Depression: 12 tips to prevent it
Several keys to understanding depression and treating its causes.
Most experts agree that many people can suffer from depression at some point in their lives. many people can suffer from depression at some point in their lives.. This is not surprising with the pace of life in today's society and the influence of the culture of Western societies, which tend to reward attractive or successful individuals (for example, at work).
Moreover, this situation has increased with the economic crisis, which has led to situations of vulnerability for many individuals. When speaking of economic slowdown, it is inevitable to allude to the emotional state of the person. In fact, even its terminology in the economic recession is often related to mood concepts: an example may be "The Great Depression" following the crash of '29.
Different causes of depression
There is no single, definitive idea about the causes of mood disorders: biological, educational or psychosocial factors often interact in the onset of this pathology.. Several types of depression exist: major depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder, etc. Therefore, this phenomenon has been approached from different points of view, giving rise to different explanatory models that focus on biological, psychological or social aspects.
In general, there seems to be a certain consensus in affirming that there is a greater or lesser predisposition to suffer a depressive disorder in the face of triggers (situations, events, etc.) of greater or lesser magnitude, which could appear at a certain moment in the course of life. For example, a rejection or financial difficulties may be reason enough to destabilize an individual emotionally, but their interpretation of events seems to be key in the development of this disorder.
The 12 tips to prevent depression
Therefore, education can help many people to interpret in a positive way the different negative situations that may arise throughout life, acting as a protective factor. And although in some severe cases it is necessary to see a specialist to help overcome the disorder as soon as possible, it is possible to acquire a series of habits to prevent the onset of this pathology:
1. Improve emotional intelligence (EI).
Managing emotions intelligently is considered fundamental for one's own physical and psychological adaptation. Emotional intelligence is understood as a set of skills that allow perceiving, valuing and expressing emotions, accessing them, understanding them and, finally, regulating them. Emotional experience can be lived in two different ways: direct experience and reflection on the experience.
There are many researches that conclude that emotional intelligence is a useful indicator for assessing the emotional well-being and psychological adjustment of individuals.. In fact, high scores in emotional intelligence are associated with a more optimistic interpretation of the events that occur, greater satisfaction with life and greater psychological health.
At first it was thought that the relationship between emotional intelligence and depression was indirect. However, subsequent research has shown that a low level of EI has a direct influence on depression scores.. Attending courses or seminars on emotional intelligence can help improve this skill and, therefore, prevent depression.
2. Practice exercise
Surely you have heard this before, but we will repeat it: physical exercise brings you many physical and psychological benefits. To prevent depression, physical exercise is positive, because it it favors the release of endorphinsendorphins, chemicals that produce feelings of happiness and euphoria.
In addition, both cardiovascular exercise and anaerobic resistance work (for example, weight training) will bring benefits to your physical and mental health. Finally, exercising can also improve your self-image, which can help improve your self-esteem. Exercising three times a week, in 45-minute sessions, can be enough to prevent mood disorders.
3. Eat healthy and balanced
Diet won't cure depression, but it can help us feel better. Eating a healthy and balanced diet improves mental health and wellbeingIt has an impact on general health and therefore on mental health. Some studies claim that the Mediterranean diet is ideal for preventing depression. This is because it is a diet rich in folate and B vitamins that are essential in the metabolic pathways of methionine, homocysteine and s-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe), which are involved in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood, such as dopamine and serotonin.
Other research claims that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as sardines, trout or nuts) reduces symptoms of depression. In addition, eating foods rich in tryptophan helps prevent depression. Finally, it is necessary to avoid "trans fat" foods (such as industrial pastries), as they favor depressive symptoms.as they favor depressive symptoms. They participate in the increase of body weight and make individuals more unhappy.
4. Have an active social life and practice your hobbies.
Having an active social life has been shown to be effective in preventing depression. Rode with good friends, go to events and practice the hobbies that we like, are positive to have a fuller life..
