Tips to help overcome depression
If you’re looking for practical tips to overcome depression, you’ve come to the right place. Learn what you can do yourself to overcome depression and anxiety naturally, without medication. Enjoy a free video series with useful information and resources to help increase happiness and manage stress or continue scrolling down to read several tips to overcome depression.
Emotional resilience 101. This free video series can help you overcome depression and anxiety with practical tips to feel happier and less stressed. Learn more.
We can do something about depression
When you’re dealing with depression, it isn’t a matter of simply flipping a switch and “snapping out of it,” yet there is something we can do about it. We now have proof through MRI scans that significant, measurable changes in brain chemistry and functioning can result from altering our thinking and behavior. A transformation won’t happen overnight, but these tips can help put you on the pathway to happiness.
Tip #1 – Nourish the brain, heal the gut
A deficiency in vitamin B has been shown to cause depression (this is just one of the possible sources, depression is complex and may have many different underlying causes). Research shows that many people have had success treating mental and emotional illness by ensuring that the brain receives all the necessary nutrients.
One supplement, EMPowerplus by TrueHope, was designed specifically to help correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause mental and emotional illness. It has been used to help people with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, aggression, ADD, ADHD, and autism as well as improving general mental health. Our bodies and brains work better when they’re healthy and have the proper nutrients.
Not all of the “feel good” chemicals are produced in the brain. In fact, 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. That means that gut health is vital to mental and emotional well being.
Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract and is responsible for numerous physical, mental, and emotional problems. We can correct candida overgrowth by reducing sugar intake, drinking more water, and increasing our intake of veggies and fiber. We can also eat fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and/or kefir. Also taking supplements like fiber, probiotics, and digestive enzymes can help.
Tip #2 Listen to positive upbeat music
Listening to positive upbeat music is a simple, yet effective way to boost mood and motivation. According to neurologists, listening to music affects our emotions and “brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”
Research shows that different kinds of music can actually produce different kinds of emotions. Sad music can help offer a release of pent up negative emotions, while positive upbeat music helps move the brain into a more active state as brain waves actually synchronize somewhat to the pace of the music you’re listening to.
When we’re trying to invigorate brain function and activity, there’s nothing more powerful than music. Scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function.
Create a playlist on Spotify, Pandora, or Youtube of songs that you love and make you feel good.
Tip #3 Sing a song
While listening to music is an amazingly effective tool on its own, singing along with the music adds a whole new dimension and bumps up the power of healing exponentially.
Singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins which make you feel uplifted and happy. It helps relax muscle tension and decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood stream and can help take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.
Participants in one study showed significant decreases in both anxiety and depression levels after one month of adding singing to their routine.
So if you find yourself in a rough spot, sing along to an upbeat, positive song. Sing through one song three times or sing three different positive upbeat songs once. Allow the music to wash through you and feel the healing and invigorating effects immediately lifting mood and bringing relief. From my own experience, I can say that it really works.
Print out the lyrics so you can sing all the words and choose songs that have lyrics that have meaning to you personally. Here are a few suggested songs to help you create your own list: Roar by Katy Perry, Try Everything by Shakira, Waka Waka by Shakira, Brave by Sara Bareilles, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Happy by Pharrel Williams, Better When I’m Dancin’ by Meghan Trainor, Me Too by Meghan Trainor, On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons, Believer by Imagine Dragons, You Are Loved by Stars Go Dim, and This is Me by Justin Paul & Benj Pasek sung by Keala Settle.
Visit the “Help for depression” page for more tips and resources to overcome depression.
Tip #4 Go for a walk
It sounds like a paradox to ask a person who may struggle finding the motivation to get out of bed to add walking to their daily routine, but studies show that exercise actually helps you feel more energized and less fatigued.
If we want to have more energy, then we have to move more.
Virtually any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. It does wonderful things to help our emotional well-being and is one of the most powerful tools in your recovery arsenal. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.
Walking also gives us a two-for-one benefit, helping not only increase energy but also providing many of the same benefits of mediation, since walking is a form of moving meditation.
Any type of exercise, including walking, helping us calm down and distracts us from our problems. It improves mood, helps us relax and improves quality of sleep. So if you’re feeling depressed or discouraged, it might be a good idea to pause and go for a walk.
Tip #5 Make healthy food choices
There is a strong correlation between the way we eat and the way we feel. If we want to feel good, it’s important to become aware of the way we eat and drink.
