Depression is not a choice – it is a serious illness. It is one of the most common mental conditions. It can lead to both emotional and physical problems. Constant crying and suicidal thoughts can put your life at risk. Patients take antidepressant pills and require regular therapy.
Depressed people are easily identified in the general population. Persistent sadness, low energy, distancing oneself from society and self-harming thoughts are some signs of depression.
While depression can affect anyone, it is most common in teenagers. They are going through a lot of pressure from their peers and parents. Research has shown that one in ten teenagers has experienced depression at some stage of their lives.
The question is – How can I avoid depression? The society is the culprit as depression has nothing to do with the weather conditions or the astrological sign. When you feel pressured or left out, it puts your mind under tremendous stress. How to get rid of this feeling or save yourself from feeling this way?
The following techniques can help prevent/avoid depression.
A good way to prevent depression is to avoid getting stress. Stress is easily avoided by making some lifestyle changes.
Stress starts when you think about something too much. Do not invest too much of your time and energy in one thing. Learn to move on from certain things. If you fail on a project you were working on, move on. Let it go and find an alternative.
Meditation can help clear your mind. Learn this when you find it hard to let go of things in your life.
Maintain your relationships
Build on your social life. Be in contact with friends and family even if you are busy. Attend social functions such as weddings and sport activities.
This helps keep friends close. You also meet new people. Strong relationships will give you support when you feel low.
Limit social media activities
We use social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to keep in contact with friends. Most people nowadays have multiple social accounts. This is where we share happy thoughts and daily achievements with friends.
However, some comments from social media are hurtful and can lower your self-esteem. This is why you need to spend less time online. Celebrities go through it every single day. Although we believe that they do not read the harsh comments, but every single negative remark puts them under stress and it leads to depression.
Avoid going online with no specific purpose. Stop chatting with strangers as they will most likely be disrespectful.
Drug abuse is associated with an increased risk of getting depressed. Limit alcohol intake immediately. People usually take drugs with friends. Motivate your friends to quit and hold each other accountable.
Stop attending events where you know you will have to take alcohol. Make it a habit to start using soft drinks with no alcohol content.
Some medicines may have side effects that cause depression. Talk to your doctor about medicines which you should avoid.
Exercising is known to improve people’s mental health. Physical exercises promote your body to release endorphins. These are chemicals that boost your mood.
Most people have an exercise routine. However, they rarely follow it. Join a team where you will get motivated to train daily.
If you are going to a nearby place, walk instead of driving. Go for a morning run immediately you wake up. Make this a habit and you will maintain your fitness levels.
Most people lack the motivation to exercise. Start doing small activities and gradually increase the time you spend exercising.
Control your choices
Avoid getting into situations where you have to make many choices. Research has shown that trying to figure out too much can confuse your brain and lead to stress.
Trying to make the best possible choice can take a toll on your mental energy. Sometimes any choice is enough to solve your issues. Simplify things by making quick decisions. Plan your schedule so you never have to make multiple decisions at any given time.
Doctors advise people to get at least eight hours of sleep every day. Sleep gives your mind time to rest, thus maintaining your mental health. People with sleeping disorders are known to have higher chances of getting depressed.
Following some basic steps can help get a good night’s sleep. Avoid taking drinks that make your brain active at night. Caffeinated drinks are only to be used in the mornings.
Do not go to bed with your phone. It will keep you awake late into the night.
Control your diet
Eating a balanced diet provides your body with nutrients necessary to maintain your body health. Take Omega-3 supplements or fish oils which boost your brain health.
Eating foods with high-fat content has been proven to cause stress.
Obesity can lower your self-esteem especially when you are judged by other people. Exercise regularly and eat well. Maintain your body to avoid criticism from people. Don’t just be fit to please the society, but to live longer and healthier.
Choose your friends
There are people who hate it when you make any progress in your life. They criticize you and try to make you feel bad for anything you do. Avoid such people. They have no value in your life. Cut such people out of your life.
There are signs that can help you identify such people. They usually gossip and spread rumors about people. Stay away from them as they will do the same to you behind your back.
Some conditions that trigger depression cannot be avoided. You have to learn how to deal with them effectively. This may include the death of a family member or the anniversary of a tragic event in your life.
Avoid being alone on such a day. Spend it doing something you like so you do not concentrate so much on the tragic event. It is also helpful to see your psychiatrist for extra advice on how to get through this day.
See a doctor to give professional advice on your problems. Your psychiatrist will find the best kind of therapy for you.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you think better and make decisions without stress.
People who find it hard to confide in their friends may open up to a trained doctor. You can also join a support group. Learning other people’s problems can help you better solve your own.
People have different issues that trigger their depression. The important thing is to find a way to either avoid or manage your trigger. Talk about your problems with a friend. They will help you find a way forward.