What are Some Effective Ways to Decrease Your Risk of Developing Depression?

Depression affects over 21 million adults and over 3.7 million youth in the U.S. per year. While there is currently no cure for depression, there are various practices that can help keep depression at bay. Keep reading to learn some daily habits that can help you and your loved ones.
Keri Cooper LCSW

Keri Cooper LCSW

Holistic Therapist at .

Get Plenty of Sleep, Eat Healthy Foods, and Stay Well Hydrated

Although depression may not be completely preventable, there are many things to do that will help your mood, therefore making it less likely to develop depression or to make the symptoms less severe. People often forget how our physical body impacts our mood.

Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is crucial to one’s mood. People need to be on a set sleep schedule on a daily basis. One’s body also needs to move. Exercise helps release feel good chemicals which are necessary for an upbeat mood.

Healthy Eating Habits
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. If someone is eating processed junk food all day they will feel sluggish and unmotivated. Food that is packed with vitamins will help lift one’s energy levels and spirits.

Keeping well hydrated is an often overlooked mood booster. Dehydration can lead to irritability and every cell in one’s body needs proper hydration to function. These are all things that can be incorporated daily to help limit depression.

Expressing Your Feelings Can Help with Depression

Depression essentially boils down to a prolonged suppression of emotion. To prevent [this], check-in with yourself daily on how you are feeling and express those feelings in a way that feels good to you. That could look like sharing with a partner, friend, or trusted family member, art, music, or writing.

If you start to notice lack of interest, withdrawal, or low mood, take that as a sign that maybe you have been trying to NOT feel something and explore what that could be with a therapist or an emotionally healthy friend.

Elizabeth Key, LCMHC & MLADC

Elizabeth Key, LCMHC & MLADC

Dr. Laura Louis

Dr. Laura Louis

Use Coping Mechanisms to Deal with Negative Emotions

Depression is a result of both nature and nurture, in other words: your predisposition or genetics and your environment. Because of this, it’s hard to distinguish if depression can definitively be prevented, however, some of the treatment options available can also serve as preventative measures. For example, having a support system, behavioral activation, avoiding isolation, and therapy can create more consistent coping mechanisms and outlets for negative emotions.

Having a Growth Mindset

Every person experiences feelings of up and down, sadness and happiness. Factors that help folks ride the waves of sadness include having a social network to turn to when feeling stuck, good sleep and eating habits, and having a growth mindset. A growth mindset means feeling you can and will eventually be able to feel better. If you are feeling stuck, small steps in any of those categories can help you move forward. If you are trying in all of these areas and not feeling better, it might be time to seek a professional therapist’s help.

Patty Ostberg-Speiker, LMFT

Patty Ostberg-Speiker, LMFT

Evan Tunis

Evan Tunis

Exercising Regularly, Keeping Physically Active and Managing Stress Levels

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While depression cannot be cured, it can be managed and prevented with the right lifestyle changes and treatments. There are many ways to reduce the risk of developing depression including exercise, proper nutrition, reducing stress levels, staying socially connected, getting enough sleep, engaging in meaningful activities and seeking professional help if needed.

Taking Care of Yourself

    ● Exercising regularly and keeping physically active can help to reduce stress and improve mental health. Exercise releases feel-good neurotransmitters such as endorphins, which can help to boost mood and promote well-being.

    ● Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats will also improve your overall physical and mental health.

    ● Stress is a major contributor to depression, so it is important to find ways to manage stress levels. This can include taking time for yourself, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, and trying to simplify your life by focusing on the most important tasks.

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