Depression is a common disease worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 3.8% of people, nearly 280 million people in the world, suffer from depression. Depression differs from the usual mood swings and short-term emotional reactions in response to challenges in everyday life. Depression can turn into a serious health condition, especially when it is repeated and with moderate or severe severity.
According to Psychology Today, Psychology TodayExperts estimate that about one in three women and one in five men in the United States, for example, will experience a major depressive episode by age 65.
Many research papers have been written on how to treat anxiety and depression, but only a few have addressed ways to prevent them. Experts recommend nine steps to prevent anxiety and depression from occurring in the first place or to prevent recurrence if a person has had anxiety and depression in the past, as follows:
1- Warning signs
One should be aware of their physical feelings, which can be early signs of anxiety and depression. Some describe the feeling of tension as a coiled spring in the abdomen, often accompanied by deep emotional distress. Others describe a feeling of a hollow stomach, also accompanied by deep emotional discomfort.
And since everyone is unique, different people will have different warning signs to be aware of. For some people, there is an appetite warning sign, so also be careful if the person is eating more or less than usual. Other people are unusually tired, have trouble sleeping, have trouble concentrating, or are more irritable.
If one encounters these signs, one should not wait for things to go wrong. If anxiety and depression are about to start, he should think about what has happened in his life recently, whether he is unhappy with it or what needs to change.
2- A listening ear
Some people won’t realize the signs of anxiety and depression, but family members or friends may notice them. Therefore, a person must look deeply within himself and discover what is happening by giving an attentive ear to the observations of those around him and those close to him.
3- Look at the profile pictures
When one looks at his recent photos and looks at them…does he look unusually sad and/or anxious? If so, he should think about what he could do to change the situation.
4- Venting feelings
If a person is experiencing stress in their life, or if they are angry, frustrated or sad, experts advise that they should vent their feelings and feelings by talking with a friend, family member or therapist.
Feelings can also be safely expressed through writing, drawing, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, or playing a sport or other activity. If a person does not vent these feelings, they will have to use an enormous amount of energy to mobilize those feelings, which can make them exhausted and thus may open the door to anxiety and depression.
5- Avoid vicious circles
The longer you feel miserable and sad, the more difficult it is to get out of the hole. Anyone can experience stress and anxiety at some point in their life. But what sets one person apart from another is how they react to stress. Many become helpless and lose control of their lives, causing anxiety or depression.
So, what is important is how to perceive things and thus consider what one can do to be positive in the midst of all the negativity and stress. You can learn to dance, sing, play an instrument, swim, or any other sport. Focusing on the present moment and appreciating the little things in life can bring happiness.
A study by Tian Rui Zhang of McGill University in Canada, and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that repeatedly remembering negative facts can lead to depression, while remembering positive facts can help relieve depression.
6- Social support system
Choosing friends or family members who can listen to the person and vice versa can help. And interacting with people who have a good sense of humor can be a good decision. If a person does not want social interaction, he can get a pet.
7- Regular sleep
The US National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. It’s also helpful to have a consistent routine that includes going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day.
8- An anti-inflammatory diet
Researchers from the University of Alberta have found that depression can be linked to inflammation, so one way to prevent depression could be to eat anti-inflammatory foods, which will also be beneficial for your joints, lungs and intestines.
Harvard Medical School recommends a list of anti-inflammatory foods, which include all types of berries, from strawberries to cranberries, because they are rich in antioxidants in addition to cherries, oranges, peaches, apricots, pomegranates, nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, fatty fish such as salmon and black cod, and leafy vegetables such as spinach. Tomatoes, olive oil and green tea.
9- Do exercise regularly
A study published in Molecular Neurobiology showed that regular physical exercise reduces anxiety and depression as well as has an anti-inflammatory effect.
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