This is a guest article contributed by Brenan Quirante from Peak Nootropics.
We often face depression and mental stress in our day to day life. Sometimes it makes us hopeless; we just think that overcoming depression and mental stress is not that easy. But do you know there are plenty of things that you can do in order to counter depression and improve your mental health?
1. Do things that make you feel good?
While you can’t force yourself to feel good or have fun all the time, but there are lots of things at which you can push yourself, even when you don’t want to. Think about your hobbies that once used to make you feel good, but now due to the hustle and bustle of daily life, you almost paid no heed to those things.
We often come across some people who are always upbeat and no matter whatever the situation life hurls at them, they just seem to get act together. Try to have fun, whenever you get depressed, and do things that you enjoy doing. It’s not necessary to do only productive things all the time, sometimes you also need to indulge yourself in activities which make you feel good.
2. Do things for relaxation and energy
When we get depressed, we often gravitate towards some activities which drain us even more. In that situation, it is quite important to do those things which help you to inoculate yourself against this energy suckage.
You have to find time for pleasure in order to rejuvenate yourself. Spend some time with your families, friends or loved ones, go out with them and watch movies, dine together.
Studies have shown that when we spend some quality time with our loved ones, it boosts up our mental health which is necessary in order to combat with our depression and anxiety.
And also try to stop complaining and whining at everything, because complaining doesn’t solve your problem, it will just drain all your mental energy into resentment and self-righteousness. Always try to be grateful to all the positive aspects of your life that happen even on your worst day.
3. Go out in sunlight and enjoy the sun
Sunlight gives us the significant amount of vitamin D along with other stimulants that improve mental wellbeing.
Lack of sunlight exposure can reduce a person’s serotonin levels which can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal affective disorder is also a form of depression that occurred due to the changing seasons.
This serotonin hormone is also associated with lifting ones’ mood and providing a state of calmness. And exposure to sunlight will trigger your brain’s release of serotonin hormone.
So, it is quite important for everyone to expose them to a little sunlight every day in order to live a healthy life.
4. Take a short walk outdoors, have your coffee outside
Everyone knows that walking can burn their calories, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. But most of them may not be aware of the fact that walking can also help to reduce chronic stress, depression, and anxiety related issues.
A brisk walking boosts the feel-good endorphin hormones that alleviate depression, lift our mood and self-esteem.
Researchers also confirmed that a short walk in a park or between woods could help those who are suffering from chronic depression. It gives a chance to your brain get relaxed and enters a state of contemplation which improves your cognitive capacities.
5. Spend some time in nature
As Richard Ryan once said, “nature is fuel for the soul”. Spending some time in nature gives you a calming effect on your body and soul.
Nature sounds also have a salutary effect on depression recovery. Try to spend at least 20-30 minutes in nature regularly, it will also improve your mental strength.
6. List what you like about yourself
Make a list of what you like about yourself. Try, to be honest, write only those things which please you.
It’s a quite spiritual practice which improves your mental ability. Sometimes, self-realization is necessary, and this process will certainly help you.
7. Read a good book
Reading books has lots positive psychological effects on the user. I think the core idea behind the Bibliotherapy is to cure one’s depression and anxiety and improve their mental stability.
An ardent reader develops a psychological bonding with books over the time, his emotional highs and lows sometimes depend on what he is reading, whether it is fantasy, romantic fiction, or thriller one.
Reading a good novel also improves reader’s critical or quality of thinking which help him/her to combat depression more effectively.
These days many self-help books are available which will help you to understand your depression symptoms better and will also guide how to deal with this situation in order get things back on track.
Just watch out on the internet you will get a whole list of experts recommended self-help books.
According to a report published by World Health Organization (WHO) around 5 – 6% of the world populations are suffering from chronic depression. For some people it might be quite severe, they become hopeless and helpless in this condition.
But the good thing, you don’t need to be submissive under depression, you can deal with it effectively with a little bit of exercise.
Exercises like swimming are very effective in stimulating feel-good hormones and other chemicals like serotonin, endorphins in the brain. A 15 to 20 minutes of swimming not only make you less depressed but also boost your mental strength.
9. Watch a funny movie or TV show
Comedy shows or sitcoms has some quite amazing effects; it helps reducing depression and to lift one’s mood.
Personally speaking, when I get depressed, I often sit on my couch and watch my favorite TV shows or switch on my laptop and start watching favorite movies. It gives me an escape route from depression and mental stress. Try it yourself once, it might help you.
10. Eat a healthy, mood-boosting diet
A healthy diet is a key to your overall health including mental wellness. There is a saying: “Put good in, get good out”.
Eating an unhealthy diet often causes some cascading effects that can disrupt your mood. You may not be aware of the fact that your mood plays a vital role in your health, but it does.
A poor mood can damage your immune system as well as leads to a variety of physical and psychological problems such as depression, headache, and anxiety.
In order to have a good mood, it is quite necessary to eat some healthiest mood-boosting foods.
So, try to enrich your regular diet with nutritious green veggies and brain-boosting foods such as avocado, grapes, salmon, sesame seeds, strawberry, shiitake mushrooms, walnuts, almonds, bone broth, celery, blueberries, etc. You can also watch out for mood enhancing supplements like nootropics.
11. Challenge negative thinking
Depression and anxiety always lead to habitual negative thoughts, and this negative thinking will make the person even more depressed. Habitual negative thinking often leads to a variety of problematic
Habitual negative thinking often leads to a variety of problematic behaviors like it can bring down that person’ mood and also influence the way a person act or react.
At a certain point, this negative thinking becomes a kind of defense mechanism for the person to rationalize his/her feelings of depression.
Though controlling your negative thinking can be a challenging task, and there is no clear cut solution (like any medication) for that purpose too.
However, you have to find a path to healing so that you can turn your negative thinking into positive ones. There are some things which you can do – first work on your physical well-being that’s’ too important, and try to write down your negative thoughts so that you can work on them which may lead you to a positive way of thinking.
You can also consult with any cognitive therapist who can outline strategies for effective dealing of these symptoms.
12. Meditation can help relieve depression and anxiety
The health benefits of meditation are no longer any secret from the people. It has been practiced for thousands of years and considered as a kind of mind – complementary body therapy.
Meditation gives us a chance to understand the sacred and mystical forces of life deeply.
You just need to take out 10 to 15 minutes of time from your monotonous life to indulge with the most significant life hack.
Mindful meditation helps you to eliminate all the jumbled thoughts running through your mind and provides a deep state of calmness or relaxation and a tranquil mind to the user.
Meditation also promotes physical and psychological well-being which helps you to deal with depression and anxiety related issues.
About the Author
Brenan Quirante is a publisher at Peak Nootropics, a blog dedicated to supplements that enhance brain function. Peak Nootropics supplement ensures benefits such as enhance learning, improve memory, Increase motivation in workouts, and enhance mood and much more. Connect with Peak Nootropics through Facebook.