To get things straight: depression is a serious illness and anyone who has it should speak to their doctor. People can find themselves suffering from it for many reasons, with big life changes such as a death or redundancy often triggers. While we would never say lifestyle changes can cure depression, making small alterations to your routine could help raise your mood and leave you happier. Many of them are small and easy to tackle, too.
When you’re down, you might find it difficult to march with purpose - but it’s also true that slouching can bring on a fit of bad mood. Health.com points towards a study in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, which suggests that people who hunch their backs and shoulders tend to have worse moods than those who stay straight-backed and swing their arms. Plus, those who slouch are usually plagued by more negative memories.
Everyone has a few of those people who can’t be torn away from the camera in their social circle. Whether they are constantly snapping when you’re together or clogging up your Instagram and Facebook feeds when you’re apart, in might not actually be good for them. A Psychological Science study suggested people who take photos of things remember them less than those who just look at them. So maybe it’s time to step away from the camera and enjoy the moment.
Yes it can seem like a chore, but working out really is good for you. Multiple studies have shown that those who regularly exercise tend to be less depressed than people who never hit the gym. Plus you’ll get a burst of feel-good hormones endorphins once your blood starts pumping fast. Don’t fancy group classes or pounding the treadmill? There are so many other options – walking, using the stairs, playing badminton… it all counts.
Most people put off boring things like visiting the post office or doing a tax return, but if you’re simply too anxious about a task to do, it you might be in trouble. You’ll find your nervousness will only increase as time goes on, leading to even more problems. Try a payoff – maybe you get to go out with friends or buy yourself some new clothes first, then you come home and get stuck in.
When things are getting you down, it’s easy to be gloomy about everything. A bit of negative feedback can feel like the end of the world or an embarrassing incident like a slip or fall is debilitating. Practising psychotherapist Erin K. Leonard, PhD, told health.com that laughter is one of the best ways to ease anxiety and depression, which is easy to say but how do you start giggling? Take things slowly - maybe watch a funny TV show or talk to a pal and reminisce about silly times you’ve had together.
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