Every year, around 16.2 million American adults have one major depressive episode. Some of those Americans suffer from more than one episode.
Are you wondering how to get out of depression? Not to worry! In this guide, we’ll go over how to overcome depression.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out.
1. Don’t Spend Too Much Time Alone
Ruminating can cause depression. A risk factor for rumination is spending too much time on your own.
When you’re talking with someone, your mind isn’t dwelling on repeated negative thoughts. Any engaged activity can help interrupt this stream. If you notice you’re spending too much time at home, call a friend or family member.
2. Exercise a Few Times a Week
There are hundreds of studies that document the positive effects of exercise. Consider biking, walking, jogging, or weightlifting.
Exercise can help increase the activity of brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. Your brain produces more of an essential growth hormone called BDNF when exercising. The levels of this hormone will drop during the depression.
Parts of the brain can shrink, and lower levels of BDNF can affect memory and learning. Exercise can help reverse this trend and protect the brain.
3. Omega-Three Fatty Acids
Our brains need a constant supply of omega-3s to function well. If people don’t eat enough healthy fats, they have an increased risk of depression. Doctors encourage people to take omega-3 supplements.
4. Sun Exposure
There’s a link between depression and light exposure. It involves our body’s internal clock. Our brain can figure out how much light we get every day and use that information to help reset our body clock.
If we don’t have much light exposure, our body clock will get off course. This throws off vital circadian rhythms that regulate hormone levels, appetite, and energy. When these biological rhythms get disrupted, clinical depression’s triggered.
Natural sunlight and even a gray cloudy day are brighter than the inside of most homes. A few hours outside gives you enough light to keep your circadian rhythms balanced.
5. Build Your Social Network
The hormones involved in helping and bonding behavior lowers stress in people. If you lack a supportive social group, it’s that much harder to deal with an episode of depression.
Work on building meaningful connections with friends and family. This way, if a depressive episode hits, you can reach out to people you trust.
6. Aim for a Good Sleep
When sleep deprivation occurs for longer than a few days, it can affect our ability to think well.
Sometimes this can lead to poor decision making. People have turned to alcohol or drugs as a way to self-medicate. Learn more about the relationship between depression and addiction.
How to Get out of Depression
We hope this guide on overcoming depression was helpful. Now you know how to get out of depression. Aim to exercise on a regular basis and keep building your social network.
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