Depression is something that can affect anyone at any time and sadly, in recent times, a worrying rise in depression has been found in young people. The reasons may be unclear and cumulative, or the cause could be as obvious as a bad break up or exam result. Learning to cope with depression is a life skill, because it can sometimes creep up on you when you least expect it – the younger you are when you are diagnosed, the more helpful support you should be able to get throughout the most difficult periods of your life. For more information, see young adult mental health treatment. Now let’s look at how you start to turn the tables on depression.
Laugh. Laugh every day. It’s easier than you think
This advice isn’t just ‘cheer up and everything will be fine’. Telling a young person who may be experiencing depression to snap out of it and look on the bright side is about as useful as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing gum. No, this advice goes above and beyond paying meaningless lip service to the potential issue. There’s science involved.
Without going into all the boring details, studies have shown that beta-endorphin production is increased by almost 30% when people expect to laugh imminently. Just the anticipation of laughing lifts your mood, let alone the happiness you feel when you actually get to let out your most ugly belly laugh. Young people more than anyone deserve to have fun and enjoy themselves, before the trials of adulthood set in. Find a comedian online. Watch their YouTube videos. Get into humour. Hang around people that uplift you. Every day that you laugh, you’re helping to beat your feelings of depression.
Physical exercise (something fun, not the gym or a PE class)
Nobody who is feeling depressed (particularly not a young person) is likely to head to the local sports store, fill their basket with spandex, and head off to the gym for a 2,000 calorie gut-busting workout. It’s just not going to happen. But if there’s one thing we know about depression, it’s that physical exercise can help to alleviate the symptoms. How? Because when we exercise, the body releases our good old friends, the endorphins. So, the question is what should you do to exercise if we’re to avoid facing the many hard-bodied show-offs at the gym? Hmm.
Well, jogging is boring. You can try it, and you might stick at it for almost a week. But in the end you just run out of good music to listen to, and you will start letting the weather and the fact you haven’t washed your jogging clothes put you off. Instead, find a new way to get active that looks fun. See if you can get your friends or siblings involved with you. Try indoor climbing. Learn to play drums. Watch karate tutorials and practice the moves at home with a view to eventually joining a club. This way, you’ll build upon your previous efforts, rather than just jogging the same route over and over and feeling a bit like you’ve achieved nothing.
Write down positive things you want to do
This final tip is going to feel sort of silly at first. But everybody has things they want to do, and as a young person, you have your whole life ahead of you. Maybe you want to write a short story. Maybe you want to get a pottery wheel. Or there could be a movie you keep meaning to watch. Write it down. Having a list of things to add to and tick off is like having daily permission to do something for yourself. It can also give you a better idea of what you want from life, what you enjoy and what you are good at. Give it a go!