cases are mild, one in ten persons will have a moderate or severe episode.
This article will show you 10 different things to do or stop doing that will help you out of depression and anxiety.
So medically, you have chemicals in your brain called Endorphins that reduce your perception of pain and make you feel good. They are released in more quantity when you participate in some physical activity.
It doesn’t have to be high intensity if you don’t feel up to it. You can try taking a walk around a natural green scenery or walking a dog.
2. Eat Healthily
While there’s no secret recipe that helps you out of depression, overindulging won’t help either.
Depression and anxiety often come with the temptation to binge eat or a loss of appetite. It’s imperative that you avoid this. Eat healthy rations of food. Try eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains as they have high nutritional value.
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in setting your mood so you want to be eating a lot of salmon and tuna.
3. Avoid Alcohol or Substance Abuse
People who have any form of depression or anxiety usually have a greater craving for alcohol than other people. This actually aggravates the situation as alcohol acts as a depressant and makes you feel worse than you already were.
So if you’re trying to come out of depression, alcohol intake is a big No-No.
4. Talk Therapy
Seeking professional help should never be seen as you been weak, if anything, it should be a sign of courage. This is probably the best thing you can do for yourself as you would be getting help from a trained person.
You can also join support groups or try volunteering for some social work, which can help you find purpose and appreciate life.
5. Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep exacerbates depression as it has an adverse on you physically and psychologically. The neurotransmitters we need for good mood get replenished during sleep therefore it is expedient that you get a good sleep in both length and quality.
Create and stick to a bedtime routine, aim for eight hours of sleep every night, avoid your phone when you’re trying to get to sleep.
6. Do Something New
It has been found that trying something new alters the levels of dopamine (a chemical in the brain) which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment, and learning.
At a point in my life when I was depressed, a friend introduced me to a hiking group where we went hiking every Saturday, I met new people every week and I started looking forward to this. This helped me out of depression.
So it might be time to join a language class, or a guitar class or try that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
7. Avoid Stress And Pressure
A 2012 study conducted with veterinary students found stress had a negative impact on mental health, life satisfaction, and general health.
We face different kinds of stress and pressure every day from work, finances, relationships, family or even school. It may be a good decision to take some time from all of it for your mental health and clarity.
A vacation to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit can help clear your head. Either way, find a way to relieve the pressure and regain control
8. Avoid Negative Thoughts
The fight against depression is largely of the mind. You tend to have a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. You need to understand that this is a result of your depression and not a true picture of yourself or of your life.
Try identifying positive things and people in your life and appreciate them. Avoid labeling yourself. Forgive yourself and forgive people. Notice the beauty in everything and reframe your perspective.
9. Make Plans
When a person is depressed, they almost want to spend the whole time in bed. Simple tasks like grocery shopping, house chores or even getting up seem herculean.
You should also make genuine efforts to get up and socialize. Go to the gym, go to a park, book a trip, or buy a concert ticket, just make sure you are doing things that make you genuinely happy and most importantly, find something to look forward to.
You might not know it but there are medications that help with depression. Because depression and anxiety are similar somewhat, your doctor may prescribe one medication that treats both symptoms.
Antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) may be prescribed depending on the severity of your symptoms. Make sure to follow your doctor’s prescription.
You don’t have to wait till it gets really worse before you find help, the earlier you find help, the better it is for your mental health.
Talk to someone, schedule a meeting with your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions. It boils down to your resolve, be courageous and fight your way out of depression.