Ideas to help overcome depression
Depression is a serious condition that demands a doctor’s treatment. But the following lifestyle changes may give you a boost if you’re feeling low.
Spend at least one hour each week with a close friend
In a British study, when 86 depressed women were paired with a volunteer friend, 65 percent of the women felt better. In fact, regular social contact worked as effectively as antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Regular social contact with a close friend may boost self-confidence and encourage you to make other positive changes that will help in overcoming depression, such as starting an exercise program.
Play with a dog a few minutes every day
When non-pet owners played with a dog for just a few minutes a day as part of a university study, blood levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and oxytocin – both mood elevators – rose. Science has already proven these surprising health benefits of having a pet, but you don’t need to own a dog to experience these feel-good effects for overcoming depression (although dogs are great antidotes to the kind of chronic stress that can result in depression). Pet your neighbour’s dog for a few minutes a day, volunteer at an animal shelter, or stop by your local pet store for some furry one-on-one therapy.