People who battle depression understand that life can be a constant struggle to maintain sanity and cope with everyday stressors. If you’re one of the 9 percent of Americans who battles with some type of depression, consider the following 5 ways to help minimize its negative effects:
While it might seem obvious to some, many people still don’t quite grasp the connection between mental health and diet. Processed meats and foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats are among the main culprits known to negatively affect your mental and emotional health.
Many of the nutrients needed to maintain optimal brain function are not found in unhealthy foods. Aim to load your plate full of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) every day. The more colorful your plate is, the better! Also, eat foods rich in omega-3 fats, B vitamins, amino acids and chromium.
Meditation is a proven method to reduce stress. Learn to unwind and free yourself of everyday stressors, which can trigger depression, through daily meditation. Don’t know how to begin? Here are a few tips:
- Find a quiet place, away from distractions.
- Get comfortable and close your eyes.
- Concentrate as you breathe. Imagine the air filling your lungs and then being released.
- Allow thoughts to enter your mind. Accept them, allow them to pass, and then focus again on breathing.
Everyone knows that exercise is a vital component of overall well-being. But there’s more to it than just working up a sweat — and you don’t need to do an hour of cardio every day to enjoy the mental health benefits of exercise.
Consider taking a long, slow walk, doing some light yoga, or engaging in a new sport or recreational activity. There are many ways to get moving. Find something that’s right for you, and find ways to incorporate it into your daily routine, even if it’s only for a few minutes every day.
Balance is everything. If you give too much of yourself in one area of your life, whether it’s your job, a relationship or something else, you can become unbalanced. Everything must work in tandem to experience a healthy life. Balance your family, health, career and finances to maintain a positive mindset, which will help combat depression. A conscious effort to set realistic and measurable goals for each area is the first step to enjoying a balanced life.
Take a few minutes at the end of your day to actively reflect on your experiences. Reflection plays an important role in the learning process. This implies that reflection is a large part of creating and maintaining a positive outlook on life.
As you reflect, positively reaffirm to yourself that you are worthy of life’s many blessings. Consider the following positive affirmations to use during your daily reflections:
- I love and approve of myself.
- I am doing the best that I can.
- I trust my inner wisdom.
- I forgive myself for making mistakes for I am only human.
- My family is a gift to me, and I am a gift to my family.
- All is well.
Living with depression takes practice, but it is possible. Implement these 5 tips to combat your depression in a healthy, positive way each and every day.