Tips to Avoid Depression

By Peter Hutch

Depression is one of the most common emotional disorders, especially considering all the chaos we have experienced over the last year. It may be manifested in varying degrees: from feelings of slight sadness to utter misery and dejection, but depression is a very unpleasant malady. It can be more difficult to cope with than some physical ailments.

Secretions, serotonin, and nor-epinephrine are neurotransmitters, which carry signals through the nerves in the brain. If there is a drop in their levels in the brain, a person can go into depression. Moderate exercise and physical activity promote higher levels of endorphins in the body. These supposedly act as, so to speak, ‘pain-killers’ and are good for your emotional well-being. The degree of effect will vary from person to person. Nonetheless, exercise is beneficial to overall health.

Flowers that have appealing fragrance, colorful lights, and sunshine are all beneficial for helping deal with depression. Even a simple walk outside to get fresh air can help as well. For someone suffering from depression, their diet should completely exclude tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, colas, all white flour products, sugar, food colorings, chemical additives, white rice, and strong condiments. That seems like a long list and can be daunting to implement at first, but once you do you will begin to realize how closely related food and hormone balance is. The slightest change could make a huge difference.

Negative thinking habits play a very important and detrimental role in overcoming depression. Research shows depressed people tend to minimize their accomplishments, talents, and qualities. Happy people experience failure, disappointment, rejection, negative emotions, pain, and great sorrows, too, just like depressed people. But happy people keep a positive attitude by gracefully accepting sadness and suffering as normal parts of life, while doing what they can about their problems. This also makes them more pleasant to be around and improves their social lives. Part of happiness is a courageous choice of loving life in the face of suffering, a chosen position or view of things.

Turn to trusted friends and family members. In your depressed state, you have probably retreated from your most treasured relationships. Amidst the covid crisis, we are often separated from our loved ones and even simple friendly daily interaction with strangers, which brings you down all the more. However, it is relationships that can get you through this tough time. Sometimes we need to be creative to maintain connection, but we must put forth the effort for our own mental health. Communicate your needs to the people you love and trust. Ask for help when you need it.

Add a mind-body element. Activities such as yoga and tai chi rest your mind and pump up your energy. You can also add a prayerful element to walking or swimming by repeating an encouraging word or phrase, singing to yourself, or praying as you move.

Often, we put undue expectations on our relationships. If we expect to gain happiness from another person, at some time, we are bound to be disappointed. When bad relationships end, we should see it as an opportunity to move on (positive mindset). It is no use dwelling on what might have been. It is also a mistake to feel that we can change somebody to match our preferences. If we seek to change a person fundamentally, we will just feel frustrated when we fail.

Do not let the end of something allow you to fall into depression. Accept the circumstances of your life the way they are and do not spend time wishing for things to be different. The fact is your life is the way it is and in every difficult time there are opportunities for learning. The difficult times of the first few months of being a new mom will pass quickly, just like every other difficulty. You have heard the phrase, “This too shall pass.” Depression can occur when there is a gap between reality and the way you think things should be. Remind yourself of this when you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion and take the necessary steps to support your mental health. Wishing you joy and happiness throughout 2021.

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