Your brain functions best when you’re eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress.
Diets high in refined sugars, on the other hand, are harmful to the brain. In addition to worsening your body’s regulation of insulin, they also promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.
Many people have seen tremendous physical, emotional and mental improvements simply by altering their diets from sugary and nutritionally deficient processed foods to a diet rich with whole grains, organic fruits and vegetables, and quality protein.
Tip #6 Drink more water
Drinking water is a simple, effective, but often overlooked tool to improve mental and emotional health. Studies show that even mild dehydration has been shown to negatively affect brain structure and function, negatively impact mood, and trigger fatigue.
A healthy brain is made up of about 73 percent water, so adequate hydration is a big deal. Even a little dehydration, as little as one percent begins to have negative effects on mood and brain function.
Improve mental and emotional health by including 8 glasses of water in your daily diet, and by water I mean actual water, not soda, diet soda, coffee, or tea. Studies have shown that caffeine consumption can lead to increased anxiety, depression and also increases the need for anxiety medication.
Listen to episodes of Linda’s Corner Podcast on mental and emtional health and overcoming depression.
Tip #7 Connect with nature
Spending time outside in nature is good for the body and the mind. It helps distract us from problems and just helps us feel good.
Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
Calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body’s fight-or-flight response.
So go outside and make a connection with nature. If the weather permits, take off your shoes and feel the grass or sand under your feet. Feel the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the breeze and feel your body moving as you walk. Hear the birds, or the waves, or the rustle of the grass in the wind. Smell the flowers and the trees and see the beauty of nature around you. Enjoy a sensory experience in nature and feel its healing effects.
Tip #8 Pet the dog
If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or lonely, one thing that might help is to spend some time petting a dog or cat.
Science shows that playing with or petting an animal can reduce stress and can also help us reduce feelings of isolation and help us feel more connected.
Petting a dog or cat increases the activity in the “reward center” of the brain which lowers stress and increases feelings of happiness. It also decreases production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, so it works in multiple ways to help you calm down and feel better.
Download your free copy of “30 Days to Alleviate Depression.
Tip #9 Serve someone else
Depression and anxiety tend to make a person retreat inward. Helping other people can help bring us outside ourselves. It can also help distract us from our own problems and think about something else.
Studies have shown that people who help others have lowered levels of depression and anxiety. In fact, in the research study, service was more effective in making a positive difference in the way participants felt about themselves than making an effort to pamper themselves, or creating self-esteem goals.
Tip #10 Connect with friends
We live in a digital age where we can be tempted to replace person to person contact with phones and computers, especially if we’re feeling vulnerable. But humans are social creatures, we crave feeling supported, valued and connected. Studies show that being socially connected increases happiness and leads to better health and a longer life. It helps overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Make a list of the people you can turn to. These are people that you trust to support you and make an effort to contact them regularly. Reach out to them and ask for specific kinds of help. Remember, your friends can’t read your mind and it’s not fair to expect them to. And if you’re working on a goal, such as trying to overcome anxiety and depression, having a friend to report to and keep you accountable can make all the difference in the world. The likelihood of getting new habits to stick, of following through on your assignments and reaching goals is remarkably higher when someone else is aware or your goal or assignment and you set a time to report back to someone on your progress.
Bonus tip – Seek professional help when needed
If your depression is getting worse despite making positive lifestyle changes by using these self-help tips, seek professional help. Calling a professional isn’t a sign of weakness or failure, it’s just utilizing the right resource for the job.
Even if you enlist the aid of professional help, using these tips can be part of your treatment plan so don’t give up. Making positive lifestyle changes can help speed up your recovery and prevent depression from returning. Depression can be treated and you can feel better!
You can do this!
While healing from depression isn’t quick or easy, you do have more control that you may realize. The secret is to start small and take a single step, followed by another step and another step. This process really works. It worked for me and it can work for you too.
If you’d like to see a first hand account of the transformation this process can bring please check out the link to “Crushed.” If you’d like access to a simple step by step coaching plan created by someone with experience overcoming depression, please check out the link to “30 Days to Alleviate Depression.”
“It’s a great read! I was hooked from the start and read it in one sitting! [Linda] is so open and descriptive of the healing process she took that anyone can benefit from her story.” – Amazon review. Learn more.
30 Days to Alleviate Depression
This free ebook is a comprehensive action plan designed to alleviate depression. Easy, step by step coaching guides you through each day explaining not only what to do, but why it works. Learn more.
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