If you find yourself suffering from seasonal blues, stressed over the economy or politics, or depressed about things closer to home, you are not alone. It is easy to become pessimistic and even depressed when the news around us is bad as well as times when life can be difficult. Our circumstances can influence our attitudes and mental health. However, there are ways you can fight depression and keep your own attitude positive. Here are ten good ways you can lower stress, boost your morale and defeat depression.
1. Make Good Choices & Celebrate Each Victory
Make good choices about what you eat, how much you spend, what you say, how you do your job and other life choices, and then celebrate your victories when you make the right decision. It is fine to pat yourself on the back, even for small victories. You may not be able to do much about yesterday’s choices, but making good choices today can increase your self-esteem, boost your morale and help you fight depression.
2. Surround Yourself with Positive People & Improve Your Attitude
Positive people can help raise your spirits and improve your attitude. Spend time with your most positive friends. If you don’t have any, get involved with a good local church, or join a civic organization like Civitan, Rotary, or Kiwanis Clubs. Positive people doing good things will help your own mental wellness.
3. Volunteer & Raise Your Spirits
Numerous studies have shown the remarkable benefits volunteering has on your self esteem, your mental well being and your physical health. Volunteer at a school, church, ministry, or other charitable organization such as Habitat for Humanity, your local children’s hospital or local food banks, and you will feel better about yourself and life in general.
4. Eat Right & Exercise to Boost Your Morale
Physical exercise releases endorphins which raise your spirits and boost your morale. Get into some good, moderate exercise habits which you can easily and regularly maintain, such as walking, biking or jogging, and you can reduce anxiety and keep yourself in good spirits. Eating foods rich in vitamins, especially B vitamins, can also improve your health and help raise your spirits.
5. Read Good Books & Fill Your Brain with Good Thoughts
Reading good literature and positive self-help books can change the way you view life. The old computer adage was ‘garbage in, garbage out’ or as the Bible puts it, ‘as a man thinks, so is he’ (Proverbs 23:7). Read books that inspire and encourage you, not books that make you dissatisfied with your life or that feed your depression and paranoia.
6. Donate Money & Gain Peace of Mind
Much like volunteering, donating money to a worthy cause can raise your spirits. You don’t have to donate much; the simple act of giving has an immediate emotional benefit to the giver by raising your spirits.
7. Meditate and Pray & Deepen Your Spiritual Resources
There have also been many studies that indicate people who pray and/or meditate are more relaxed, happier people. The neurological benefits of meditation and prayer are well documented and people who pray and/or meditate frequently are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
8. Get Counseling & Defeat Depression
Sometimes it is helpful to get an objective, knowledgeable professional involved who can listen to your concerns and offer feedback. Counseling doesn’t just mean seeing a psychiatrist as there are many forms of counseling available from Christian counseling, pastoral counseling, grief counseling, psychology and even online counseling.
9. Over-the-Counter Remedies & Devices May Help Fight Depression
Natural remedies available over-the-counter like St. John’s wort, Omega-3 fatty acids and B-12 vitamins may help fight depression. However, not everyone agrees that St. John’s wort and Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in treating depression. If you chose these over-the-counter products, use them in moderation and under the supervision of your doctor. There are also depression devices including light therapy that help many people.
10. Use Medication Only at the Direction of a Doctor
In some cases a person might need other forms of help including antidepressants and other medication which only a professional can recommend. The three most common treatments for clinical depression are psychotherapy, medication, and electroconvulsive therapy. However, I think in most cases of depression, changing one’s habits to a healthier lifestyle can boost your spirits and defeat depression.
These ten tips should help raise your spirits and boost your morale so you can defeat depression.
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