First appeared in my column, “Inspire and Equip!” (Tempo/Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.) Oct. 11, 2015
Who would have thought that behind his smiles and his awesome dance movements, Gab Valenciano was, at one point, depressed and even suicidal (according to a Facebook post that was shared so many times)?
The thing with depression, it does not choose its victims – rich or poor, famous or unknown, young or old, employed or jobless. Most of the time, those who suffer from it choose to do so in silence, so without proper management and support, the suffering is prolonged and aggravated. In many cases, it even leads to suicide.
Here are some tips to help prevent depression.
- Get rid of negative thoughts. Just as a computer’s anti-virus program scans and separates infected files to prevent them from harming your computer, “scan” your thoughts and separate the negative to prevent them from harming your health and your well-being.
- Learn to accept things as they are. It is hard to cope when our ideal is shattered or when our expectations are not met by other people. We have no choice but to accept that life is not perfect and not everybody is perfect. Resisting this reality will lead to severe loneliness and may complicate matters.
- Do something relaxing or productive instead of worrying about the future. If we’ll rely on our limited strength, we will be disappointed, but if we’ll entrust our future in the hands of our all-powerful and all-knowing Creator, things will become bearable.
- Increase your social interaction. Isolating yourself when you are lonely will only make you lonelier! Take time to enjoy conversations with people who radiate positive energy.
- Focus on something that makes you happy – a hobby, a show, a mission, or a project. Devote more time in a meaningful activity so you won’t have time and energy for depressing concerns anymore.
- Eat nuts, fruits and vegetables – peanut, cashew, corn, mango, banana, and broccoli that help increase the neurotransmitter called serotonin, “a naturally occurring chemical that can influence mood and appetite” (livestrong.com).
- Make physical activities like playing, swimming, exercising, biking, or dancing a part of your daily routine. These activities give endorphins, the happy hormone.
- Let go of the things you lost and the relationships that have ended. You already had them and enjoyed them. Nothing is permanent. Show the world a brave, new you and be open to new things.
There will always be disappointments, worries, stressors, and heartaches. Do everything in your power to cope.
Although it is possible to recover from depression, strive to prevent it. Also, make it a habit to scatter seeds of encouragement. Who knows if the person next to you is just like Gab in the past who appeared happy, successful, and rich but hiding depression and suicidal thoughts!
Like and share this article to help happy-looking people who suffer in silence.
Find more tips on preventing depression. Get a copy of my book, “Hope Boosters for Fired up Souls”, available at selected branches of National Book Store and Pandayan Bookshop.
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