Depression, a mental illness that affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, results from a complicated combination of social, psychological and biological factors. The disorder undermines thoughts, mood, and physical health and interferes with daily life and normal functioning. Depression often leads to stress , dysfunction, and certain unhealthy coping mechanisms, which can turn into habits that ironically only serve to exacerbate the affected person’s life situation and the depression itself.
While experts describe several of the possible habits that could keep you depressed and offer advice on how to conquer them, all agree if you cannot make the necessary changes on your own, it is vital that you seek professional help as soon as possible.
Think too much
Thinking too much is also known as “rumination” which is the tendency to reproduce in the mind everything negative that could happen or that has happened … this makes you more prone to depression.
Whether you are a natural ruminant or have just formed the habit, breaking the cycle is essential. That means getting into healthier and more optimistic thought patterns. Accentuate the positives, don’t just think about what goes wrong. You also begin to notice the things that go well.
Mindfulness meditation and yoga are proven techniques for bringing your mind back to the moment and out of stale thoughts … learn to keep perspective. People who overthink the bad tend to be perfectionists who set high expectations for themselves and others … put perfection aside, because it just doesn’t exist.
Smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs
While drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary mood boost, the more we depend on the substance, the more we end up doing the exact opposite … Once the chemicals leave your body and brain , they can take you to new levels. low, stimulating the need for more drugs and alcohol in an attempt to regain feeling, the beginning of a vicious cycle.
Know that alcohol or drugs will not solve your problems. If you are feeling depressed and find yourself turning to substances, you may already be dealing with depression and not even realizing it. About half of people with mental health problems like depression also abuse drugs or alcohol, although which comes first is not always clear. It is necessary to limit what is consumed per day.
Not connecting with others
Connecting with others is in our nature, and it is essential for mental health . If connecting with people isn’t easy, you can volunteer for a service organization: collect books at the library, help out at a community event, or collect donations for a shelter, etc. You will always be welcome and you will also help others and feel good about it.
If you are shy around people, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. The unconditional love that you will find there increases the mood and confidence that will help you feel more comfortable in future social encounters. It’s also a good idea to consider spirituality, that feeling of being connected to something bigger than yourself. Some find it through prayer or meditation, others through nature. It will depend on you and your beliefs that you choose one option or the other.
Although there may be more habits that keep you sad, these are the most common. If you think you are too sad and cannot find the cause, see a mental health professional who can guide you in what is happening to you and seek the solution as soon as possible.