Suffering from depression and being depressed are not always the same thing.
When you suffer from depression it doesn't matter what you do, how many friends you have, or what you accel at everything just feels empty.
In those cases getting help from a professional and talking to your primary care physician are essential steps to take.
However, if you are depressed and you don't have those things mentioned above then that means there are likely a lot of little things you could be doing to get out of that depressed slump.
Here is how you can hack depression.
One of the most immediate steps to hack depression is getting up early and at the same time every day.
So simple! By waking up at the same time every day, you start to hack your body's clock and start helping it regulate.
Having a consistent wake-up time resets your rhythm and has been proven to increase your sleep quality at night.
Once you start waking up early, you start sending signals to your brain and body that it's time to get moving and become productive.
This naturally shapes the way you think and act throughout the week and tricks your mind into thinking in more positive ways.
Once you regulate your sleep schedule, then you can organize your day and one of the most pivotal parts of your day should be organized around other people.
Spending time around other people distracts your mind from being in a depressed mood and can even activate feel-good chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
Humans are social creatures and we all need to feel connected to a community of some kind.
Here are some suggestions on how to get around people:
1) If you're unemployed: Get a job! It doesn't have to be a dream job or lifelong career- just something that gives you direction, structure, routine, and the opportunity to be around others.
2) If you work remotely: Go to the office more regularly! And if there isn't a physical office then break up your day and visit a local coffee shop or restaurant with a friend, make it a weekly occasion, or even daily!
3) Make friends: Having even a small circle of friends is hugely important to hacking depression. Look up groups online that share similar interests, join groups and forums through social media, and strike up a conversation with someone at your favorite hang-out. However you do it, make friends!
4) Have a meaningful relationship: Maybe you have a job and a group of friends but what you're missing is romance, someone who excites you. Dating is more accessible than ever- dozens of dating apps, websites, and social media groups put the dating scene right at your fingertips. Find a couple of avenues that you're comfortable with and provide the type of connection you want and put yourself out there!
Find a hobby! However lame that may sound, it might change your life.
Finding something that entertains and enthralls you that you can become good at builds confidence.
When someone is depressed there is often a feeling that everyone else has some skill or talent except them.
The reality is we are all talented in some way or another, other people just stumble onto theirs with little effort.
Think about a skill you would like to have, then practice it!
Work on something that you enjoy that is just for you.
As you get better and better you will feel better too, and who knows maybe you'll find yourself in an entire community of people who share that hobby!
Most people in the world had to work very hard to be where they are or to become skilled at something, which means you have every opportunity to do the same, it just takes that first step of finding something and then doing it.
Over half of all smartphone users are on their phones for more than 6 hours a day!
That's almost an entire work shift spent scrolling through TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. being flooded with images and information at an unbelievably toxic rate.
For adolescents and young adults in particular being on social media has a particularly detrimental effect on mental health.
There is nearly a 1:1 correlation between hours spent on social media and level of depressed mood. Literally, do anything else!
Read a book, go for a walk, make a meal, anything that will get you away from your phone.
I'm not saying to never get on social media again, I'm just saying limit the amount of time you spend on it each day and reap the immense mental benefits.
This one gets hammered into everyone all the time, so I'm not going to spend much time here.
Eat more NUTRIENT DENSE foods and move your body 20-30 minutes a day.
That's all. Those two things will reduce inflammation in the body, and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and stress.
Not to mention increase positive mood, motivation, weight loss, confidence, social connection, and energy levels.
So, your call.
In conclusion, if you want to hack a depressed mood: wake up early every day, be around people, get good at something, limit social media, and exercise and eat better.
These are all areas you have complete control of every single day.
Little changes done consistently result in enormous changes throughout life.
Take responsibility for yourself, no one can do these things for you.
And, if you are doing all these things and are still suffering from depression, talk to a mental health care professional or your primary care physician as soon as possible.
Now, go hack depression!
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