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5 Ways to Fight Depression
If you feel depressed, it's best to do something about it — depression doesn't just go
away on its own. In addition to getting help from a doctor or therapist, here are 5 things
you can do to feel better.
1. Exercise. Take a 15- to 30-minute brisk walk every day — or dance, jog, or
bike if you prefer. People who are depressed may not feel much like being active. But make
yourself do it anyway (ask a friend to exercise with you if you need to be motivated).
Once you get in the exercise habit, it won't take long to notice a difference in your
In addition to getting aerobic exercise, some yoga poses can help relieve feelings of
depression. Try downward-facing dog or legs-up-the-wall pose (you can find these poses on
yoga websites). Two other aspects of yoga — breathing exercises and meditation — can
also help people with depression feel better.
2. Nurture yourself with good nutrition. Depression can affect appetite. One person
may not feel like eating at all, but another might overeat. If depression has affected
your eating, you'll need to be extra mindful of getting the right nourishment. Proper
nutrition can influence a person's mood and energy. So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
and get regular meals (even if you don't feel hungry, try to eat something light, like a
piece of fruit, to keep you going).
3. Identify troubles, but don't dwell on them. Try to identify any situations that
have contributed to your depression. When you know what's got you feeling blue and why,
talk about it with a caring friend. Talking is a way to release the feelings and to
receive some understanding. If there's no one to tell, pouring your heart out to a journal
works just as well.
Once you air out these thoughts and feelings, turn your attention to something positive.
Take action to solve problems. Ask for help if you need it. Feeling connected to friends
and family can help relieve depression. (It may also help them feel there's something they
can do instead of just watching you hurt.)
4. Express yourself. With depression, a person's creativity and sense of fun may
seem blocked. By exercising your imagination (painting, drawing, doodling, sewing,
writing, dancing, composing music, etc.) you not only get those creative juices flowing,
you also loosen up some positive emotions. Take time to play with a friend or a pet, or do
something fun for yourself. Find something to laugh about — a funny movie, perhaps.
Laughter helps lighten your mood.
5. Look on the bright side. Depression affects a person's thoughts, making
everything seem dismal, negative, and hopeless. If depression has you noticing only the
negative, make an effort to notice the good things in life. Try to notice one thing, then
try to think of one more. Consider your strengths, gifts, or blessings. Most of all, don't
forget to be patient with yourself. Depression takes time to heal.