Eight Ways to Actively Fight Depression
If you believe that you are suffering the symptoms of depression, it is important that you immediately take active steps to fight it.
Depression needs to be addressed very quickly because of its insidious nature and the significant effect it can have on a person’s life.
To help you recover from depression as soon as possible, here are eight ways to actively fight depression.
#1 — Speak to your doctor
Talking to a doctor will help you actively fight depression in a number of ways:
Diagnosing your condition
A doctor can determine if you actually have depression or if your symptoms are related to another illness.
If another illness is the cause of your symptoms, they can direct you towards the appropriate treatment.
Learn more about symptoms and causes of depression
Doctors can explain what might be causing your depression, how the symptoms of depression manifest, and what treatment options are available.
This valuable information will help you recover from depression much faster.
Checking your overall health
Your doctor can assess your overall health to make sure your depression is not related to nutritional deficiencies or problems with your brain chemistry.
Providing access to medications and further treatment
Doctors can help you access medications and recommend a good psychiatrist or therapist to talk to about your feelings of depression.
#2 — Stop criticising yourself
Depression is often accompanied by repetitive negative thoughts.
These thoughts can wear away at your self esteem and cause you to believe that you are somehow worthless or deeply flawed.
This kind of negative self talk can distract you from all of the good things currently in your life and the potential that life brings.
There are multiple ways to reduce the impact of negative self talk, including:
Remind yourself that you control your thoughts
It’s important to remember that internal thoughts are not reality.
They do not have any special power over you and will not determine what happens in your life.
You have the power to push bad thoughts aside.
Giving your negative inner voice a name
Creating an imaginary persona that is responsible for negative thoughts can help you ignore them.
Think of a goofy name like “Douchebag Danny” and when a negative thought pops into your head, think “There goes Douchebag Danny again, what the hell does he know about my life”.
This will isolate the thought and give you more control over it.
Be kind to yourself
The simple act of being nice to yourself can help you reduce the frequency of negative thoughts.
When a bad thought pops into your head, think “would I say something so nasty, negative, or paranoid to someone else?”
Why should you tolerate nasty comments when you have the choice to ignore them?
#3 — Exercise more often
Multiple studies have shown that exercise is as effective at relieving the symptoms of depression as low-dose antidepressant medication is.
Exercise is effective because it improves the neuroplasticity of your brain and triggers the release of endorphins — neurotransmitters that will give you a pleasurable sensation.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, start with something simple like walking or riding a bike around a local park.
Listen to some music or an audiobook while exercising to keep your mind busy.
#4 — Don’t isolate yourself
People who are depressed often feel uncommunicative and would prefer to spend time alone.
Unfortunately, this tendency to shy away from human contact can worsen the symptoms of depression.
Make a concerted effort to talk to other people about how you feel.
You might be surprised to discover that some of the people in your life have been through periods of depression themselves.
They might have useful advice for helping you feel recover.
#5 — Force yourself to continue your hobbies
One of the worst symptoms of depression is that it takes the joy out of life.
This is particularly apparent when it comes to your hobbies.
When you are feeling depressed, the activities you enjoyed previously begin to feel boring or tedious.
Despite these feelings, it’s important to continue pursuing hobbies.
There are a few reasons for doing so.
The first reason is that an active mind is less likely to linger on repetitive negative thoughts.
Hobbies will also give you a chance to socialise and they will help you avoid the temptation of alcohol or drug abuse.
#6 — Redirect your anger
It is common for depressed people to harbour a lot of anger — either at themselves or other people.
Anger is a very difficult emotion to deal with as it is quite destructive.
You can try venting some of your anger through physical activities like punching a boxing bag, lifting weights, or performing intensive cardio workouts.
Keeping a journal or expressing yourself artistically can also act as an effective outlet for anger.
#7 — Make yourself laugh more
The concept of using funny movies and television shows to beat a serious illness like depression seems ridiculous at first glance — however, there is scientific evidence to suggest it works.
Better yet, watch a funny movie with your family and friends.
You will be amazed by how much of an impact it can have on your mood and it will distract you from the symptoms of depression that you are experiencing.
#8 — Meditate
Meditation has been proven to reduce the symptoms of stress and depression.
It works by changing how certain parts of the brain function, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala.
These changes allow you to control thoughts more easily and reduce the level of stress hormones produced by the body.
Meditating will also give you a sense of calmness, control, and compassion which can help you deal with the symptoms of depression.