How to Overcome Depression

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Is it the Blues or Depression?
Most people have felt the pangs of sadness, hopelessness or loss at some time in their life. Despondency following the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or being fired from a job is a normal human emotion.
If you suffer from a sense of overwhelming sadness and despair lasting for weeks, or even months, you may be suffering from depression. Extreme fatigue, an increase or decrease in body weight, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, and inability to focus or concentrate are some of the signs and symptoms of a depressive disorder.

What Can I Do to Feel Better?
Depression can be successfully treated with medication and therapy. There are also natural ways to help alleviate depression and the disruption it can cause in your life. The following tips are positive ways to help recover from the torment of depression, while adding additional health benefits to your daily life.

Exercise
Something as simple as a brisk walk every morning can be beneficial when trying to combat depression. Natural sunlight contributes to a sense of well-being, the exercise releases endorphins into your system. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the brain that bring about a sense of euphoria. They are the body?s natural feel good chemical.

Surround Yourself with Positive People
When you?re depressed, you tend to become reclusive. If you connect with people who are happy and have a positive outlook on life, you might find yourself enjoying their company. We are influenced by the people in our lives. Build a support system of upbeat family and friends and reach out to them when you?re feeling isolated.

Eat a Healthy Diet
You are what you eat! A healthy diet helps to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy mind. Eat lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink plenty of water. Avoid saturated fats, processed foods, sugar and caffeine.

Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is your body?s way of renewing itself. Avoid the use of stimulants that will keep you awake. Develop a bedtime ritual that involves winding down at the end of the day by reading or engaging in a pleasant, relaxing activity. Try not to watch television or use electronic devices in bed. They will impair your ability to fall asleep.

Set Achievable Goals
Set small goals and strive to meet them. Start with something as simple as going shopping with a friend, or inviting a relative to share a meal or a movie. Set up a routine that includes some form of exercise every day. Concentrate on positive things and try to dispel negative attitudes. The bondage of depression can be broken. By slowly embracing these lifestyle changes, you can begin the journey toward a happy and fulfilling life.

When to Seek the Help of a Professional
Sometimes depression persists or worsens, no matter what you do in an attempt to overcome it. Many people require medication in addition to lifestyle changes. If you can't shake the feelings of despair and overwhelming sadness, you should seek the help of a physician or therapist.

How to Overcome Depression: ""
Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How to Overcome Depression," in PsychologyDictionary.org, September 9, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-overcome-depression/ (accessed June 28, 2017).
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