If you have depression, of course you want to overcome it.
And while it may be possible that you will not be able to cure it completely, at the very least you can make it better.
All this depends, however, on the habits which govern your life. If your habits are negative, insular, and defeatist, of course your depression will thrive.
If, on the other hand, you have formed positive and uplifting habits, you are more likely to live a happy life.
I have rounded up five habits (with five more to come!) that have been proven to help alleviate depression. They are relatively easy to incorporate into your life, and any effort they require is definitely worth the result.
Try bringing these activities into your routine:
1. Detach yourself from social media.
Social media is the sinkhole in which are lost all our positivity, sense of balance, and self-esteem. When we look at social media, we are more or less invited to compare ourselves and our lives and our talents with those of other people.
Obviously, this is not good for us and for our happiness. Try to separate yourself from social media–emotionally, at least, but physically if necessary.
I gave up Facebook years ago when I found myself always feeling awful every time after I looked at it. Even now, though I have just gotten back on for the sake of this blog, I make a point not to update my status or to spend unlimited time scrolling through my feed.
If I did, I know my thoughts and emotions would go into the pits again.
Let others worry about how many likes they get or how beautiful their pictures are. Social media is usually not your friend when you are prone to depression.
There are at least three points in favor of exercise. In the first place, it is a proven fact that exercise can reduce or prevent depression. It helps to release the “happy hormones” into your system so that your mood is uplifted.
Similarly, helping your body to be healthy assists it to function optimally. A body operating at its best will do its utmost to promote a healthy mind.
The sense of accomplishment and the feeling of taking care of yourself can also go a long way toward establishing and maintaining your self-respect.
Therefore, if exercise is not part of your daily routine, consider adding it in.
3. Practice gratitude.
I’ve talked about this several times in the past. Forming the habit of being grateful for your life and its details creates a positive atmosphere.
There are several ways to go about this. You could start a gratitude journal. You could set aside certain times in the day to think of things you are grateful for. You could use gratitude as weapon every time you are anxious or down.
Taking time and making the effort to be grateful will change your approach to your life. Instead of looking at what is bad or unpleasant about your life, you will begin to notice the good things more and more. As these become increasingly present in your mind, you will find yourself feeling happier and in better spirits.
4. Experience nature.
Studies have shown that being in nature positively affects mood. In fact, there is an entire system of psychotherapy dedicated to the effects of nature. This is called ecotherapy or green therapy.
Ecotherapy operates on the fact that the sights, smells, and sounds of nature benefit mental health. It is well known, for example, that the sound of water has a calming effect, and it has been reported that the smell of fruit has dispelled depression for some hospital patients.
You can use these principles to your advantage. Try regularly going to a park or walking in your neighborhood. If you are near a beach, take advantage of it. And even if you cannot for some reason go out into nature, you can bring it inside with plants, flowers, and even pictures.
5. Take breaks from the routine.
Depression thrives when we get into a rut. We need a change of scene and a change of activity in order to get the mental and emotional relief we require to be happy.
Therefore, make it a regular habit to do and see something other than what you usually do and see. Get out of the house, for example, or try changing up the routine.
You could make a point to go out in the evening to a different place once a week. Or consider having a slow morning every now and then. You could even simply shift around your cleaning schedule and do your chores on different days of the week than usual.
The important thing, however, is that these changes not be sporadic. They must be frequent and habitual if they are going to have a good effect.
Our habits can make or break us. Bad habits can feed depression, while good habits can dispel it. Try incorporating these five habits into your life, and see if your depression improves!