It’s perfectly normal to have a day where you don’t feel quite like yourself. However, if you feel down and blue more often than not, chances are you may have a form of depression. Depression affects millions of people annually. Some people have bouts of depression due to the loss of a loved one, loss of a job or another traumatic experience in your life. Others, however, have a mental illness, and it’s a part of their lives. The good news is that there are changes you can make in your life to promote a healthier state of mind.
You Are Not Alone
Depression leaves you with a feeling of constant sadness that dictates your life and pretty much controls your existence. It doesn’t matter where you live, across that states the number of people with minor or major depression is staggering. For instance, in Santa Barbara, CA, according to Mission Harbor Behavioral Health’s stats on depression, it affects nearly one in five adults.
Focus on the Positive
It’s very easy to think in a negative manner. However, by viewing things positively, you will uplift your spirits and feel better. Avoiding hanging out with people who adopt a negative view of just about everything is also in your best interest.
Simple changes to the types of food you eat can have a big impact on helping to control your feelings of sadness. Foods such as lean meats, seafood, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and flax seed, contain vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, along with antioxidants, can help to reduce the symptoms of depression.
Benefits of Working Out
It’s no secret that exercise keeps your body fit. What you may not know is that working out also helps to stabilize your mood. That’s because your body releases chemicals called endorphins that make you happy. Aerobics and cardio workouts top the list of offering the best results due to the physical intensity. However, other forms of exercise like swimming or even a brisk walk will make you feel better.
For anyone who lives with depression, stressful times can enhance the feelings. Meditation provides a wonderful outlet that you can perform virtually any way. When you meditate you are better able to block out negative emotions which in turn reduces levels of stress and anxiety.
Adopt a Pet
People who live with mental illnesses like depression often withdraw from society and prefer to be alone. Adopting a pet will allow you to find joy and companionship by tending to the needs of another living thing.
You don’t have to handle the illness on your own. Instead of letting depression control your life take steps to conquer it. Therapy a few days each week will let you open up to someone experienced in dealing with people who have the mental illness and together you can find ways to slowly get back to living a happier life.
Areas of Interest
Unlocking things that provide joy in your life is often a huge part of beating your depression. Maybe you love the outdoors and can start to grow a garden. Or, perhaps you like to draw or do crafts. The point is to examine your feelings and find one thing of interest that you can do to alleviate your feelings.
It’s easy for someone on the outside to give you a pep talk and tell you to get up from the couch and get moving. However, for someone who lives with mental illness, it’s not that easy. Instead of trying to do it all at once, embrace each good day and strive to have more good days to follow.
Depression affects nearly 20 percent of the adult population. If you live with the mental illness make positive changes in your life that in the end will make you happier.