You don’t have to stay in a funk or suffer from depression without any help. There are things you can do to improve your mental health and fight back against bouts of depression. The first thing you need to realize is that you’re not alone. Millions of other Americans struggle with depression every day. This year, we’ve seen a spike in reports of depression and anxiety as we’ve been forced into our homes more because of the coronavirus pandemic. We no longer interact with friends and family in the ways we used to, and it’s harder to get the social stimulus from work over Zoom calls. The stress of the pandemic has impacted all of us. For many, it’s meant feeling down and stuck in depressive episodes that limit our ability to enjoy life.
If you’re looking for ways to improve mental health and fight off depression, here are some tips that will help you start today!
Most of the time, when we feel stress, we turn to guilty pleasures like overeating, drinking, taking drugs, and other things that take away the pain momentarily but that are destructive long-term. Many people find themselves in a downward spiral of addiction when they try to overcome depression by themselves. We stay inside with the curtains drawn even though we know getting outside would help our mood. We wait for people to call instead of dialing friends to ask for help.
If you find your mental health suffering, take stock of what you’re doing, and remove any negative behaviors that are making things worse. Change your diet, turn on the lights, open the windows, listen to uplifting music, and do other things to create a more positive environment. You have the power to set the conditions around you.
Reach Out to Loved Ones
Many people who struggle with depression have a hard time asking for help. It’s easy to feel like no one cares. We think that because no one notices we’re down that they aren’t paying attention to us or have forgotten us. Remember, everyone has their own stresses they are dealing with. It’s most likely that your friends do care about you and will react swiftly when you tell them that you’ve been down lately and need some help.
Make a point to talk to one friend or family member a day just to check-in. When you start doing things for other people, you’ll notice that your mental health will improve as a result. When we’re actively engaged in service and caring, it’s easier to notice all of the good things we have in life.
Monitor Your Thoughts
It’s very hard to control what thoughts come into your head, but you have the power over how long you allow them to linger. People who suffer from depression and anxiety often describe thoughts that snowball into a massive ball of negativity and despair that they can’t find their way around. Guarding your mental safe space is something you have to do if you want to stay mentally strong. Tell yourself that you’re not going to allow negative feelings or thoughts to fester inside your brain. When you feel them coming on, find some positive mantras you can recite or start doing something that will engage your brain in other areas.
Research Results Around Semax
Semax is a peptide that was developed in Russia and, in clinical tests done on mice, showed positive effects in the treatment of depression. According to peptidesceinces.com, semax stimulates BDNF, which is believed to regulate the function of the brain related to depression. In tests done on mice by researchers, they found that the mice that received Semax experienced lower instances of depression. It’s offering potential new insights into new treatment avenues.
Talk to a Medical Expert
If you’re struggling with chronic depression and other mental health issues to the point where you find it hard to function and it’s impairing your personal relationships, you should seek medical help. A medical doctor or a therapist can help you with coping mechanisms and aid you in identifying any destructive behaviors or circumstances that you can change. With expert help, you can start to develop behaviors that will strengthen your mental health and help you live a full life without oppressive depressive episodes.