Many factors play a role in the risk of developing depression. Although we can’t change our genetics, making healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive effect on both our physical and mental well-being. In fact, lifestyle may play a more significant role than genetic risk factors for depression. Researchers have identified seven healthy lifestyle habits that can help protect your long-term mental health and well-being.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Over time, chronic stress can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, weaken your immune system, and harm both your physical and mental health. While you may be tempted to binge-watch TV or scroll through social media on your phone at the end of a long day, staring at a screen does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress on your mind and body. Practicing relaxation techniques is a much healthier and more effective way to reduce stress.
While many people are reluctant to start seeing a therapist, therapy can be an effective treatment for a wide range of mental and emotional issues. From relationship problems and job stress to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, and more, a therapist can help you get to the source of your problems, overcome emotional challenges, and make positive changes in your life. Here are some tips on finding a therapist and getting the most out of your therapy sessions.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression triggered by changing seasons. Most people with SAD begin to experience symptoms during the fall as the weather turns colder and the days grow shorter. The condition may worsen throughout the winter before ending in the spring. SAD is not simply a case of the “winter blues.” Rather, it’s a form of depression that affects your daily life and changes the way you think and feel. Fortunately, many treatment options are available.
Exercise is good for your body. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and decrease your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. But exercise is also good for your mental health. It can reduce tension and stress, improve your concentration, and stabilize your mood. People who exercise feel more energetic throughout the day and sleep better at night. But did you know that regular physical activity can also help you manage depression and anxiety?
Many people consider the holidays to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for some the added stress of the season may cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Different things can trigger the holiday blues—unrealistic expectations, sentimental memories, the inability to be with friends or family. Planning ahead and taking care of yourself can help you minimize stress and find peace and joy during the holiday season.
Good quality sleep plays an important role in your physical and mental health. It also boosts your immune system and promotes emotional wellness by giving your mind time to rest and recharge. Stress and anxiety can make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. If you already suffer from insomnia, experiencing stressful situations can make it worse. At the same time, lack of sleep can make you feel anxious and tense. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you get the sleep you need.
Life has its ups and downs. From time to time, we all experience stress, setbacks, and life-changing situations. Resilience can help us react to change in positive ways and emerge from difficult experiences stronger than before. Learning to become more resilient takes time and practice, but following a few simple tips can help you build this essential life skill.
Anxiety is a normal part of life. From time to time, we all feel nervous or worry about certain situations, but anxiety can be a problem if it interferes with daily activities or makes it hard for you to enjoy life. Anxiety disorders are quite common. In fact, in the United States, at least 40 million adults struggle with anxiety. While the condition is often treated with therapy and medications, watching what you eat can help reduce anxiety and stress and improve your mood.