Anyone who has ever experienced depression truly understands its devastating effects. For some people, depression is a debilitating illness. It robs a person of their energy, concentration and pleasure. People who are in a state of depression cannot find enjoyment in whatever they do. In some severe cases, people are known to lose their will to live. It is important for you to remember that depression is a serious medical condition that deserves professional treatment. A licensed therapist or doctor can provide you with tools you need to see your way through depression.

Depression is caused by a number of things, some of which are physical while others are psychological. The following are some of the habits that lead to depression:

1. Lack of Exercise

It may sound peculiar, but exercise is highly important for both your physical and mental well-being. Being inactive can lead to depression. Staying in the house the entire day and not engaging in any physical activities causes people to become lazy or eat too much. Being lazy and oversized is a sure way of getting yourself into a state of depression. It not only reduces your physical mobility but also your self-esteem. In addition, whenever you feel depressed, exercise is usually the last thing on your mind. You prefer to sit and sob than move around. However, it is important for you to remember that exercise makes a monumental difference if you happen to be suffering from depression. The habit of staying in bed or remaining planted on the sofa is absolutely a terrible idea. Our brains produce things known as feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Exercising for even 40 minutes a day helps your brain to produce more of these chemicals, which keeps you active and in high spirits.

2. Improper Diet

Again, eating healthy is not just good for your body but also your mind. Foods that contain omega-3 fats are referred to as brain foods because they are highly essential for healthy brain tissue. Our bodies cannot manufacture these fats on their own so we have to get them from the foods we eat. When you do not eat foods with enough amounts of omega-3 fats, you leave your brain vulnerable to the onset of depression. Foods such as wild game, coldwater fish and seafood are the best sources of such fats. In addition, there is also the option of supplements. They may not always taste very nice, but they will keep your brain healthy and prevent the onset of depression. You should always remember that bad eating habits do play a part in bringing on depression. When you eat healthy, your mind will also be healthy.

3. Poor Sleeping Habits and Stress

If you constantly deprive yourself of sleep, you create a situation that is ideal for depression. Medical experts and physicians recommend that you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. You should also have a routine for the way you sleep. Reading in bed, using the laptop in bed or staying up late are just of the ways that people deprive themselves of sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you become easily agitated and highly paranoid. This lays the foundation for a state of depression. If you are well-rested, you mind is always clear and sharp. In addition, people who do not get enough sleep do not perform well at work. This causes them to have high levels of stress, which is very counter-productive. The more stressed a person is, the more they can’t sleep. This revolving cycle is what brings on depression. Since the person can’t sleep or perform their functions properly, they become frustrated and begin to feel trapped. If they begin to feel as though they can’t control what is going on in their life, they end up feeling depressed. Most people don’t appreciate that just getting enough sleep can help to deter depression.

 4. Isolation

Being in isolation is a sure way of getting depressed. When you avoid friends and family for whatever reason, you are creating a situation that is ripe for depression. Isolation is the worst thing you can do to yourself, both in physical and mental terms. According to researchers, people who have a strong social network are less likely to develop depression. Having close relationships with friends and family actually promotes better brain chemistry, which leads to lower stress levels. Regardless of the situation, it is always important that you keep in touch with other people. Isolating yourself means that you have no one to share your problems with, which is a recipe for depression. As human beings, we naturally seek human contact. Without this contact, our mental capacity breaks down and we are no longer able to deal with the various pressures of life.

5. Ruminating

Negative thinking is among the major causes of depression. When you dwell on negative thoughts each day, you are setting yourself up for depression. Constantly thinking about threats, rejection, loss or failure is a sure way of getting yourself depressed. There are things in this world that are simply out of our control, so we don’t need to dwell on them. Thinking about something you cannot change can not only make you depressed but also drive you insane. With all the pressures of today’s world, rumination has become a major trigger for depression. People need to find ways of stopping these thoughts dead in their tracks. It is important that you always try to redirect your attention to things that are more positive instead of obsessing on the things you can’t change. You can also try to spend quality time with people who are close to you. Hearing their stories and listening to their jokes will surely help to put your mind at ease. In addition, if something seems to be bothering you too much, you can write it down and throw the piece of paper away. This works primarily as symbolic gesture. It shows that you are done obsessing about that particular problem and you are ready to move on.

 

– Lifespan

via 5 Habits That Lead To Depression – Lifespan – Extending Your Mind and Body into the Future.