[soc_panel color=”blue”]By: Unber Shafiq[/soc_panel]
Depression is the leading cause of disability affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. Unlike what most people think, it is an illness, not a choice. There are ways to fight depression, battle against it, and deal with it in a manner that it loses its grip at least to the extent that it does not suffocate you.
As the depression monster grows, the realization hits a person that depression is something that requires a solution. It is this realization that leads to millions of Google searches every day finding a cure for depression.
This article is an answer to those queries. It is an attempt to lend a helping hand to someone who is going through depression – the same depression that makes a person suffer a persistent state of sadness.
Note that this piece of writing is not an ultimate solution to your depression. It is only a collection of thoughts and activities that have helped others who have walked the same path.
27 TIPS ON FIGHTING DEPRESSION
Mentioned below are 27 tips on fighting depression. The list is comprehensive enough for you to choose whatever attracts you the most.
Do not cut the ties
While this may seem like a religious statement, this is a psychology-based statement as well. It is usual for the depression monster to make you feel like no one understands your situation, so better not talk to anyone. With this decision, you withdraw from your friends and family and start on the road where each step actually require a helping hand.
It may be difficult, but do not let go of your friends and family. Let them stay, talk to them, and let them help you. Do not cut the ties.
Depression reduces your focus, cognitive performance, sleep, mood, and energy levels. Physical activity counteracts all of these negative works of depression. You can walk, jog, run, and even dance. Whatever form of physical activity you choose, it’ll enhance your mood and improve your focus.
Many find music as a way to relax. There are two ways that it can help you. Either it’s the up beating sound of the instruments that makes you feel good, or it is the positive and comforting words of a song that bring in some light.
Below is a short list of songs that many depression sufferers claim to have been helped by.
- “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten
- “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer
- “It’s Not Over Yet” by KING & COUNTRY
- “The River” by Garth Brooks
- “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
- “I’m Good” by The Mowglis
This ancient practice by Buddhism has gained wide popularity in today’s world.
Mindfulness is thought of as a happiness tool. There is no rocket science behind it; the idea is just to focus on the now.
You are mindful whenever you bring your awareness to the present moment, how it feels, what you think, and what you feel. Many people have experienced mindfulness as a way to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Think about the happy moments
It is true that depression is quite the opposite to happiness, but it is not strong enough to make you forget your past that contains some beautiful happy memories. Fetch your favorite happy memories from the compartments of your brain and think about them.
A happy memory could be from any phase of our life, even your childhood. It’ll sure help you battle depression in the darkest of the times.
Go for a walk
If you go out for a walk, other than the health benefits of walking as a form of physical activity, you also get to observe nature and your surroundings. It is possible that you might come across someone who’ll make your day, or at least you’ll feel better with some fresh air.
It is an act synonymous with joy. Whereas, depression is related to dark, despondency, dejection, and gloom. Play some good music and try dancing. It is even better if you have friends with you. Dancing emits happy feelings, and that is exactly what a person needs to fight off depression.
When you are looking for depression remedies, it is almost a situation of a drowning man willing to clutch at a straw. One wants to try almost everything that others claim helpful. This is why doodle art is on this list. Some people claim that doodling helps them relieve their stress.
Eat balanced diet
Is your mood connected with the food?
Several studies say, “YES.”
People who eat a poor diet are more likely to report symptoms of depression. Poor diet is composed of high-processed food, fried items, refined cereals, and sugary products. Whereas, those who eat fresh and balanced diet are less likely to suffer from depression.
If you are looking for foods that improve your mood, try the ones that are rich in these components:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Folate and other
- B vitamins
- Low glycemic foods
- Dark chocolate
A study commissioned by the National Trust revealed that traveling could help people experience the feelings of contentment and well-being. The places that are associated with positive memories can induce the sense of completeness in the individuals.
It is always a good choice to travel when depressed. The calmness of nature, the happy memories attached to some distant place, and the fresh air are sure to make one feel better.
Reading helps to escape the reality. You are free to choose the type of imaginary world you want. It can be horror, mystery, thriller, romance, drama, sci-fiction, magic, happiness, and even a book that contains gloom.
You may already be in love with books. In that case, just pick the one that rings hope and positivity. If you haven’t tried reading as a way to cure depression, we have some suggestions for you.
There is a digital health community at The Mighty. Its readers suggest the following books that helped them while fighting depression:
- “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
- “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig
- “Feeling Good” by David Burns
- “Undoing Depression” by Richard O’Connor
- “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl
- “If You Feel Too Much” by Jamie Tworkowski
- “Prozac Nation” by Elizabeth Wurtzel
- “Harry Potter series” by J.K.Rowling
It’s a good idea to jot down what disturbs you. Keep a journal and mention the key takeaways from every day. Initially, it might seem useless, but come to think of it, journaling helps you keep a record of what makes you feel better and what doesn’t. You can use this knowledge to alter your situation accordingly.
