Can You Lower Your Risk for Depression?
Nearly 15 million adults in the United States experience depression. Living with depression may feel like a roadblock in your life and mental health. Taking steps to prevent depression may not always be 100% effective, but there are certain measures you can take to lower the risk of it.
If you have experienced depression and are looking to lower your chances of another episode, or if you simply wish to learn more about lowering your overall risk of depression, keep reading.
Contributing factors to depression
Before delving into ways you can prevent depression, first, let’s discuss factors that contribute to depression. There are many ways you can develop depression, some of which are within your control and some that are not.
Certain factors that you cannot control and therefore cannot do much to prevent include:
Genetics and familial history of depression
Environmental factors such as a recent loss of a loved one
History of trauma
A chronic or terminal illness
Continue on to discover more about factors that are within your control.
Focus on physical health
Your body is incredibly intuitive. When one part of your health is doing poorly, the other aspects of your health follow suit. The good news is that the opposite is also true. By taking care of yourself physically, your brain is inclined to behave and perform healthily.
Eating right, focusing on exercise, and avoiding harmful substances are great ways to take care of your physical health. Exercise also gives the added benefit of releasing endorphins, the feel-good brain hormone.
Discover healthy emotional outlets
There are hundreds of healthy hobbies you can take up that will have a positive impact on your mood. The fun part is trying out a few different activities to see which works for you and your lifestyle the best!
If you enjoy creating things, search your community for pottery classes or teach yourself how to crochet. Journaling or other forms of writing are also great ways to express your emotions. Whatever you choose, be sure that your emotional outlet brings you joy.
Lower your stress
Having high-stress levels or frequently experiencing stress can impact the chemical receptors in your brain. This is another contributing factor to depression. However, you can help manage your stress.
There are plenty of ways you can learn to contain your high levels of stress, many of which are other great ways to prevent your depression. Regular exercise and mindfulness are great ways to mitigate stress. Other options include listening to music or spending time with your loved ones.
Check your sleep habits
Whether you notice or not, your sleep habits impact your behavior and emotions in a huge way. Grown adults should be getting between seven and eight hours of healthy, restful sleep every night.
Take stock of your sleep habits. Are you sleeping too much or not enough? Do you feel well-rested when waking up in the morning? Consider changing your nighttime routine to facilitate a better night’s sleep if you need to make any changes.
Talk with your doctor
Talking to a trained medical professional is always an available option if you wish to learn more about preventative measures. Try reaching out to your general practitioner to express some of the concerns you have about your mental health. Additionally, therapists are also great outlets to express your thoughts.
Again, if you have battled with depression or simply want to learn more about preventing it, I am here to help. I am always looking to assist those down the path toward better health. Take a look through my website and if you think we would be a good fit, reach out to my office today.
For more information on therapy for depression, check out the link!