Depression kills. It literally kills. And as much as we hate using the word “literally” because it makes you sound like a teenage girl (no offense teenage girls…carry on with your vernacular) and because English speakers have started to abuse it and many times even use it when they mean to say “figuratively” or “actually”…we will digress and use the word “literally” in its proper form. Depression is a terrible thing. It clouds your mind and makes you feel as though there is no escape from the hole into which you have fallen. In fact, the vast majority of suicides and drug abuse are in some way linked to depression. Even obesity is related. Why? Well, life gets you down, you get depressed, you eat, you gain weight, you lose self esteem, you get more depressed, you eat some more. It’s a vicious cycle. And however your depression manifests itself, it is critical to get help. There are doctors, therapists, and even drugs that can help you bring back that sunshine into your life. So, whether you or someone you know or love is suffering from depression, these are 25 ways to overcome depression and improve your mood!
We’ll start with something simple. The first step is to go on a walk. Just going outside and getting out of your room changes things.
Stop negative self talk
This means challenging your thought patterns. Acknowledge the fact that you have them, but don’t lend them too much weight.
This goes along with our holistic and natural way of boosting your mood. Eating healthy food is not only good for you but it will make you feel better too.
This is something that most people underestimate. Sleep has an incredible effect on our mood.
Listen to happy music
You may only want to listen to sad emo tunes, but that is not helpful. Music is one of the best ways to access your emotions and feelings.
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When you’re depressed this is hard, but if you can distract yourself it will give you a chance to break the cycle of negative thoughts. Things like cooking are excellent for this.
Learn something new
You almost certainly don’t feel like like learning anything write now. What’s the point? But if you can bring yourself to learn something, whether it’s a language or a musical instrument it will give you some direction and redirect your thought life.
Use a sun lamp
If you live far from the equator, then Seasonal Affective Disorder may be causing your depression. An easy way to solve this is to buy a sun lamp.
Journals are a great way to get your thoughts out of your head. Depression has a way of jumbling everything up. Writing will help you sort it all out.
Talk to your friends
Usually when you are depressed you will sink away from your relationships, even the closest ones. Don’t do that. Reach out and talk to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. It can really shift your mood.
This goes along with being holistically healthy. Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise are not only physically healthier, but mentally as well.
Get a pet
This may work in some cases. If you really don’t feel like you can connect with anybody, a dog may be a lifesaver.
No, really. Smile. We know you don’t feel like it but just forcing a smile releases critical hormones that will actually make you feel better.
Do something artistic
Even if you can’t play any instrument and your best drawings are stick figures, just go for it! Even throwing paint on canvas can be therapeutic.
Paint your walls
Some colors, like certain shades of blue, are known to be very calming and up lifting.
This doesn’t mean in a creepy way. Either hug that friend you reached out to, pet your new dog, or even go get a massage. Touch releases hormones that combat stress.
Anything actually. Researchers at the University of Manchester found that an organ in your inner ear is connected to the part of your brain that registers pleasure and just humming to yourself can brighten your mood. Now go activate that!
Eat Omega 3 fatty acids
Scientists have found that depressed people often lack these fatty acids in their diet. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and walnuts.
Change your diet
Although low-carb diets may help you shed weight, they may eventually start to affect your mood. Changing to a more holistic approach that focuses on overall lifestyle (exercising, eating less fat, sleeping, etc) improves your mental health as well.
Take care of yourself
Don’t forget this! Depression often prevents people from going to see the doctor when they are sick, especially if they have something like diabetes. Make sure to stay up with your checkups.
Many people will try to self-medicate with this. Don’t! It is only a temporary fix and it will lead to more problems. It changes your brain chemistry, and it’s a depressant. Not what you need right now.
Establish a routine
Doing the same thing every day can help you stay on track. It also provides stability, which is something you need when you are in the black cloud of depression.
Get cognitive therapy
Basically, this involves seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist. They will know exactly what you need, but in all likelihood it will involve some kind of cognitive therapy that will help you escape from your negative thought patterns.
Get help online
Even if you live in a rural area, if you have an internet connection then you can get help online. In fact, you can even talk to professionals and get therapy via skype.
Do something for somebody
In short – volunteer. This takes your mind off of yourself and your problems. It also gives you purpose, direction, and positive reinforcement, all of which will combat stress and depression.