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5 Simple Tips to Reduce Depression

We have come a long way in our understanding of depression. (Image via Freepik/ rawpixel.com)
We have come a long way in our understanding of depression. (Image via Freepik/rawpixel.com)

Depression impacts a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It may also have an effect on a person's physical health and other facets of their life.

While many people treat their depression with medications like antidepressants, there are many more natural approaches that can help with symptom management and lower their chances of relapse.

Anyone can experience depression at any stage of life. However, studies show that people are more prone to do so if they:

  • Have a history of depression in the family
  • Have gone through trauma, stress, or a life-changing event
  • Have medical ailments, like cancer, or use specific drugs
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How to Reduce Depression?

Everyone deals with depression in different ways. Some try to handle it themselves, while others seek help.

It's important to remember that you may not always be able to fight depression on your own, but there are certain things you can do for yourself that can help massively. Here are five tips that you might want to try to reduce depression:

1) Journaling

You may be surprised at how big of an impact journaling can have. Many studies have looked at journaling as a way to fight depression and the results are very promising.

Journaling forces you to reflect and helps you get things off your chest, even if you are just admitting things to yourself. Whether it's turning to your diary just before sleeping or writing down your initial few thoughts in the morning, journaling is a powerful tool to enhance self-awareness and emotional intelligence.


2) Exercise

Researchers advise doctors to prescribe physical activity as an additional treatment for depression, as studies have shown it to have antidepressant properties. According to a 2018 study, exercise was found to be an underappreciated treatment for depression and can improve both physical and mental health.

Some people with depression find it challenging to begin exercising, but inactivity can exacerbate the symptoms. Try walking or engaging in another fun activity for just five minutes in the morning and five in the afternoon if you're having trouble developing a fitness routine. A few steps every day can have a huge impact on your mental health.


3) Confront Negative Thoughts

What we think is what we become. (Image via Freepik/Storyset)
What we think is what we become. (Image via Freepik/Storyset)

When a person has depression, they frequently engage in negative thinking. An individual who feels low can frequently have thoughts like "I'm a failure," "No one likes me," or "I'll always feel this way." This sort of pessimistic thinking can develop into unconscious routines and exacerbate depression.

Confronting negative thoughts with positive ones is a straightforward strategy. The opposition to the statement "I'll always feel this way," for instance, may be, "How do I know that?" or by recalling an instance in which you did feel otherwise about life.

We frequently don't question our thoughts, accepting them as true. However, the saying "Don't believe everything you think" is filled with great wisdom.


4) Regularly Consume Nutritious Foods

Depression can impact our everyday life, especially our eating habits. Junk food that's high in sugar, salt, and fat may provide a momentary sensation of comfort, but in the long run, these foods can lead to increased blood sugar, weight gain, and depressive symptoms.

The solution is finding wholesome foods you like, making sure you have plenty on hand, and eating these foods every day.

If you don't have a food allergy or other unfavorable reaction to meals, fresh fruit, salads, lean meats, oily fish like salmon, and whole-grain bread can be healthy choices.


5) Set Realistic Goals for Recovery

What works for you, may not work for someone else. (Image via Freepik/vector)
What works for you, may not work for someone else. (Image via Freepik/vector)

Most people feel bad when discussing goals, as they set unrealistic or unattainable goals. A goal is attainable if it's:

  • Under your control, independent of third parties
  • Manageable (i.e., not overwhelming)
  • Reasonable for you (not for someone else)
  • Measurable (i.e., you know whether or not it is done or getting done)

If something goes wrong with your goal, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this?" rather than, "This is why I'm bad."

Be cautious when evaluating your progress in comparison to others. We frequently contrast our greatest flaw with another person's greatest strength, which is often unjust and not correct.


Takeaway

As you practice the aforementioned coping techniques, remember that you are on the road to recovery from depression.

When people create an excuse about why they are unable to do these tasks, depression is more likely to persist. The key to treating depression, regardless of the medicine or therapy you are taking, is to engage in the above activities every day, even when you don't feel like it.

Although developing these healthy coping mechanisms may take some time and effort, they can work very well in the long run.


Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.


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Edited by Bhargav
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