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Depression is a severe medical condition that can be treated in several ways, such as medication, counseling, and changing your lifestyle.
It’s been a few years now, I was battling depression, and it was taking over my life.
Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Appetite changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Constantly sad
- Feelings of hopelessness
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I had been going through different struggles in my life, financial stress, divorce, a loved one passed away. Life seemed to be an uphill battle, where every day was a fight to keep going.
I don’t know the cause of depression, whether it be genetics or a chemical imbalance, but I do know what helps to maintain the sadness.
My depression stuck around because I was doing the same thing over and over; it was a cycle.
I continued these bad habits, which made my depression remain in control, it disrupted my happiness, and my misery became worse.
It took a while to realize what was happening to me, but I finally recognized the bad habits. I was able to change my outlook on life and cope with my depression.
The 5 Habits I Gave Up To Overcome Depression
I’m a natural introvert, and I tend to turn inward when life becomes overwhelming. I need to recharge, think, and get my thoughts together.
When I was depressed, I would isolate myself. I would ignore texts, phone calls, and avoid human contact.
Retreating and pushing people away made me feel worse because then I was utterly alone.
Turning inward is okay for a short time to help compose yourself. Talking with other people was precisely what I needed.
I learned I needed to push myself to go out and talk to people.
Making a quick phone call didn’t help because afterward, I would go to my room, and the thoughts would start again.
Spending time with supportive friends or family helped me work through the negative thoughts by laughing and having fun.
Social support provides coping strategies and can help build up resilience to stress research shows.
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Dwelling On Negative Thoughts
Depression has a natural tendency to cause negative thoughts which will run through your head regularly.
I would get a sense of doom and gloom, overwhelmed with negativity.
Negative thought patterns can include failure, rejection, loss of a loved one. Dwelling on these problems worsens depression.
I went for help with my negative thoughts. I knew it was aiding my depression, but I couldn’t stop the constant barrage of negativity.
I chose to try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which can help with depression and anxiety.
Poor Eating Habits
Eating processed foods, sugary products, drinking beer, eating refined grains can increase depression and anxiety.
Our emotional health is negatively impacted severely by eating these unhealthy foods.
I used to eat fast food a few times a week because it’s quicker and I had no desire to cook and do dishes when I was depressed.
Going to these fast food restaurants was aiding my depression and making it worse.
On my roughest days, I would stress eat all day, eating whatever I could find; most of the items were junk food.
It was hard to make the switch to healthier options, but having patience and preparing my food correctly, my depression has decreased dramatically.
Being depressed caused me to sit around and do nothing. I would either watch TV or sleep to avoid doing anything at all.
My daily chores were ignored, and I would isolate myself in bed and try to sleep so I could hinder the sad emotions.
Some mornings were so hard getting out of bed, going to work, and I found it hard to function.
I began to realize the impact on my employment and other relationships as they were suffering from my depression.
One day a friend called and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. Of course, I was hesitant but decided to go. The negative thoughts hovered for a short time, but I soon became happy in our walk together.
The brisk walk was helping me get up and start moving. A few days later, we went for another walk.
My friend also suffered from depression and told me she walks three times a week for at least 30 minutes. She said moderate exercise helps to boost the “feel good” chemicals in our brains called dopamine and serotonin.
We still go for our walks during the week, and I always feel invigorated and refreshed after.
Social Media Habits
I would spend hours a day on social media. Continually refreshing my Facebook/Twitter feeds to see what my friends were up too.
It became a compulsive habit, one that began to make me depressed. Watching all the people having fun while I was sitting in my room.
Reading the hateful comments of other people fed my depression.
One day I made a point to leave my phone in the other room. It was hard not to be connected to what was happening but also realized it was making me depressed.
As time went on, I decided to be more active and do fun things. Little by little, I found myself not looking at my phone for updates on everyone else.
I still use social media, but I make it a point not to make it a distraction. A couple of times a day but I limit it to a few minutes.
These are the habits I gave up to overcome depression.
All these changes in habits may not work for you, but they can assist in your treatment. Focus on what’s making your depression worse and change them so you can fight your depression.
Life is out there to be living, and I encourage you to make everyday count!