Self-help tips: 3 helpful tips for dealing with depression

One in four women and one in eight men will suffer severe or persistent episodes of depression at some point in their lives. If your doctor believes you have persistent or severe episodes of depression, this does not mean you are “weak,” “crazy” or a “failure” in anyway. It only means that you have a medical condition that, fortunately, can be treated.

There are different ways to deal with depression, including eating healthy, taking medication and exercising regularly. We highlight three of the top self-help tips for dealing with depression you can apply to treat the medical condition yourself.

1. Get into supportive relationships

Depression can make you feel too exhausted, ashamed or guilty to share what you are going through with the people you love and trust. However, reaching out to loved ones, joining a support group for depression and cultivating a supportive relationship can make a big difference in beating the depression you are experiencing.

Open up and share how you feel with relations you love and trust. Ask for any support and help you need and try to keep up with social activities even when you don’t feel like doing it. Getting into supportive relationships can help you maintain focus and sustain the effort necessary to overcome the medical condition.

If you feel overwhelmed to open up to close friends and relatives, remember that your loved ones care about you and want to help. Keep in mind that those thoughts or voices preventing you from reaching out to loved ones are the depression talking. Don’t listen to what your depression says. Go ahead and reach out in order to beat it.

2. Break negative ways of thinking

Depression brings a spin of negativity in everything, including how you see yourself, your relations, your situations and your expectations for the future. Break this negative mind set when dealing with depression by doing more than just thinking happy thoughts and wishful thinking. Replace negative thoughts with well-balanced thoughts to break away from pessimism.

Challenge your negative ways of thinking. Ask yourself whether you would say what you are thinking about yourself to someone else. If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, then don’t say it to yourself. In other words, stop being so hard on yourself. Think about less harsh and more realistic descriptions about yourself, your situation and the people around you. Remember you are human, which means you are allowed to be less than perfect.

3. Exercise regularly

Finally, exercise regularly to beat depression. Exercising may be the last thing you feel like doing when dealing with depression, but this is actually one of the most powerful ways to deal with the condition. Physical exercises trigger growth of new brain cells, relive muscle tensions, reduce stress and increase mood-enhancing endorphins and neurotransmitters, which work together to beat depression. In fact, scientists have shown that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication.

Allocate 30 minutes of your time for exercise each day in order to reap the most benefit, although you can also start smaller. Even 10-minute bursts of physical activity can have positive effects on your overall health and mood. Physical exercises you can perform can be as simple as taking your dog for a walk, choosing to take the stairs instead of the lift and pairing up with an exercise partner in the gym.

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