What causes depression might be more common than you expected.
Depression is the disease of our generation. We are exposed to tremendous amount of stress everyday and the truth is, it is becoming too difficult to deal with. It’s no surprise that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US and that 1 in 4 adults experience mental illness in the UK.
Having lived with a depressed mother for as long as I can remember, as well as a few friends that came through my life, I could observe several everyday unhealthy habits that were commonly connected to a poor mental health.
I could learn that even the smallest actions can cause a huge impact on our minds. And you should definitely take them seriously because the longer it stays with you, the more difficult is to come back to your normal state. It can happen to all of us pretty quickly.
So here are 5 habits that you should get away from if you want to have a healthier mind and lifestyle.
No physical or mental exercise
Starting by physical, the connection between exercising and mental health is clear. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, boost productivity and improve self-esteem. According to researches exercising will increase your brain’s blood circulation , leading to improvements in overall mood and concentration. Try going for a 30 minute walk everyday, or hit the gym after or before work, but never ever stop.
In terms of mental training, your brain loves information and learning new things. According to studies, as we get older it becomes more important to engage in learning and doing different things. Humans want to feel useful and fulfilled, that’s why when you’re learning new things hours pass like minutes. So go take that Japanese course you always wanted, it will be so good for you.
Too little time outdoors (in the sun)
Small things like not opening your windows in the morning, can influence your mental health in ways you can’t imagine. Humans are easily affected by their surroundings and people (stay away from negative people guys), so if your home is untidy or poorly illuminated, that will definitely affect your mood.
Sunlight is so beneficial, so do your best to be in touch with it. Spending more time outdoors can do miracles for you, that’s why experts advise to be connected with nature and sunlight more often. Natural lighting will help you release Serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel calm, focused and in better mood. Low serotonin levels can lead to seasonal affective disorder, which is a form of depression. Ready to go outside?
Being judgmental about others
The people you choose to go along will be the most influential in life, make sure they are incredible. If you are often in a group of people that love to criticize and judge other people’s lives, it’s most likely that you will also start behaving like them and be affected by their actions. It’s your responsibility to get away from negative people and be better.
Criticizing, envying and praising others will only make you feel worse about yourself, not better. And with so much access to everyone’s lives through Social Media it’s easy to fall into this unhealthy habit, and believe me it won’t do any good for you. Take care of your own life. Be happy for others and you will become happier yourself.
Making excuses for not changing
If you believe in faith and that everything that happens to you has a purpose, it’s time to stop. You decide how your life is going to be, and making excuses keeps you away from actually doing what you have to do.
Think about what is causing your sadness and anxiety, and find a way to fight it. Enough of that abusive partner, long-term horrible job that makes you think about suicide every morning, or a bad-looking belly that makes you hate yourself every time you look into a mirror.
Time flies, take care of yourself and make no excuses. Everything is possible if you really want it and if you’re not willing to change, you will never be happy.
Poor eating / sleeping routine
Consuming fast food, sugar and soft drinks is often associated with attention-deficit and hyperactivity. And it is proven that depressed adults are more likely to consume food with poor nutritional value than the average. It is a growing evidence that diet plays a major role in the development of mental problems as well as their treatment. Take omega-3 for example, due to its anti-inflammatory properties it can increase dopamine and serotonin levels, which help in brain development and functioning.
Poor sleep can also affect productivity, concentration and even metabolism, leading to issues such as weight gain and heart diseases. And of course – depression – which is often linked to poor sleep quality. And it works both ways – poor sleep can cause depression and depression can lead to sleeping disorders. So get your 7-8 hours rest and maintain a balanced schedule everyday (and say no to too much napping).
Change will become harder the longer you wait. So avoid these habits before you get into a severe state. Hope you enjoyed this article and it turns out useful in your life. Let me know any other suggestions down below, I’d love to read them. 🙂
See also: 5 THINGS TO DO WHEN IT’S COLD OUTSIDE