Depression and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. When left untreated, depression can become worse, resulting in detrimental thoughts, addiction, and sometimes in suicidal actions. The best way to prevent suicide and fight depression is seeking proper treatment. However, treatment is not always immediately effective.
It can be highly beneficial to learn how to cope with your depression and suicidal thoughts on your own though positive, mood-boosting activities and habits. If you suffer from depression and want to learn how to feel better, here are a few things you can be doing to boost your mood.
Take Up a Hobby
Hobbies do far more for mental health than most people think. Having a small, enjoyable activity to turn to when you’re feeling depressed can make a world of difference. For some, it can be particularly beneficial when you’re producing something useful.
For example, a person who knits hats for a homeless shelter may experience a greater mood boost than someone who uses coloring to destress. Of course, it is completely dependent on the person and for others, investing in an adult coloring book can be far more useful than a pair of knitting needles.
Find an Enjoyable Form of Exercise
Exercise is always a good way to boost mood and limit the effects of depression. Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood which in turn fights depression. However, it can be very difficult to force yourself to do an activity you don’t like, especially when you have depression. Finding a form of exercise you enjoy makes the prospect of getting up and moving much easier to contemplate.
Some good options might be yoga, swimming, tai chi, hiking, or dancing. As long as it gets you active and you enjoy it, it’s going to benefit your mood.
Meditation Always Helps
Meditation is an activity that can help with nearly any bad situation. Teaching yourself to relax, re-center, and quiet your thoughts is an excellent way to cope with anything, including depression. People who meditate daily have been shown to be happier, healthier, and less stressed than those who do not meditate. Learning to meditate effectively does take time. However, working a few minutes of meditation into each day can only make things better.
Play with a Dog
Whether you head out to your local shelter and adopt or borrow a friend’s dog for the afternoon, playing with a happy dog is a quick and easy way to boost your mood and even get some exercise. Laughing is one of the many ways dogs help us stay positive. Their silly antics and expressions can chase even the worst mood away with the power of laughter.
Playing a game like fetch or taking the dog out for a walk gets you a little exercise as well which can also be a good way to improve your mood. It may be small, but never underestimate a dog’s ability to brighten your day.
There are many ways to battle depression. While getting treatment is the most important step, you should also have other coping mechanisms at your disposal. For some, that may mean knitting hats for charity while for others, a romp at the dog park will do it. Try out a few of these mood-boosting ideas and see what works best for you. Cultivation of healthy habits can be the difference between happiness and tragedy.
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