5 Tips to Defeat Depression for Your Mental Peace
So here are five things that you can do to overcome and battle depression. These are things I've learned that have worked really, really well. And so, because these are amazing tips. I wanted to share them with you.
1. Do something for someone else:
What do I mean by this? So it's easy. Think about the last time that you sprained your ankle, or maybe you stubbed your toe. Do you remember how fixated you were on that pain? It was everything like you were just like, "Oh my gosh, this hurts so bad." Well, it's not that different with the emotional pain that comes along with depression, it's easy to fixate on ourselves. And instead what I want you to do is go find somebody that you could do something for. Get your mind off of you and think about doing something for someone like maybe writing an email, that's an encouraging email to lift somebody up. Or paying for somebody's gas or their meal, or if you can mow someone's lawn. Do something for someone else to get the focus off of yourself.
2. Eat well:
There's a biological reason that tends to happen for people with depression. Either we crave carbs or we crave sugar. And that's because serotonin, dopamine, those are the transmitters in our brain that make us feel good, they aren't at the level that they should be. And so we create foods that help to bring those levels up. So if we're eating those foods and we eat things to throw our blood sugar levels up and our serotonin and dopamine levels up. That's great for about maybe 20 minutes to an hour. But then we come crashing down. I guess what happens to all those levels again, they fall even lower and so then we go back to the food that we need to feel better. And so we eat more of that bad food and the sugar levels go backup and we have this pendulum back and forth effect.
The best thing that you can do to feel better is to eat well. Think of foods that help you stay healthy. Eat lots of vegetables, eat simple sugars that are found in fresh fruit. Stay away from complex carbohydrates that you find in a lot of refined foods, that you find in ice cream. And you want to eat food that's in good proportion. Don't eat a huge plate of spaghetti, because all of those carbs that you find in the pasta do. They get converted to sugar and that sugar does the same type of effect to our bodies. So, overloading ourselves on carbs and sweets is the opposite of what you want to do, even though that's what you're going to crave.
3. Find somebody that you can let your guard down:
Find someone that is safe, that you can share what is going on in your life. Let them see you good, let them see the bad and let you see that they will love you right through it. So important that we experience intimacy and connection with other people that love us just for who we are, not for what we do or what we don't do. Let us just be loved unconditionally.
You got to do this in order to help your mental health. Now, the problem, as you know, and I know is that often times we don't want to do exercise. It's the last thing that we want to do. This is where you're going to need to be a boss of your emotions rather than letting your emotions be the boss of you. You're going to have to take that initiative. Even if you can't because of your weight, maybe you can't even get out of bed, that's okay. Start lifting your arms. You want to do something to get that heart rate up. Maybe you can get out of bed and you could just go on a walk, but that will get your heart rate really going. Just walking, do that. Or maybe you need to push yourself more and do a jog or a run. Whatever the case is, you want to get your heart rate up, try to get it up for a good 10 minutes. You don't have to be like completely out of breath, but you want to be like, huffing and puffing.
The other thing that you can do is strength training. When you strength train and you break down those muscles, there are good feeling hormones like dopamine and serotonin that come around.
5. Accept and surrender:
By accept, what I mean is accept that you're going to have days that you don't feel happy. It's normal for someone that doesn't struggle with depression to have two or three days a month where they just feel blue. You're going to have days like that. That doesn't mean you're losing the battle. It just means you're having a down day. That's okay. Again, this is a great place where you get to tell yourself and lead your emotions rather than your emotions leading you. You make the choice to get up, even though you don't feel like it. You make the choice to take a shower and to get some exercise, even though you don't feel like it. You make the choice to eat well even though you want to eat poorly. You make the choice to go do something for someone, even though you don't feel like it. You have to accept that there's going to be times during the month that you're just not going to feel well. It's normal, it's okay. Don't beat yourself up for it.
And the second part to this is surrender. And what I mean by that is to surrender to this idea that God has not forgotten you. God is very aware of your urge and your despair. God even tells us in His word that he is close to the brokenhearted. Not far away, despite what you may feel. My lead pastor says this to our church and I absolutely love it. And I don't know if he got it from somewhere else. But what he says is that God did not feel like his creation was complete without you in it. Think about that. Surrender to the idea that God really is with you and He cares for you. And He is not going to leave you. He is not going to abandon you. He is by your side, whether you were feeling lonely, scared, He wants to be in communion with you. Meaning He wants to have that relationship with you. So surrender to allowing him to come in, allowing him to be a part of the inner most parts of your soul, your heart, and your mind, your spirit.