Tips For Fighting Depression

November 23, 2015
Fighting Depression

Approximately 17.5 million Americans suffer from some type of depression, with 9.2 million having major or clinical depression. Sadly, many of these people inadvertently exacerbate their symptoms through lifestyle choices that negatively impact mood. If you've been struggling to maintain a positive outlook, learn the most effective tips for fighting depression.
Smart Strategies
There's no magic pill that will completely cure your depression; however, there are some key things you can do to reduce your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Among the most effective, include:
Get regular exercise. When you exercise, your body produces specific short-term feel-good chemicals called endorphins. At the same time, a growing body of research has shown that regular exercise can have substantial long-term benefits for people suffering from depression.
Get plenty of sunlight. Studies have linked sunlight deprivation to depression. Research has also shown that light therapy has the power to elevate mood, especially for people with depression linked to seasonal affective disorder.
Prioritize sleep. Inadequate sleep can worsen depression. Try to get between 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can reduce sleep quality. You should also avoid using tablets and smartphones before bedtime, since these emit artificial light, which can suppress melatonin production.
Set daily goals. Depression can sap your motivation. Try to build momentum each day by setting small goals that will get you up and moving.
Establish a routine. Structure is important for people who are suffering from depression. Try to set a gentle, reasonable daily routine to help get your life back on track.
Avoid catastrophic thinking. Depression can make you look for the worst in virtually any situation. Challenge negative thinking by asking if the facts back up your worries and fears. Most of the time, they will not.
When to Seek Help
When depression becomes too much to bear, seek help. There are a number of cognitive therapies and medicines available for people who have been unable to manage their long-term depression. Your doctor can help you establish a clear plan toward improving your mental well-being. Depression is a common problem affecting countless people. That said, most experience marked improvement with proper treatment.

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