Is it hormone, lifestyles, mindset, or all of the above?
It's not entirely clear what causes depression. There are many factors that contribute to the development of the condition, including hormones, lifestyle, expectations and more. It is also important to remember that some people have a genetic predisposition to it, too.
It's possible for these feelings from depression to build up over time until you start feeling down most days for no reason at all.
Depression and lifestyle can go hand in hand. If you’re not eating right or getting enough exercise, your mental health may suffer as a result. Likewise, if you’re feeling down about work or your home life, you may be tempted to self-medicate with food or binge-watching Netflix—neither of which help your mental state! Learn how to spot lifestyle choices that cause depression:
Sugar is one of the worst substances for our health. It often leads to inflammation and mood swings, two things that can exacerbate depression. Studies have shown that people who don't eat sugar are less likely to experience depression. Reducing sugar consumption may be a simple way to improve your mood and mental health.
Research has shown that time spent in nature or near water can help alleviate symptoms of depression, and a recent study by the University of Michigan found that just 20 minutes a day of spending time outside can have significant health benefits for adults with serious mental illness.
One of the most important lifestyle choices that may be contributing to your depression is not exercising consistently. The benefits of exercise are many and include improved mood, stress relief, reduced anxiety and self-esteem, as well as weight loss.
When depression is caused by imbalances in specific hormones, which can cause signs and symptoms of depression. In the case of period changes or low energy levels, you might have low estrogen or progesterone levels. For happier moods, ask your doctor about hormone replacement therapy if any of these symptoms apply to you.
Changing your thoughts and cognitive patterns are great ways to deal with depression. One way you can do this is by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, if you have the thought I'm terrible at my job, replace it with I did a great job today. If you have the thought I'm not good enough, replace it with I'm enough
Controlling your thought patterns may seem difficult but they're extremely powerful, in terms of helping you recover from or at least limit your depression. Changing the way you think doesn't necessarily affect how you feel, but it's usually effective nonetheless.
What can you do to be happy again?
It’s important that you find out what’s causing your feelings of depression so that you know how to change them. We recommend seeking professional help for any major issues such as suicidal thoughts or self-harm, but for more minor problems (ex: anxiety), here are five simple changes to consider,
Quit drinking alcohol regularly
Take care of your nutrition by eating healthy foods;
Get moving by exercising at least three times per week
Reach out to family, friends, and loved ones when feeling anxious or depressed
Volunteering is a great way to lift your spirits and feel more connected in the world. It can also provide you with a sense of purpose in life, which can help keep your depression at bay.
Depressive moods may stem from a number of causes, but for an episode to persist for two weeks or longer, a medical consult may be warranted to rule out or treat biological causes. It would be wise to consult a mental health professional for help with managing stress, handling life changes, or overcoming emotional traumas.
Here at Blue Oak Counseling Services, we can help you overcome depressive symptoms so you can life a calm and happier life. Contact us today to speak with one of our caring providers.