Depression alters how an individual thinks, acts, and feels. It can also affect the physical health and other aspects of an individual’s life. Several persons take medication like antidepressants to treat depression; however, several natural methods can also help manage and reduce future episodes’ risks.
Anybody can suffer from depression regardless of age. According to medics and psychologists, the following people are most likely to suffer from depression:
- If your family has a depression history
- If you experience stress, trauma, or any life-changing event,
- If you are struggling with a physical condition like cancer
- If you are under medication
The following tips can help reduce depression risks or manage and avoid symptoms for people living with it.
1. Avoid Stress
According to research, there is a link between stress and anxiety or depression. People vulnerable to depression have a higher risk of developing the condition if they suffer from chronic stress. Some people possess genetic factors that increase their vulnerability.
Although you cannot always prevent stress, you can take some helpful precautions like getting enough sleep, taking work breaks, exercising, and practising meditation and breathing exercises. It is also essential to consult a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication or supplement.
According to research, physical activities can function as an antidepressant; therefore, it is a recommendable treatment method. Physical exercises improve the mental and physical well-being of an individual.
Although depression can make it hard for someone to exercise, a lack of these activities can worsen your condition. If it is challenging for you to start, you can try taking some enjoyable activities like walking for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening.
You can also choose a personal trainer course if your schedule is not demanding. It may help you gain more skills and also enhance your exercise activities.
Also, it’s worth exploring the different breathing exercise that you can do to help!
Taking a healthy diet can prevent depression and improve your mental state. According to research, dietary interventions are helpful in depression treatment. Some recommendable food includes:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
- Soybean products
- Green tea
- Healthy oils like olive oil
- Whole grains
Fresh vegetables and fruits provide antioxidants. These help in the protection of the body from cell damage and oxidative stress.
It would help if you also avoided or limit food such as:
- Red meat and meat products
- Trans fats
- Goods baked from premade
- Sodas and sugary desserts
Processed food may negatively affect the gut microbiota, leading to an increased risk of depression.
There is also a link between depression and insomnia. Lack of sleep is a common depression symptom, and it can also worsen the condition. Naturally, you can improve the quality of your sleep by:
- Going to bed and waking up at the same every day
- Ensuring your room is dark, quiet and of comfortable temperature
- Avoiding large meals, alcohol and caffeine before sleeping
- Participating in physical activities during the day
- Following a healthy diet
- Limiting your exposure to bright light in the evening
5. Alcohol and Drug Use
Alcohol abuse and other recreation substances can increase the risk of depression or worsen the symptoms. Some people suffer from drugs and alcohol addiction and depression. If you are struggling with both conditions, you should consider treatment for the two states.
If you are concerned about alcohol or substance abuse, with or without depression, you should consult a doctor or any other specialist who can help.
6. Talking Therapy
Psychotherapy or undergoing therapy sessions can help a person identify their depression causes and find practical solutions. Some of the therapy programs include:
- Counselling for precise issues, like bereavement
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT; can help an individual find new methods for acting and working.
- Psychoanalysis: it usually pays attention to past issues
Therapy sessions can be individual sessions, group sessions, and partner or family members’ sessions.
7. Avoid Common Triggers
Various factors can trigger depression and stress symptoms. These factors differ from one person to another. It is possible to prevent or reduce exposure to some of these depression triggers. Avoidable triggers include:
- Exposure to some movies, news and other media
- Using drugs or alcohol
- Having insufficient sleep due to late-night activities
You can also use the following strategies to minimize the effect of triggers:
- Ask someone to assist you occasionally, for instance, if you are a caregiver
- Enrol in a support group; hence you will have someone to talk to when your feelings overwhelm you
- Request your employer to change your workstation, or you can also shift your working location with a colleague
Depression is a common problem among many people. Although there are many causes of depression, it can be avoided or managed. The above tips can be helpful in the prevention of depression. You can also use the information to manage it.