It's perfectly normal to feel a little sad or down once in awhile. But continual feelings of despair, anger, or self-loathing can signal that you're dealing with a case of depression. While you can talk to your doctor about taking antidepressants to help combat your symptoms, it's important to figure out what you can do in your own personal life to relieve the stress and depression that you're feeling. Here are three effective ways to push depression out of your life once and for all:
Make Some Diet Changes
The foods you eat can have a significant effect on your symptoms of depression. While fatty, sugary, and processed foods may be comforting when enjoyed, they can make your depression symptoms even worse when eaten regularly. Instead of indulging in comfort foods to try and fight your feelings of depression, try replacing the sugar and fat-laden snacks and meals for foods that will actually reduce your depression symptoms and make you feel more whole overall. Consider creating meals and snacks that include one or more of the following options:
Omega-3 filled foods such as fish, flaxseed oil, nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens.
Vitamin D-packed foods including tofu, milk, and cheese.
Selenium-rich foods like beans and whole grains.
Include at least one "feel good" food option into each of your meals and snacks throughout the day to achieve optimal results.
Practice Mindful Meditation
Practicing mindful meditation is an excellent way to keep symptoms of depression at bay without having to take medications or make huge life changes. Just a few minutes of meditation each day has the ability to detach from your day-to-day feelings so you can get in touch with your true consciousness. Meditation allows you to control your thoughts and learn how to manage the negative feelings as they creep into your life.
You don't have to be a meditation expert to make the practice work for you. Simply sit still and comfortable in a quiet space for a few minutes each day and concentrate on your breathing. Anytime your mind starts to wander throughout your meditation session, gently direct it back to your breathing again. For support, guidance, and inspiration, you can join a local meditation group or invest in a few instructional DVDs to use in the privacy of your own home.
Consider One or More Therapy Options
Working with a therapist is another awesome way to fight off depression for good. There are several different types of therapy available that have proven to be effective when it comes to getting rid of depression symptoms. Try one or more of the following options:
Behavioral Activation – Helps patients counter patterns of withdrawal, avoidance, and inactivity.
Social Skills Training – Teaches patients skills that help them build reliable, strong relationships that are based on both respect and honesty.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy – Focuses on patient's problem areas and interpersonal issues that tend to trigger depression.
Before attending any official therapy sessions, make a consultation appointment with your chosen therapist and bring a list of questions and concerns with you that they can answer so you know exactly what to expect when working with them. Places like The Center for Family Counseling, Inc. may be able to help.