Depression and anxiety disorders are two of the most common mental health problems in our modern society and although stress, medical conditions, traumatic incidents and abuse are usually the primary reasons, the impact of one’s lifestyle on any of those factors and the disease itself is of no less consequence. Let’s now try and understand the effect that our lifestyles can have in both bringing about and worsening the symptoms of depression.
The more inactive your lifestyle is, the higher your chances of developing a depressive disorder. This means that if you spend your entire day in either an office/cubicle or inside your home, without getting even 15 – 20 minutes of dedicated exercise time, the onset of depression is more than likely. On the other hand, if you already have depression, an inactive lifestyle will not only make it worse but will make it even more difficult to get out of the habit and start an active life. The simple act of walking 15 – 30 minutes every day can help anyone get out of an inactive lifestyle without pushing it too hard right from the start.
It could be something as major as cocaine or heroin, or it could be something as common as the socially accepted act of drinking; as long as someone leads a lifestyle that consists of abusing an addictive substance, depression is an unavoidable side-effect. Not only can drugs and alcohol directly contribute to depression by disturbing the chemical and hormonal balance in our systems, but they contribute to other causes of depression as well, such as stress, anxiety, and medical conditions.
Lack of exercise and a bad diet doesn’t only make people gain more weight; they contribute to depression as well. GMOs, dairy products, excess gluten and refined sugar has been associated with depression either directly or indirectly. However, eating insufficiently can become an even worse cause of depression because the unavailability of the nutrients which the body needs to function on a daily basis will inevitably lead to mood swings and other behavioral disorders. This is why it is important to eat healthily instead of eating less.
Leading an Unwanted Life
This one is a bit more complicated to discuss than others because it varies widely from person to person. The basic idea is that if you are leading a lifestyle that mostly consists of activities that you do not enjoy, it may and probably will cause depression. The key is in figuring out what you don’t like first and then in working towards replacing at least some of those parts of your life with things that you do like. For example, if you like trekking, just go for small treks on the weekends to refresh your mind and body. Even the simple act of taking some time out for yourself and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet every now and then can provide us with the energy that is necessary to face old problems with a new perspective.
The effects of depression are not only psychological but can lead to multiple physical issues and changes as well. In fact, according to a recent article on CapitalWired.com, untreated depression can actually end up rewiring the brain’s thinking processes and some of the cognitive functions, if given enough time.
Therefore, it is imperative that you make all the necessary changes in your lifestyle to eliminate any lifestyle-related causes of depression from the equation altogether.
Got any more tips? Let us know in the comments.