15 Habits To Help Lower the Risk of Depression

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In the quest for mental well-being, daily habits are crucial. These practices empower individuals to manage their emotional health, lower depression risk, and nurture resilience. As reported by NPR, these habits can foster a more positive and enduring mindset when adopted regularly.

1. Exercise Often

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Regular physical activity is a potent antidote to depression. It releases endorphins, which elevate mood, reduce stress, and boost self-esteem. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether a brisk walk, yoga, or dancing, to cultivate a healthier mind and body.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

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Nutrition plays a significant role in mental health. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and nuts, have been shown to reduce the risk of depression.

3. Avoid Smoking

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Smoking is linked to a higher risk of depression. Nicotine disrupts neurotransmitter activity in the brain, affecting mood regulation. Quitting smoking reduces this risk and improves overall mental and physical well-being. Seek support and resources to help you quit for good.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

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Excessive alcohol intake can contribute to a depressed mood. It disrupts brain chemistry and exacerbates mood swings. If you drink, do so in moderation, following recommended guidelines. Reducing alcohol consumption can lead to better mental and emotional equilibrium also.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight

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Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important for mental health. Obesity is considered a risk factor for developing depression. Adopt a balanced diet and exercise regimen to support weight management, enhancing not only your physical health but also your emotional well-being.

6. Get Enough Sleep

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Quality sleep is vital. Prioritize seven to nine hours of uninterrupted rest. A consistent sleep schedule, a relaxing bedtime routine, and a comfortable sleep environment contribute to improved sleep quality and overall mental resilience.

7. Manage Stress

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Managing stress levels can look different from one person to the next. Some helpful tactics include practicing mindfulness in conjunction with exercising, breathing techniques, and other strategies that make you feel at peace. Allowing yourself to experience feelings of being overwhelmed on a chronic basis can negatively affect your mental health. 

8. Stay Socially Connected

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Social connections act as a lifeline against depression. Maintain relationships with friends and family, even when life gets busy. Engage in meaningful conversations, offer and seek support, and prioritize social interactions to elevate a sense of belonging and emotional stability.

9. Engage in Hobbies and Leisure Activities

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Nurturing your interests and passions is a great way to stay uplifted through hardships in life. Dedicate time to hobbies and leisure activities that bring you joy. Whether painting, reading, gardening, or sports, these activities provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose, helping you fight against depression.

10. Learn New Skills

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Continual learning throughout life is a good idea regardless of whether you're battling depression, but it's a handy tip for keeping yourself occupied. Pursue new skills or hobbies that captivate your interest. Expanding your knowledge and abilities boosts self-esteem and provides a feeling of accomplishment.

11. Volunteer or Help Others

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Supporting others through volunteering or acts of kindness benefits you and those you help. The sense of purpose and fulfillment derived from assisting others can combat depression. Engage in volunteer work or lend a helping hand whenever opportunities arise.

12. Practice Gratitude

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Cultivating gratitude is a powerful tool. Regularly reflect on what you're thankful for, even during challenging times. This practice shifts focus away from negativity, encouraging a positive mindset. Maintaining a gratitude journal or daily affirmations can also be effective in nurturing this outlook.

13. Seek Professional Help

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When facing depression, seeking professional help is a crucial step. Therapists, counselors, or psychiatrists are trained to provide guidance and support. Don't hesitate to reach out when needed; their expertise can significantly impact your mental health.

14. Follow Treatment Recommendations

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If you receive treatment recommendations, adherence is critical. Consistency is essential, whether therapy, medication, or a combination. Trust your healthcare provider's advice and communicate any concerns or side effects. Staying committed to treatment increases your chances of recovery.

15. Be Optimistic and Hopeful

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Yes, maintaining a positive outlook, even amidst depression, is challenging but vital. Focusing on optimism and hope by setting small, achievable goals. Surround yourself with supportive individuals and practice self-compassion. Believing in your capacity for recovery can be a powerful motivator on your path to wellness. 

If you feel you cannot manage your mental health on your own, please don't hesitate to seek the help of a therapist or your doctor. Many resources are available to help you live your best, healthiest life. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the hotline at 988.

Author: Creshonda Smith

Title: Trending Topics Writer

Expertise: Travel, Food, Parenting, Lifestyle

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Creshonda is a content writer with a passion for entertainment and lifestyle topics like parenting, travel, and movies. Hailing from Cleveland, OH, she graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's and master's degree in Clinical Social Work. While she has specific topics that she enjoys writing about, she likes to tackle other topics that she's not as familiar with in an attempt to continually improve her writing skills and knowledge about the world around us. Creshonda has written for various publications such as MSN, Detroit Legal News, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, and more. When she's not serving as a Trending Topics writer for Wealth of Geeks, she's searching for tropical destinations to travel to with her family.