Even if you feel healthy, you are not immune to getting depressed. Even some of the most popular rock stars who you might think were living lives of gods on earth were prey to this deadly ailment which is very often taken for granted. That being so, it is important to take precautionary measures. Here are some ways to prevent it.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
You might have a lot of work to do, but getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as the job itself. Sometimes, you might find yourself tossing and turning all night and you might get even disturbed that that. Research shows that having disturbances in sleep patterns have strong links to depression. You can resynchronize your sleep pattern by using melatonin supplements, light therapy or fasting.
Whether you are already battling depression or you just want to boost your mood, regardless of how good you think your mental health is, you have to get a good night’s sleep. Make an effort to go to bed at the same time every day while waking up at the same time every day as well. If you cannot get enough sleep, research says that this is okay, provided you make up for it during your rest days.
Pause and Reflect Once in a While
Sometimes, we tend to brush aside certain discomforts without knowing that these can creep up on our lives from within without us even feeling anything. Even if you do not feel like it, it helps if you pause once in a while and just see where you are right now. You can get a piece of paper and simply write about things that you are aware of and see what comes out. You might see some dirty laundry, but do not judge yourself since this is normal.
Another exercise is to be fully aware of everything. Just take a look around you and appreciate everything you see with childhood curiosity. Marvel at the colors, textures and shapes that you encounter and feel its existence with all your senses. Being this aware can be a very powerful tool in bringing back some pleasures in life which you have been taking for granted.
Exercise Once in a While
Just like our bodies, our minds tend to fidget a lot if it is not occupied. If however you exercise regularly, not only do you give your mind something to focus on, you also activate your body’s mood boosting mechanism, which can be a very powerful tool in combating depression and uplifting your mood.
In one study, depressed patients were made to exercise on a stationary bike. It was found that just after 15 minutes of exercise, the symptoms of depression and cortisol levels were significantly lower.
Be Mindful of Your Blood Sugar
Just recently, Medical News Today reported on a study published in the journal Scientific Reports which identified a greater risk of depression for men who consumed greater amounts of sugar in their diet.
Everyone has been there before. After a stressful day when your mood is low, you go for a tub of ice cream or a slice of cakes with the hopes of it uplifting your mood. However, evidence shows that consumption of sugar has direct and adverse effects on mental health. While everyone might have thought that feeling low can lead to increased sugar production, it is actually the other way around. Researchers from University College London Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health used a mathematical model to come up with a phenomenon they called reverse causation. In sum, they have concluded that a larger sugar consumption can be harmful to mental health.
Pursue Something You Are Passionate About
Nothing gives you more reason for existing that purpose, and the only way to feel your purpose is for you to know what you are passionate about. While this by itself already makes sense, a study actually shows that those who are passionate about something live up to seven years longer than more laid back people. In a study which involved Japanese elders, who are known for their longevity, it was discovered that those who did not show signs of depression exercised regularly, ate healthily and had hobbies through their entire lives.
No matter how mentally sound you think you are, you have to make sure that your brain and mood is just as healthy as any other part of your body. Do you have anything else in mind that effectively prevents depression? Share them with us in the comments below.