Preventing Depression

Daily Health Solutions, Depression, Healthy Living
on February 29, 2012
Think Stock

While preventing depression is fairly tricky, there are a number of methods that do appear to reduce the frequency and severity of depressive episodes. According to the Mayo Clinic, “There's no sure way to prevent depression. However, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help.” Experts suggest a variety of ways that you can do this; studies also indicate that the same types of lifestyle changes that might prevent depression may also help lower the risk of other major health issues.

Stress management. Stress and anxiety are considered to be the top contributing factors in depressive disorders by most professionals. By taking steps to reduce your stress, you may be able to effectively prevent the ensuing depression. Recommended stress management techniques include relaxation (such as meditation or yoga), productive use of time and sticking to a reasonable schedule. Make sure to take some time out every day to do something that you enjoy, and find something pleasant on which to focus your energies when negative forces threaten your stress levels.

Physical health. A healthy body is the first step toward a healthy mind. Your body has a number of basic requirements. While you may not actually fall ill by not giving these things to your body, it does react in other ways — such as feelings of fatigue or depression. Exercise is essential to maintaining a good level of circulation to the brain, giving it oxygen and removing toxins. You need at least the recommended amount of water every day, and a healthy, well-balanced diet will help ensure that all systems keep running smoothly. These very basic things can be quite beneficial in preventing depression.

Fulfilling social needs. Like it or not, humans are social creatures. We need interaction with others for mental stimulation, and having a social support system can help reduce stress and boost coping abilities. One of the first signs of the onset of a depressive episode is the tendency to isolate from others — an urge that should be resisted in most cases if you want to halt the descent into depression. Preventing depression may sometimes be as simple as having someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through and who can encourage you to stick to your coping mechanisms and keep negative events in perspective.