Therefore, it is necessary not to isolate oneself and to go out and have a good time. Leaning on your close friends and family members, that is, people who care about you, is a protective factor against depression. In addition, if they are fun, they will make you have a good time and transport you to a positive and pleasant mood.
In addition, practicing our hobbies gives meaning to our lives. Finding those activities that motivate us and make us be in a state of flow will provide us with incredible moments. In fact, a study conducted in Japan demonstrated that those who exercised regularly, ate a healthy diet and enjoyed their hobbies were happier and less likely to suffer from depression, were happier and less likely to suffer from depression.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others and stop thinking about what others think of you.
Continually comparing yourself to others can have negative consequences for your self-esteem. The world we live in demands us to be perfect in everything and at all times, even irrationally. But not only is comparing yourself with others negative, it is also it is common to be concerned about being liked by others all the time..
We all like to be liked and accepted by others, but many spend too much time and energy trying to be liked by others. The psychological wear and tear of comparing ourselves with others and thinking about pleasing everyone is unhealthy and causes unnecessary stress.
6. Live in the present
Living in the present takes care of your emotional health and your state of mind. This seems easy to do, but we are usually with the body in the present but the mind in the past or the future.. Learning to live in the present helps improve your well-being and protects you against depression. This is one of the principles of Mindfulness therapy.
To learn more about the benefits of Mindfulness, we invite you to read our article:
"Mindfulness: 8 benefits of mindfulness".
7. Set realistic goals
Even if you eat healthy, do sports and live in the present, nothing will motivate you more than having a purpose in life or goals to achieve.. Research by Blue Zones concluded that those who had a purpose in life lived up to seven years longer.
However, setting irrational goals has a negative effect on your well-being. Therefore, it is necessary that the goals you set for yourself are realistic. Finally, do not forget that not only long-term goals will have a positive effect, but it is also necessary to have short-term goals to stay motivated during the process, something we often forget.
8. Accept and forgive yourself
Learning to forgive and accept yourself is an important aspect of preventing depression. That is to say that it is necessary to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made or for the things we have not done as we should have done.. The past cannot be changed, but the perception we have about the past can.
Accepting and forgiving ourselves is our own choice, which also involves facing our past and our present, learning to live with what we cannot change and assuming a positive attitude towards life. This is not an easy task, but it is possible.
9. Learn to live with uncertainty
Since we were young, we have been educated to have a quiet and perfect life, but the reality is not always like that, especially in these times. For example, a little more than a decade ago it was common to have a job for life. Today, having a stable job has become rare in many professions.
So, today we are here, but tomorrow.., today we are here today, but tomorrow... who knows?. Having a flexible mentality is much more adaptive than having a rigid mentality, and learning to live with uncertainty and with a positive attitude towards change, makes you a much more prepared person for today's reality.
10. Take care of your stress level
Stress is very common in the rhythm of life that we lead, but when stress is when stress is continuous, things can get worse and lead to depression.. In fact, many researches state that one of the symptoms that can occur in Burnout Syndrome is depression.
Treating stress as soon as possible can be beneficial to avoid a worsening and future onset of depression. In addition, it has been shown that poor time management can lead to various disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
11. Avoid alcohol and drugs
Alcohol is a legal and socially accepted drug that may seem harmless. The reality is that, if consumed frequently, it can cause serious health problems, can cause serious health problems.. Other drugs such as marijuana, which are also classified as soft drugs, can cause depressive disorders.
But it is not only the prolonged use of these substances that is harmful. going stoned or drunk can lead you to commit actions that you may later regret.. Therefore, you should not use illegal drugs, but if you are going to drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
12. Get the sleep you need
Good sleep hygiene positively affects your emotional well-being.. Disrupting circadian rhythms is associated with depression, and resynchronizing them using melatonin supplements has been shown to have an Antidepressant effect. If your work schedule allows, try to have habits that help you sleep better.
For example, follow a schedule that allows you to go to sleep at about the same time and avoid exciting substances from mid-afternoon onwards.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)