Depression is something that can happen to anyone. Although it is treatable, the road to recovery isn't easy. Fortunately, there are ways to fight depression without taking antidepressants or therapy sessions.
Many people believe that since exercise makes them feel good, they should only do it if they feel depressed. However, even though feeling better can be a great motivator for starting an exercise regime, working out has an immediate effect on your brain. It releases endorphins which cause you to feel happy and make you more optimistic about life. This helps fight depression naturally by giving your brain the tools for happiness before you're ever truly unhappy.
2) Get A Purpose
Just like a plant needs sunlight for photosynthesis, humans need a purpose for survival. Getting out of bed every day and living life with no sense of direction will only make the negative feelings worse. Find a purpose bigger than yourself, such as charity work, education, or your family and friends to keep you occupied when the blues come calling. Having something to look forward to can help fight depression because it reminds you that life is more than just 'getting by.'
3) Increase Serotonin Levels
Serotonin levels fluctuate throughout the day and night and even differ from person to person. If you want to boost serotonin in your brain naturally, follow these three steps: eat carbohydrates (simple sugars), get lots of light exposure (vitamin D), and get plenty of sleep. This will help fight depression because serotonin is the chemical responsible for happiness and relaxation, which is exactly what someone who feels depressed needs.
4) Stop Worrying
Worry is a useless activity that has the potential to spiral out of control. When you worry, you're essentially telling your brain there's a problem when one doesn't exist. It causes physical reactions such as faster breathing and increased heart rate, which can aggravate existing health issues such as asthma or heart disease. This will only add to the depression and cause more problems in the future. Worry less by staying calm, practicing self-awareness, and accepting what happens rather than fighting it.
5) Don't Let Stress Build Up
Stress is an inevitable part of life but letting it build up is avoidable. Try taking time every day to relax, even if it's for 10 minutes. For example, meditate, take a bath, and listen to music. Stress can make depression worse by exacerbating physical and mental symptoms such as fatigue or weight gain, which slow down the recovery process. When you have a stressful day, try telling yourself that it's only one day instead of letting it become two days, three days, etc.
6) Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous habit that will lead to unhappiness. Some people may look perfect from the outside but have problems going on behind closed doors, so being around them won't help your self-esteem. On the other hand, there are also people who put up a front because they want to pretend they have everything together even when they don't. In these situations, the friendliest thing to do is stay away. When you stop comparing yourself to others, it will help fight depression because you'll feel better about yourself and your life.
7) Stop Focusing On The Negatives
It's easy to dwell on your failures and completely ignore the positives in life. This can lead to feeling helpless, which is a sign of depression. If you have the time, write down three things that went well today when you woke up, during your commute to work/school, and when you got home at the end of the day. This will help fight depression by allowing yourself to recognize all aspects of life instead of just focusing on the negatives.
Although depression is a mental health disorder, some of the ways to fight it are more about taking care of your physical and mental well-being. Try following these seven tips for a week or two and see how you feel before heading to a professional.