10 Best ways to ward off depression and anxiety that you can do right now!

Published: June 6, 2014

Feeling stuck, depressed or anxious?  You are not alone!  Millions of people right now in the US alone suffer from various mental health problems.  These vary in type and prognosis from minor annoyances to potentially life threatening.  Here I give you 10 of the best simple things that you can do right now to help yourself to feel better.  These are practical actions that you can take right now, but my advice cannot in any form replace a qualified mental health professional's advice and if you are suffering I encourage to seek treatment from the appropriate professional.  

  1. Get Moving!

    Exercise is perhaps the most simple and effective quick fix to feelings of depression or anxiety.  You do not have to go to the gym to exercises, nor do you need fancy equipment.  You could do pushups and run in place in your room right now if you wanted.  The higher the intensity the better, but any type of increased activity will suffice.  A simple walk around your neighborhood can work wonders for your mood.  Exercise provides your brain with endorphins and gives you a sense of accomplish and control over your life.  There is no better quick fix to a bad mood.  

  2. Eat something healthy

    What you put into your body plays a major role in how you are feeling.  Eating a good diet made up of mostly vegetables (especially leafy greens) whole grains, healthy sources of protein such as nuts, and fruits can keep your body and mind healthy. I once cared for an individual who suddenly had a rush of fatigue hit them.  They had no idea why this happened but after a little probing I discovered that they had nothing to eat for over 15 hours and only had some juice in the morning.  No wonder they were dead tired!  After a small snack they felt markedly improved.  Before looking too deep into possible causes for a bad mood make sure that you are taking care to provide your body with proper nourishment. 

  3. Talk to someone

    Humans are social animals.  In order to survive as a race we must interact with other humans.  If you isolate yourself from any contact with other people it puts you at much higher risk for mental health problems.  A simple hello or how are you today brings a sense of connection.  If you live alone then reach out to someone via social media or telephone, or if that is not an option then get out and go to the grocery or take a walk outside.  This can be a double edged sword as you do not want to focus too much on other people especially if you feel desperate for approval, but a simple effort to connect to others is all you need.  

  4. Stop what you are doing and just breathe

    Stop what you are doing right now and sit down.  Close your eyes and breathe normally out of your nose.  Do this for 1 minute (can increase time after practicing).  After the first three tips on how to improve mood it is important that I point out that there can come a point where you are moving too fast for your own good.  While the first three tips were directed mainly at those with depression who have trouble doing things I want to direct this tip at those who are prone to extreme anxiety.  At times we are so busy that we begin to forget the essential things in our lives.  We are constantly rushing to do the next thing yet we feel more discontent.  Taking a moment to let your fleeting thoughts flow will allow you to refocus on the essentials.  While financial security is important often times we sacrifice our health and family for the pursuit of success.  Taking a moment can bring a healthy repurposing of life.  

  5. Avoid toxic substances

    While it is important to provide your body with proper nourishment, it is also important to ensure that what you put into your body is not harming you mentally.  Many recreational drugs can be dangerous to your mental health especially when consumed in large quantities it is best to avoid these drugs.  The major culprit in todays society is alcohol.  First off let me point out that alcohol when consumed in moderation can be a part of a very healthy diet.  The key here is moderation.  Drinking a few drinks in the course of the night while ensuring that you are well hydrated can provide you with a good social lubricant that helps you connect with others.  The problem is that after a few drinks alcohol the positive effects fade away and you begin to lose control of yourself and also (since alcohol is a depressant) can begin to have very negative emotions.  It is best to stop after a few drinks and of course never drink and drive.  

  6. Write out your thoughts

    Now that we have made sure that we are keeping our bodies healthy it is time to focus more on the mental aspect of depression and anxiety.  Often times our minds are cluttered with thoughts and we cannot quite pinpoint why we feel a certain way.  A simple method to probing your inner psyche is to write out the thoughts that you can identify when in a certain mood.  By identifying the direct thoughts 

  7. Identify

    Now that you have written out your thoughts.