Millions of people suffer from depression. The struggle that one lives with when depressed is often life changing. Statistics indicate over 18 million Americans have been diagnosed with depression and it continues to grow yearly. There are many medications available by prescription that can help. There is however, growing evidence that milder forms of depression can be lessened or alleviated by also including healthy lifestyle changes.
Gain More Control Over Your Life: People who are depressed often fail to keep a regular routine or schedule. Having little structure in your life can make depression even worse. Try to create a daily routine that you can reasonably stick too. For example, eating meals at set times, completing routine household tasks on a schedule and being generally responsible will definitely help lift you out of your depression. Having too much free time to fall into a deeper state of hopelessness will certainly not help people. Even if you are not working and are home, you can create a workable schedule that will keep you more focused on feeling good about yourself. Daily small accomplishments will be very helpful.
Setting Goals: Setting very easy, measurable goals is a good idea. Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to envision very involving ambitions you may have. Rather, establish small goals that you know can be easily achieved. For instance, plan a weekly outing such as dinner or a movie. If you're not employed, do some volunteer work or get a part time job if possible. Make sure you do this activity every week on the same day if possible. This begins to reinforce positive rewards and you will begin to feel better. If you are having trouble with this, enlist the help of friends or family to create some small goals.
Exercise: Many studies show that a consistent exercise plan will help keep depression under control. Many studies prove that exercise is a natural mood enhancer. All that is needed is 20-30 minutes 3 times per week to start boosting your mood. A simple walk a few times weekly can make you begin to feel better. Diet: When you are depressed it is very important to eat a healthy, wholesome diet. Eating too much processed foods or junk foods can rob you of important nutrients that your body and brain need. Be sure to have a balanced meal plan that revolves around fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy oils.
Restful Sleep: Many people who are depressed either having trouble sleeping or sleep entirely too much. If you focus too much on your inability to sleep it will become even more difficult. Try to create an environment in your bedroom that is conducive to sleep. That means to remove anything that can be a distraction to restful sleep. TVs, radios and media are all items that you shouldn't have in your bedroom. You should create an environment that is tranquil and soothing and will encourage sleep. Also try to go to sleep at the same time consistently as well as wake up at the same time. This will begin to set your body clock to a regular sleep pattern.
Create a Support Structure: When you are depressed it is important to try and create a support structure around you. Oftentimes people will begin to isolate themselves from their friends and loved ones and sink deeper into depression. If you don't have immediate friends and family you can join one of the numerous support groups that exist. You will be in an environment with peers who understand what you are going through. Also having the counsel of trained professionals who are running the groups can give you even support and valuable insights into overcoming your depression.
Change your Patterns of Thinking: Negative thinking is very harmful. It can completely cloud your perceptions of reality and make you see things in an unrealistic light. A good technique to employ is positive visualization. Experts say keeping a journal and writing down how you feel at various times throughout the day can give you more insight into your own behavioral patterns. You may start to see that you feel more down in the evening, for example. This journaling can help you to make constructive changes that may make you feel better. Perhaps then you can find interesting and constructive things to fill your time when you are feeling depressed. Make time to do things you enjoy and reward yourself from time to time.
Remember that as humans, everyone feel down or depressed from time to time. But never ignore severe signs of depression. While there are many things you can do to help yourself, more serious depression requires the care of a medical professional. Remember whenever beginning any dietary or lifestyle changes, always consult with a medical professional, particularly if you are taking prescription drugs or suffer from any disease or ailment.