Depression is difficult to beat — but for most people, it isn’t impossible. If you take some of the following steps, you can regain control of your depression and your life even if you have persistent, long-standing depressive symptoms. Don’t let the urge to isolate yourself and avoid positive activity stop you; the key is to take small steps and keep moving ahead.
Ways to move away from depression include:
* Build supportive relationships When you’ve been depressed for a while, you may not have a lot of close relationships, but it’s critical that you work on staying connected. Reach out to your family and friends and keep doing social activities whether you like it or not. Also, joining a depression support group can be helpful.
* Challenge negative thinking While your mind may be churning out negative thoughts, it doesn’t mean that those thoughts reflect reality. You can challenge those thoughts in any number of ways, including socializing with positive people and following their lead and letting yourself be less than “perfect.” Also, recognize common negative thinking patterns — such as filtering out positive ideas and events, calling yourself names and lists of what you “should” be — and nip them in the bud.
* Take care of yourself Be aware that your caring for yourself plays a big role in your emotional health. Consider relaxation techniques, sticking to a healthy 8-hour sleep schedule, getting some sunlight and even caring for a pet.
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