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8 Steps I've Learned to Manage Depression

Practical steps I have learned to practice in order to feel stable and at ease. 

1. Stay connected with other people you feel comfortable with either talking or being in their physical presence.

2. Walking, walking, walking...

3. Be in the sun with the sun on your face. The warmth of sunlight will ease physical and mental discomfort. The brain’s pineal gland lies behind the forehead. It benefits directly from the sun stimulation. The pineal produces melatonin, an important hormone made during dark hours that protects our skin. In addition, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant for body-wide use, is important for proper sleep and can help prevent depression. (Aspirin, however, reduces melatonin production: use sparingly)

4. Eat regularly: almonds, apples, fresh fruit, vegetables steamed, every 15 or 20 mins so to keep blood sugar stable. The fiber from vegetables, squash, kale, collards, beets, etc, provides the body material to process the serotonin the brain needs. Of course, no sugar or sodas.

5. Make it a practice to journal daily if possible. Express your feelings on paper. Challenge irrational or unreasonable thoughts or ideas, misconceptions on paper. It becomes an exercise and develops reasoning ability. We feel according to how we think. Negative thoughts plunge depression more deeply. Retraining to think differently lifts the cloud.

Deep breathing, stretching, relaxing music can also be helpful. 

We need friends. Friends in turn can remind us of our worth.

6. Practice Mindfulness or thinking outside of the box.

7. Practice Gratitude for the good things in life.

8. Progress comes slowly not suddenly. Motivation follows action. We can purposely do something but not necessarily feel motivated. However, in time motivation follows as we get accustomed to doing something positive. Eventually we become comfortable with it and the new activity is no  longer strange to us.

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