According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. Studies have shown that in India the prevalence of depressive disorders is estimated to be 4.5% of the total population. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include sleep problems, loss or gain of weight, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, suicidal feelings et.c Dr Prakriti Poddar, Director Poddar Wellness Ltd and Managing Director of Poddar Foundation says, “If you experience such feelings and challenges, you should definitely seek help. A psychologist or a psychiatrist should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment.” Here are some strategies that could be of some help:

Manage stress: Find a stress buster by following a hobby, relaxing, looking for avenues for entertainment, or learning a new skill-set.

Physical activity: Its importance cannot be stressed enough. Physical activity increases happy hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. It also helps to push more oxygen in the circulatory system.

Eat right, sleep well: The right diet is crucial to provide your brain and nervous system with adequate amounts of nutrients. Around 6 to 8 hours of sleep is advised, and maintaining sleep hygiene is important.

Communicate and laugh: Holding on to your problems will not help. Others may or may not be able to provide solutions but just the action of offloading your heart will be relieving. Laughter helps as it relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins, burns calories, protects the heart by increasing blood flow, and reduces stress.

Avoid addictions and monitor compulsions: Addictive products like alcohol can give you a high but can also plunge you to rock bottom. Monitor your compulsions to break healthy habits. Binge drinking, eating, and consumption of media are all harmful habits.

While these tips can help to a certain extent, it can’t serve as a treatment. Depression is a condition which requires serious medical intervention. You must consult with a certified psychiatrist and must not hesitate to seek help.