Most experts agree that there are a lot of people who can experience depression at some point in their life. This is not surprising given the pace of life in today’s society and the influence of the culture of Western societies, which often reward attractive or successful people (for example, at the level of employment).
Moreover, this situation has worsened with the economic crisis, which has led to situations of vulnerability for many individuals. When talking about an economic downturn, it is inevitable to refer to the emotional state of the person. In fact, even its terminology in economic recession is often tied to mood concepts: an example could be “The Great Depression” as a result of the 29th crack.
Different causes of depression
There is no single, definitive idea about the causes of mood disorders: biological, educational or psychosocial factors often interact in the appearance of this pathology. There are several types of depression: major depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder, etc. Therefore, this phenomenon has been approached from different points of view, giving rise to different explanatory models that affect biological, psychological or social aspects.
In general, there seems to be a consensus on the greater or lesser predisposition to suffer from a depressive disorder in the face of triggers (situations, facts, etc.) of greater or lesser magnitude, which could appear at some point during the course. of life. For example, rejection or financial hardship may be enough reason to emotionally destabilize an individual, but their interpretation of the facts seems to be the key to the development of this disorder.
12 tips to prevent depression
Therefore, education can help many people to interpret positively the different negative situations that can arise throughout life, acting as a protective factor. And although in some severe cases it is necessary to consult a specialist so that he can help overcome the disorder as quickly as possible, it is possible to acquire a series of habits to prevent the appearance of this pathology:
1. Improves emotional intelligence (EI)
Intelligent management of emotions is considered fundamental for a person’s physical and psychological adaptation. Emotional intelligence is understood as a set of skills that allow you to perceive, value and express emotions, access them, understand them and, finally, regulate them. Emotional experience can be experienced in two different ways: direct experience and reflection on experience.
Numerous surveys conclude that emotional intelligence is a useful indicator to assess the emotional well-being and psychological adjustment of people. In fact, high scores on emotional intelligence are associated with a more optimistic interpretation of the events that occur, greater life satisfaction, and good mental health.
At first, the relationship between emotional intelligence and depression was thought to be indirect. However, subsequent research has shown that a low level of AE directly influences the scores obtained in depression. Attending classes or seminars on emotional intelligence can help improve this skill and therefore prevent depression.
2. Practical exercises
You’ve probably heard this before, but we tell you it again: exercise brings you many physical and psychological benefits. To prevent depression, exercise is positive because promotes the release of endorphins, Chemicals that produce a feeling of happiness and euphoria.
In addition, cardiovascular exercise and anaerobic endurance work (for example, strength training) will bring benefits to your physical and mental health. Finally, exercising can also improve your self-esteem, which can help boost your self-esteem. Exercising three times a week, in 45-minute sessions, may be enough to prevent mood swings.
3. Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Diet won’t cure depression, but it can make us feel better. A healthy and balanced diet improves health and mental well-beingAs it affects overall health and therefore mental health. Some studies claim that the Mediterranean diet is great for preventing depression. Indeed, it is a diet rich in folates and B vitamins which are essential in the metabolic pathways of methionine, homocysteine and s-adenosyl-methionine (SAM), involved in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood, such as dopamine and serotonin.
Other research indicates that eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as sardines, omelet, or nuts) reduces symptoms of depression. Plus, consuming foods high in tryptophan helps prevent depression. To finish, “Trans” fatty foods should be avoided (such as industrial baking), As they promote depressive symptoms. These help increase body weight and make people more miserable.
4. Have an active social life and practice your hobbies.
Having an active social life has been shown to be effective in preventing depression. Rhating good friends, going to events and practicing the hobbies we love are positive for having a fuller life.
Therefore, you should not isolate yourself and go out to have a good time. Relying on your close friends and family – the people who care about you – is a protective factor against depression. Moreover, if these are fun, they will make you have a good time and put you in a positive and pleasant mood.
In addition, practicing our hobbies gives meaning to our lives. Finding those activities that motivate us and keep us in a state of fluidity will give us incredible moments. In fact, a study in Japan showed that people who exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and enjoy their hobbies, they were happier and less likely to suffer from depression.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others and stop thinking about what other people think of you.
Continuous comparison with others can have negative consequences on your self-esteem. The world we live in demands that we be perfect at all times, even irrationally. But not only is comparing yourself to others negative, but it is common to be constantly on the lookout for others.
We all love to fall in love and be accepted by others, but many spend too much time and energy trying to please others. the psychological wear comparing yourself to others and thinking about pleasing everyone is unhealthy and creates unnecessary stress.
6. Live in the present
Living in the present takes care of your emotional health and mood. It seems easy to do, however we are usually with the body in the present but the spirit in the past or the future. Learning to live in the present helps you improve your well-being and protects you from depression. This is one of the principles of mindfulness therapy.
To learn more about the benefits of mindfulness, we invite you to read our article:
“Mindfulness: 8 Benefits of Mindfulness”
7. Set realistic goals
Even if you eat healthy, exercise and live in the present, nothing will motivate you more than having a goal in life or goals to achieve. A blue zone survey found that those with purpose in life lived up to seven years longer.
However, setting irrational goals has a negative effect on your well-being. Therefore, the goals you you lay down must be realistic. Finally, it should be remembered that not only long term goals will have a positive effect, but also short term goals to stay motivated during the process, which we often forget.
8. Accept and forgive yourself
Learning to forgive and accept yourself is an important part of preventing depression. Which means we are to be forgiven for the mistakes we made or for the things we did not do the way we did. The past cannot be changed, but our perception of the past can.
Accepting and forgiving is our choice, which also means facing our past and present, learning to live with what we cannot change, and adopting a positive outlook on life. It is not an easy task, but it is possible.
9. Learn to live with uncertainty
From an early age we have been educated to have a peaceful and perfect life, but the reality is not always like that, especially in these times. For example, a little over ten years ago it was common to have a job for life. Today, having a stable job has become a strange thing in many professions.
Therefore, today we are here, but tomorrow … who knows. Having a flexible mindset is much more adaptive than having a rigid mindset, and learning to live with uncertainty and a positive attitude to change makes you a much more prepared person for the realities of life. today.
10. Take care of your stress level
Stress is very common in the pace of our life, however when stress persists, things can get worse and lead to depression. In fact, a lot of research indicates that one of the symptoms that can occur in burnout syndrome (or Burnout) is depression.
Treating stress as early as possible can be beneficial in preventing depression from worsening and developing in the future. In addition, it has been shown that poor time management can lead to different disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
11. Avoid alcohol and drugs
Alcohol is a legally and socially accepted drug that may appear harmless. The reality is that, consumed frequently, can cause serious health problems. Other drugs like marijuana, also listed as soft drugs, can cause depressive disorders.
But not only the prolonged consumption of these substances is harmful, but getting drugged or drunk may lead you to do things that you may regret later. Therefore, you should not use illegal drugs, but if you are going to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
12. Sleep as needed
Good sleep hygiene has a positive effect on your emotional well-being. Disruption of circadian rhythms is associated with depression, and their resicronization with the help of melatonin supplements has an antidepressant effect. If your work schedule allows it, try to develop habits that will help you sleep better.
For example, follow a schedule that allows you to fall asleep at around the same time and avoid arousing substances starting in the middle of the afternoon.