5 Habits of People Who Beat Depression

Silas & Grace

5 Habits of People Who Beat Depression

Depression can be quite deadly if left unchecked and ignored, but it can be resolved if you’re given the right help.

The American Psychiatric Association describes depression in the following way, “Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.”

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5 Habits of People Who Beat Depression Pinterest PinThis description debunks the common view that depression is a natural function of life—as stated above, it is a major depressive disorder and not a common cold which everyone should expect to experience from time to time.

The causes of depression are too numerous to pin down to just a chemical imbalance.

As Harvard Medical School puts it, “Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems.”

However, while the numerous causes of depression may lead to numerous and specific treatments for it, there are nonetheless general guidelines and habits that can help anyone beat depression—no matter the cause.

These habits, while specifically focused on helping one beat depression, will actually benefit pretty much anyone!

Here, in no particular order, are some of the best habits of people who fight depression (and win.)

1. They Know When to Relax

Slow down. Give yourself some time to recover.

We often strain ourselves beyond our limits, which can have a tolling effect on our bodily organs, our minds, and our nervous system.

Often we’re so busy that we don’t pay attention to our bodies and the signs they show us.

For example, poor sleep is associated with weight gain as study after study has shown. Moreover, a study has shown how poor sleep lowers our levels of concentration.

Another study found that those who sleep less than the recommended 7 to 8 hours are more likely to suffer from strokes or heart disease.

Finally, one more study found that adolescents who slept beyond the recommended amount were more likely to become depressed.

The lesson in all this? Don’t feel guilty for slowing down and relaxing. The reality is is that sometimes your body just needs to take a good break, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

2. They’re Active

This may seem somewhat contradictory to the first point, but most things in life are about moderation and balance.

Inactivity is a common aggravator of depression. And I totally get it. It’s hard!

The more depressed you feel the LESS you feel like being active.

As the American Psychiatric Association puts it, “Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.”

This means that, for some people out there who have depression, you will not feel like being active and nor will you enjoy it even if you are.

But that’s one of the major challenges for people battling depression, and those who beat depression are the ones who push past the feeling of inactivity and get out and stay active.

You may go for a run or play some sport and get NO enjoyment out of it. But that’s ok. That’s just part of being depressed.

Just keep going even though you’re not particularly enjoying it. And if you need to, start small and build bit by bit every day. And if you start lagging behind, start all over again.

3. They Don’t Give up and Ruminate

As you try to beat depression, you’ll have strong and weak moments.

In those weak moments, don’t give up and start ruminating (i.e. thinking too much) about your failures, losses, rejections, emotional state, dashed hopes, etc.

It’s important to realize this is a long-term fight where one ought to celebrate any progress made, rather than celebrating perfection.

And if you really think about it, thoughts are peculiar things.

They’re totally intangible but yet can feel more real than our surroundings at times. In a way, thoughts reach out to us and say, “Hey, choose me! I’m worth thinking about.”

And after a while, it’s almost as if we forget that ultimately we’re the ones in control.

At the risk of offending non-religious readers, I’d like to point to a piece of timeless advice that is nearly 3000 years old, stated in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.”

So next time you feel like giving up and ruminating, remember that how you respond to anything negative is usually more crucial than the negative thing itself.

One of the most significant habits of people who beat depression is that they didn’t—ever—give up.

4. They’re Social

Again, don’t be surprised that talking and being around people loses all its fun when you’re depressed. Don’t panic, it’s normal!

In fact, some days even the thought of talking to anyone will feel draining, stressful and overwhelming.

But maintaining social interactions, even while depressed, has been shown to actually help you be more resilient to stress and maintain good mental health.

A lot of what was said in habit 2 about staying active applies again here, but I’ll just copy and paste a line that is 100% relevant here too.

Just keep going even though you’re not particularly enjoying it. And if you need to, start small and build bit by bit every day. And if you start lagging behind, start all over again.

5. They Eat Healthily

Sometimes depression can feel like a lose-lose situation.

For example, sleeping well helps minimize depression, yet depression can negatively affect your sleep, which in turn negatively affects depression. You get the idea.

Well, the same can be said about eating since depression can often lead to undereating or overeating while, at the same time, eating well can be the very thing that can help cure depression.

When someone with depression overeats it’s usually to comfort themselves, whereas when one undereats it’s because eating itself has become unappealing or because, subconsciously, they’re over-controlling their food intake because they feel like they don’t have control over their depression.

Both of these extremes are avoided by those who beat depression.

In short, you know you’re winning the eating game with depression when you eat normally and healthily.

And to give you an exact guideline on what constitutes “healthy” when depressed, one study found that women who ate more processed foods, sugary products, refined grains, and beer were more likely to be depressed and anxious.

So while avoiding these foods, another practical tip would be to track your eating habits by recording what you’re eating, your emotional responses to food, and also your appetites when beginning eating. This can help you feel in control and discover what works for you best.

So with all these steps taken, you’ll definitely be on your way to beating depression.

While it may take some time and additional treatment, these habits will be your helpers as you not only get better but become better than ever before!

Now, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to write them in the comment section down below. Thanks so much!

Health Wellness

Silas & Grace

Chasing Foxes was started in 2016 as a way for Grace and her husband, Silas, to start traveling. However, they started to realize that they had a passion for improving themselves, and wanted to help others level up their lives as well. So whether it's with cooking, travel, or staying healthy, they want to help you better your life bit by bit, as they do the same.

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