At Lougheed Mall Dental, we love to encourage our patients to keep smiling! Depression can drain your energy, hope and confidence ─ making it hard to feel better. Overcoming depression and improving your mood isn’t a quick or easy fix. Sometimes it feels far from possible, but there’s hope! You can’t beat depression from sheer willpower, but managing is a great start. Below are three ways you can start to manage your depression and return to your normal self.


Cultivate Supportive Relationships


It can be difficult to boost your positivity and energy on your own. Supportive relationships can play a key role in managing your depression. Although reaching out for help is not always easy, isolation and loneliness can make depression even worse. Don’t feel ashamed or exhausted to talk to trusted friends and family. Share what you’re going through and ask for the support that you need. If you feel guilty about neglecting relationships, don’t shy away. Talk to the other person about what you’re going through and let them be there for you. Try to keep up with social activities and events, even if you don’t feel like going. Getting out and being in a new environment can boost your mood and make you feel happy. Even if it’s just for a second ─ it’s a step towards managing your depression.

Support groups can also allow you to get to know people who are going through the same issues that you are. This can help you reduce your sense of isolation and be a part of an encouraging environment. Being part of a support group can also allow you to encourage others and receive ideas on how you can manage your depression.


Exercise Regularly


Did you know that regular exercise can make you feel happier? Studies have shown that working out regularly can increase your levels of energy and boost your confidence. When you’re depressed, working out is the last thing you want to do ─ but it’s a great tool that can help you manage your depression.

Exercising for 30 minutes a day is ideal. When you’re on the go, take the stairs or park your car in a further spot. Taking regular walks is also a great way to get some fresh air. Start slowly and increase your workout intensity over time. Exercise can increase mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, which can reduce stress and relieve muscle tension.

Scientists haven’t figured out exactly why exercise is such a potent antidepressant, but evidence suggests that physical activity triggers new cell growth in the brain, increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, reduces stress, and relieves muscle tension—all things that can have a positive effect on depression. Different exercises work for different people. Continuous and rhythmic exercises are idea. Yoga and tai-chi can balance and rest the mind as well as improve your mood. Try a variety of exercises to find ones that work best for you.


Challenge Negative Thinking


Lastly, don’t let negative thinking overwhelm you!  Challenge your negative thinking by changing the way you see yourself, your situations and your expectations. Just thinking positive might not be realistic at this point in time, but balancing your thought process can help you better manage your depression. Replacing negative thoughts with balanced thoughts is your first step to challenging negative thinking.

Socializing with positive people can help you see the brighter side of things. Keeping a log of all your negative thoughts can help you realize what your triggers when you’re in a good mood. This can help you better understand and make the distinction between an overly negative thought and a realistic thought. If you’re a perfectionist, allowing yourself to be less than perfect can help you appreciate your unique personality and strengths.