Take a bubble bath
Individuals suffering from depression often reveal that they are not taking care of personal hygiene. A bubble bath is a good way to play with water and at the same time getting clean. Do not let your depression hold you from shampooing, cleaning, brushing teeth, changing clothes, and using perfumes.
What is the typical representation of a person struggling with a panic attack?
They are mostly trying deep breathing. Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly. Do this a few times, and you’ll feel better.
Call a friend
Friendship is one of the greatest life gifts. Keeping them is a blessing. Your depression is most likely to feed you with negative thoughts. However, a good friend can listen to you, offer advice, provide help, and can even make some good plans to make you feel better. Try calling a friend who was your best buddy before depression intervened.
Set realistic goals for today
You need to practice self-compassion. Do not compare your 24 hours with those who do not face the challenge of battling depression every single day. Understand that you have a form of mental illness, and it is okay if you don’t do 100 things in a day.
Set realistic goals for each day. Slowly and steadily, you’d be proud of your achievements one day.
Rodney Dangerfield, the famous comedian, used to say that comedy is a camouflage for depression.
Watch some stand-up comedy show or a comedy movie, and pull yourself out of depression for some good time. A good laugh is all you need to feel better on a sad day.
Depression comes with the feelings of worthlessness. An affected individual is most likely to think of himself as a useless being. Between all this, self-compassion becomes even more important.
Remember, you cannot deal with depression while you hate yourself. It is okay to make mistakes, to waste the day, to be unable to do what’s required; IT IS OKAY.
The sunset is meant to bring a new sunrise, and you can try again tomorrow. Just don’t blame it on yourself. Love yourself because if there’s one thing, it is that you are worthy of love.
Join a depression support group
Support groups, as the name indicates, are a great way to fight depression. It is easier for you to share your feelings, failures, motivation, achievements, and your plans with those who are in the same boat. At least, you know that they do understand what you say.
Learn a new skill
The idea is to divert your attention somewhere else. Learning a new skill can both do that and make you feel worthy of something. It could be anything such as learning piano, guitar, sketching, cooking, baking, and skating, etc.
Find out what you had been passionate about before you came in to fight depression. Go for it now, and prove to yourself that you can still do it.
Unplug from what makes you more depressed
If sitting alone in a room is what makes you feel depressed, do not sit alone. Go out in the public.
If social media makes you feel like the only unhappy person on earth – because all others seem to be happy – do not use it for some time.
Watching sad movies makes you even more depressed? Switch to comedy and positive stuff.
Just stay away from whatever depressing thing you can stay away from.
It is not unusual for depressed people to not feel like getting up, dressing up, and showing up. Even if you don’t feel like, do it anyway.
Getting dressed is an acceptance of the fact that this day is to be lived to its fullest because life is more than wearing pajamas all day long.
Cook or bake
An accomplishment of making some good food, and eating it afterword can surely work as a mood-booster.
If your cooking or baking turns out to be good, invite your family and friends to share the joy of eating good food. While it is not a cure for your depression, but it is enough to feel good for a day.
This therapy aims to bring more happiness and laughter in the lives of humans. There’s a thing called as laughter yoga. If you are unable to join a group for this purpose, you can try the loud he he ha ha ha sounds on your own.
Do not dwell on negative thoughts. They are inevitably going to be there, but as you battle against depression, you have to battle against your negative thoughts as well.
Do NOT think you have no powers. You do have them, and you can challenge your negativity with the power of positivity.
Think what could it be
There might be something that is causing or aggravating your depression. Try to look inside and see what is it that makes you feel depressed. If you can find a cause, try to work on it.
For example, is it some anger, failure, or disappointment over something? Try to make peace with that situation instead of ignoring it.
Start anew; it’s going to be okay – if not today, then tomorrow.
Leave your future to where it belongs
Surely it belongs to you, but stop fretting about the future. Just try to make today a better and productive day. If you fail to do so, try again tomorrow.
Understand your condition and forgive yourself for not being the best productive version of yourself.
Remember, you are NOT alone. There are more than 300 million people battling depression. It is not the easiest of the things to overcome depression, but it is also NOT impossible.
Curing depression may take time, but you have every reason to find help for your depression. Start today. Take one step and then another towards a happy life.
Get professional help if you have suicidal thoughts and your depression is taking over your life.