Everyone feels sad from time to time. Sadness is a difficult emotion to overcome because of it's discomfort. When sadness becomes too intense and continuous, then you might be dealing with depression. While sadness is a common human emotion, it can shift into more long-term depression without even noticing it.
But, how can you know that sadness has become deeper and you are on the edge of falling in depression?
Here are ten of the most efficient tricks to help you identify and overcome the first signs of depression, so you can enjoy life more and feel happier and lighter, instead of heavy and stagnant. If you're not sure if you're depressed or not, these tips can help you get clear on whether you're just feeling low temporarily, or in a long-term cycle of unhappiness you'd like to change.
Exercise or Practice Yoga
One of the most common signs of depression is lack of energy and appetite. Regular exercise can help you fill yourself with adrenaline and keep a more positive and upbeat attitude toward life.
If you can force yourself to do an exercise you enjoy, even though you might feel low in energy and not like exercising, you will find physical activity helps uplift your mood. If you discover a yoga or fitness routine that you know with certainty, lifts your spirits, it may become easier to find the necessary motivation to do it regularly and lift out of depression.
Moderate exercise, which can keep you in a good mood, ideally would last for about 150 minutes per week. You can get creative and combine moderate aerobic with strength exercises or long walks in the park. Irrespective of the type of activity you want to try, it is very important to do it regularly and gradually increase the intensity over time.
Get Involved & Commit to Activities
Depression is a stagnant, low-energy feeling. Doing things, is an antidote to getting stuck in your head or lethargy of a depression. The best thing you can do when you feel depressed is the activities that you enjoy the most. Think of one of your favorite hobbies and start practicing it to keep the blues away.
Your eating habits and the food that you eat directly influence the way you feel. For example, alcohol, caffeine, or junk food can deepen your depression. You can overcome its signs from the beginning by having an organized and healthy meal plan. In addition, it's best to minimize the intake of sugar, which can cause both your mood and energy levels to spike and fall erratically.
This tip may be tough for some, as most of us love sugary snacks, but they are actually not helping you to get out of depression whatsoever. Furthermore, the deficit of vitamin B-12 will make depression even more acute.
Thus, the best thing you can do is eat cleanly. Natural foods from the earth, like citrus, beans, eggs, or chicken meat, are examples of natural, delicious, and healthy foods that will nourish you physically and emotionally. Moreover, omega-3 will also help you stabilize your emotions. So if you're a meat eater, eating salmon or herring can put you in a good mood.
Go Out in the Sun Every Day
A depressed person usually prefers staying indoors instead of getting out and enjoying the sun. Sunlight is very efficient in helping you overcome depression signs.
It improves your mood by increasing serotonin levels in your body. So, even though it is hard to force yourself to get out every day, force yourself to feel the sun of your skin for even 15 minutes a day if you can. Enjoy the energy you receive from the sun by taking a short walk during lunch break or very early in the morning. Furthermore, you can boost even more the sun's energy by doing sun salutations toward the sun, exercising outside, or practicing meditation techniques that connect you to the sun's vibrant, radiant, and warm energy.
Connect with People You Love (Don't Withdraw)
When you feel depressed the tendency can be to isolate yourself from the rest of the world. You can overcome depression signs by staying in touch with the people around you, that care about you, as much as you can. You might not feel like making an effort, but you can really change your mood by socializing.
Go out for a coffee with friends, who can easily get you out of isolation and negative thinking. Being around others can help you forget about your own problems. It's even better if you can spend time with people who never fail to make you laugh. If you feel it is hard to keep in touch with your friends and relatives, you can also ask for their help or seek a therapist. They'll provide human connection, someone to help you process your emotions, and get you out of isolation. You can also ask friends to check in with you, on how you're feeling to keep you accountable to do the things that help keep you happy.
Set Achievable Goals
Depression can take you into a mood when you begin to doubt about your abilities, and you feel like you are not able to achieve anything. But, depression doesn't have anything to do with your intelligence and skills. Therefore, the best thing you can do is set clear goals and prepare a comprehensive plan with milestones which you are going to achieve in the short and medium term. You should start small and celebrate each achievement. Thus, whenever you obtain a positive result, your energy and self-esteem levels increase as well.
Try Something New
Depression might appear when you feel stuck in a routine and there is nothing new to challenge you. Push yourself to try something different and focus all your attention into achieving it. For instance, if you have always dreamt to learn a foreign language, then this is the moment to do it. Whenever you challenge yourself to try something new, you will trigger some chemical changes in your brain which bring pleasure and enjoyment.
Get Enough Sleep
Most experts recommend somewhere around eight hours of sleep every night. However, when depression starts to come closer, you may deal with either anxiety and lack of sleep or oversleeping. These behaviors will do more harm to you and can take you deeper into depression. Therefore, you should force yourself to have a well-organized sleeping schedule and try to sleep for somewhere between 7-9 hours each night if you feel yourself going towards a downward spiral, and want to catch it before it's real.
Don't Let Yourself Get Overwhelmed by Negative Thoughts
Feeling powerless, weak, and thinking that only bad things will happen to you are some of the most frequent signs of depression. When you feel surrounded by this type of ideas, it is important to remember that these pessimistic attitudes are not real. They are only in your mind. So, whenever you feel that negative thoughts are holding you tight, then you should immediately replace them with balanced and positive thinking.
Accept Yourself & Your Current Circumstances
Depression is not something you should be ashamed of. It happens to a lot of people and you are not alone in this situation. Therefore, one of the best attitudes you can have is accepting it is there and you need to make some changes or some extra support. When you accept where you're at, it becomes easier to figure out ways overcome your challenges and get back to a positive mindset more quickly.
Conclusion: Dealing with depression can be extremely challenging for some. It is an illness and shouldn't be considered a character defect or weakness. Once the first signs of depression appear it is very important to take immediate action and put all your effort towards replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, in whichever way works best for you. Whether it's exercising, talking to friends, practicing yoga, or going out in nature, know the tools in your tool belt you can utilize when the going starts to get tough.
By Estelle Liotard
Estelle Liotard is a seasoned content writer and a blogger, with years of experience in different fields of marketing. She is a regular contributor in 3to5marketing blog and loves every second of it. Her passion is teaching people how to overcome digital marketing obstacles and help businesses communicate their messages to their customers. She also works at Trust my Paper where she uses her writing skills to provide professional services to whoever needs them.
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