Depression can creep up on anyone at the most unexpected of times. Feeling sad, unmotivated and like you do not matter are some signs of depression.
You might also see a change in your sleeping or eating patterns. It is important to know that lack of sleep, as well as excess sleep, are both signs of depression. The same goes for eating patterns. Lack of appetite, as well as binge eating, are both signs of depression.
As you may have already guessed, these are not pleasant emotional States to be in. If you find yourself in a similar situation that lasts for more than 2 weeks it is best to seek professional help.
Apart from Professional help here are more tips that might help you. However, it is important to note that none of these tips is a replacement for professional help.
8 tips for when you feel depressed
Take Deep Breaths
I love this tip because it helps elevate your mood without actually doing something significant. If you are feeling depressed chances are that you might find it difficult to do the other things that I mention in this article. However, since you will be breathing in and out anyway making your breath deeper is the easiest out of all these suggestions.
So the moment you feel depressed start by taking slow deep breaths. If possible make your exhale a little longer than your inhale. Do this for a few minutes and you will feel that your mood has lifted a little. Now the chances are that you will have enough energy in order to do some of the other exercises that I have suggested below.
Move your Body
As opposed to staying in one place, moving around helps you elevate your mood. You can go for a walk, do a little cleaning or some other work that involves you moving around. Exercising, dancing or playing a sport are some other ways to move your body. When you move your body hormones like serotonin that help to uplift your mood are released. Therefore trying to live an active lifestyle will help you to get rid of your depression.
Listen to uplifting music
Why this helps is pretty obvious. Our environment has an effect on the way we feel. It is a bit hard to go to a funeral and not feel gloomy. On the other hand, being surrounded by people who are happy and having fun can instantly elevate your mood.
The same happens with uplifting music. The upbeat rhythm, happy and uplifting words combine to make you feel better. In fact, if you can combine this tip with tip no 2 and dance to uplifting music it will significantly elevate your mood. If you can have uplifting music in the background for a large portion of the day that will do wonders for you.
Reach out to your friends, family or a support group
Loneliness is a major factor when it comes to Depression. In fact, Johann Hari in his Ted talk titled This could be why you’re depressed or anxious talks about this very thing. He says that having a supportive community can be a significant help in overcoming depression.
The word supportive is key here. When they are not supportive, they ask you to snap out of it. That is not going to help at all. This is why a support group for people with depression can be a huge help in overcoming depression.
So reach out to friends and family who support you and make you feel good. These are the people who understand your problem but doesn’t make a big deal out of it either. Neither, making a big deal of your problem or disregarding it is going to help you.
Get in touch with nature
It is safe to say that nature has the power to heal. Connecting with nature helps you relax and feel better. So if you can go for a walk in nature or start a hobby like gardening it will have a great impact on your mental health.
The next time depression hits you take a few deep breaths and go for a walk in nature and see how much it helps you. Also if you spend 10 or 15 minutes in nature every day regardless of your mental state it will help you overcome depression in the long run.
Do something that makes you laugh
It is no surprise that this made it into the list of tips for when you feel depressed. They say that laughter is the best medicine and that is especially true for depression. Since feeling sad is the main symptom of depression doing something that makes you laugh is the most obvious thing to do.
This may include hanging out with people who make you laugh, watching a comedy show that you love or even browsing a website with lots of jokes in it. Out of the above mentioned ways the best and most recommended way is to hang out with people who make you laugh. That is because when you do this you are also combining two tips into one activity. You are reaching out to other people and also spending time doing things that make you laugh.
A little Warning…
Also, remember spending too much time on the internet or in front of the TV can increase your depression. So do not spend too much time watching comedies or browsing the internet for jokes. This is because staying in one place and not moving your body can also increase your depression. Exercising while you are watching TV can be helpful to tackle this issue.
Anyway, when you are watching TV or browsing the internet if you feel drained and you are not laughing you should probably stop. It is never a good idea to keep using these electronic devices hoping that you will find something good.
I am saying this out of experience. I have also sat in front of the computer hoping to find something that will make me feel better but all it did was drain me out. It turns out if you are too depressed or drained out nothing you see or read is going to make you laugh. So walk away, use any other tip to elevate your mood and come back later.
Gratitude is a very powerful feeling. It can help you maintain a healthy life while bringing a lot of happiness into it. People who are grateful are the happiest people around regardless of their financial situation.
If you are already depressed the chances a that it would be extremely difficult for you to consistently practice gratitude. This is because your brain is already trained to look at the negative rather than the positive. But changing that habit and adopting a positive outlook on life can help you fight depression. This is going to take time and there will be many many times in which you fall back into your old pattern but the key is to practice gratitude every time you realised you are thinking negatively.
As the first step look at your life and find a few things that you could be grateful for. It could be something simple as a friend a loved one even the job you have that brings you income. Now every time you feel depressed you can take out this list and can template on it to break your habit of focusing on the negative.
An Example On Being Grateful…
To illustrate being grateful further I will give you a good example. Imagine that you have met with an accident and you are in the hospital. The normal reaction to this situation is to blame the person who is responsible for this and list all the pains you are feeling followed by everything you have missed out because you have met with this accident. All of that is true but focusing on that is not going to help you be happy. Therefore you can choose to be grateful for those who brought you to the hospital, those friends and family who are here supporting you and the doctors and nurses who are helping you heal. Can you see how focusing on a different thing can help you be grateful and feel happier?
Find a purpose
Not having a sense of purpose in your life is a major cause of depression. To feel that you matter and that you have a value you need to have some kind of purpose in life. It could be something simple like support in your family and watching your children grow or something complicated like building your own Space Station in orbit.
So make a list of the things that are important to you. Also, list some of the changes that you would like to see in the world. Now pick one of these and make it your life purpose and work towards it every day. Little by little as days pass you will realise that you are no longer depressed.