HOW TO AVOID DEPRESSION AND BE HAPPY?
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Depression is a very common but serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, think and act. A person has to feel the symptoms of depression for two weeks and this should affect their daily behaviour to be classified as clinically depressed.
Fortunately, depression is also treatable. The world is opening up to mental health and people do recognize the need for stable mental health in the 21st century.
Depression is not the same as feeling sad. Sadness comes as a wave of emotion when something unfortunate has happened in your life. Depression is constantly there at the back of your mind not letting you enjoy the good things happening in your life. Sadness is temporary and goes away and people get back to their life, but depression is not temporary until treated properly.
- When sad, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of two weeks.
- When sad, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
- When sad, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about “joining” the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending one’s life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.
Factors that play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70% chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
The easily recognizable symptoms when a person is depressed are:
- a depressed mood
- reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- a loss of sexual desire
- changes in appetite
- unintentional weight loss or gain
- sleeping too much or too little
- agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- slowed movement and speech
- fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- difficulty in thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide
A few ways in which a person can be treated for depression are:
- Psychotherapy and medication: The most straightforward way to treat anxiety and depression is to undergo psychotherapy. In this, the person suffering from depression talks about his mental health and things going on in his life to a psychiatrist. The psychologist then evaluates your depression and suggests anti-depressants to numb the pain. If the patient still doesn’t show signs of improvement even after 2 weeks, the therapist may prescribe a higher dose of the anti-depressants. It is important that your doctor tells you the side-effects that the anti-depressants produce after consumption.
- Avoid stressing about situations that make you anxious: Stressing or constantly thinking about a situation that makes you uncomfortable and anxious will cause you to lose self-confidence and this only leads you to depression. There is no secret on how not to stress on issues that make you anxious. Always focus on things in your life that are going for you. Having ambition and setting targets for you to achieve goes a long way in trying not to focus on your anxiety. Even if things don’t work out as you thought it would, focus on your effort and be happy that you put in the effort required and were not slacking in it.
3. Meditate and do exercises daily: Doing meditation on regular basis will help you give positive energy for life and you will be able to handle things with a positive or correct mindset. When you exercise daily, it provides you with various health benefits which are good for both your mental and physical well being. If you are unable to do proper exercise daily because your stress is not allowing you to engage in other activities, then you can simply go for a walk in fresh air, in between plants which will provide you relaxation and calm you down rosters with the positive energy in the air?
4. Allotting a proper sleep schedule helps both your body and mind to be within your control. Not getting enough amount of sleep regularly will surely cause ill-affects on your body and making your physical body also suffer for it. You need to have a proper time to get to bed and not use any mobile phones, tablets, laptops or television 30 minutes prior to going to your bed.
5. Talk to people immediately whenever you face any problem from them
When you are facing any problem or issues from other behaviour talk to them directly so that the issue doesn’t bother you for a long time. When you immediately talk to people the problem is there only resolved or sorted but by keeping it within you for a longer time and not sharing it, will cause you to get anxious and in turn, you overthink which in the long run leads to depression.
6. Build a positive mindset It is not always necessary to immediately get hyped up about things and start taking negativity from it, things can be handled or sorted with a calm mind. Decisions taken with positivity do not bother you, even if you come across getting failure in them but if your choices were made with all negative vibes running in your brain then it will surely lead to depression if encountered with failure.
7. Do not blame yourself for everything. Blaming yourself is not a good habit it will have a negative impact on you, and judge yourself as a useless or worthless person, which is not good for your mental health at all.
8. Get a healthy diet for yourself Our brain always needs a proper amount of nutrients to function better. Improving the quality of food you take with all proper nutrients have shown improved health or treated depression well. Your brain needs its quota of food and sleep. If you do not provide it with them, you are giving yourself a lesser chance at recovery.
Here’s how you can learn how to respect your body.
9. Do not keep things in your heart for too long, share it with a person you trust. If something is annoying you or continuously disturbing your peace of mind, please try sharing it with a person you trust. Be it family, friends or anyone you think is capable of listening to it and understanding you. Not sharing what’s giving you anxiety always has a negative impact on your health because you cannot stop thinking about it and the more you are thinking, the more it is hurting you.
10. Appreciate the good things of your life: Try not to focus on the instances that make you anxious, you should always be happy even in the little or small things you have. Have a count on all the people that wish you well and always be grateful for them.
Depression affects a person’s thinking process, making everything seem dismal to them, negative thoughts always ponder in their minds, and they feel hopeless. Depression always makes you think about the unfortunate things in your life, but you have to make an effort to notice the good things that are going for you as well.
Try to think of or notice one good thing in your life and then count another one and then start connecting to all the good things in your beautiful life. You have to consider your strengths, gifts, or blessings always to make yourself happy and smiling always. While doing this be patient with yourself, be nice to yourself as depression takes time to heal.
“Happiness is the key to conquer all your problems, whatever challenges or difficulties life is giving you stand stiff with a big smile to face them all. Being happy makes you positive for yourself as well as others and you start seeing the good in people. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
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