Get Out Of Your Head
When you spend a lot of time alone you spend a lot of time thinking. For some people who struggle with depression, being alone too frequently can make things worse. Someone who is depressed and spends a lot of time alone is prone to indulging in negative thoughts, which only will amplify the depression. It can be difficult to motivate yourself when you are depressed, but it will help to do your best to find ways to get out of your head. There are plenty of things you can do for free that can significantly improve your mood when feeling down.
Take A Walk In Nature
When you experiencing depression, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to become re-aqainted with nature. Even if you don't feel like it, push yourself to go take a walk in a park or forest nearby. Smell the fresh air, listen to to the sounds of the birds and the insects, feel the wind blow against your skin.
As much as we try to distance ourselves from nature, we will always be a product of it. The Human Being is intimately connected with nature, without nature...the plants, wildlife, the soil and ocean, we would not be able to exist. Not only does nature allow us to be physically present on this planet but there is also an emotional connection we have with it as-well.
Scientific studies have shown that spending time in nature can increase creativity and enhance memory. During one of the first studies done on how nature affects the human brain, (led by Marc Berman, a post-doctoral fellow at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute in Toronto) scientists found that "participants with clinical depression demonstrated improved memory performance after a walk in nature, compared to a walk in a busy urban environment". Participants in this study showed a an increase in accuracy by 20% when taking a memory test. The Latest study shows that 12 women and 8 men around the age of 26 were observed, first, taking walks in a traffic heavy downtown setting followed by an hour long walk in a natural park. They completed a series of mental tests designed to "measure their attention and short-term/working memory and were reassembled for mood". After completing their walk, scientists perceived a 16 percent increase in attention and working memory after waking in nature against walking in a crowded city setting.
As a wise Native American Chief once said:
"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. "
~Standing Bear ~
When your body is physically in good shape, your mind reaps the benefits. Yoga is a great way to add balance to your body and your mind. It consists of a series of gentle positions and movements that help to strengthen and stretch your muscles, while relaxing your mind. You may prefer riding a bike, or going to the gym, I recommend doing whichever excites you the most. You will find that if you push yourself to stay physically active, you will be happier in the long run.
Eat More Natural Foods
Most of the foods sold at grocery stores these days are highly processed. Aspartame and MSG, added to enhance flavor and 'sweeten', are found many of the food products sold in the U.S. These are neurochemicals that alter the balance between neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemicals are also found in most of the processed foods many American buy off the shelf. When we choose to eat more natural wholesome foods, our body becomes more balanced as we are ingesting what our bodies are designed to handle.
Talk To A Counselor
Having a good support system is very important. Although Counselors and Therapists can't fix our depression, just having someone to talk to about what we are experiencing can be very relieving. Having someone that cares about you and wants to help makes all the difference in the world when we are struggling. If you a struggling financially, that doesn't mean you have to go without help. If you are someone who is struggling financially, consider applying for Medicaid. Medicaid will cover the cost of a Counselor and psychologist, if you decide to go this route.
Join A Support Group
When you're depressed knowing your not alone can be very comforting. Consider finding support groups in your area that you can go to and talk and share ideas with other people who you can relate to. If for whatever reason you prefer to remain anonymous, or would rather not meet with people face to face, there are also online support groups you can join for free.
Hang In There
If you are depressed, hang in there. Its not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Do your best to keep your head up and smile. There is a lot of beauty in the world, all there is to do is turn your attention to it.