depressed-man

Have you been feeling depressed lately and you don’t know why?  Here are some ideas and other questions you can ask yourself to hopefully better understand what is going on.

Have I been getting enough exercise?

Exercise has powerful mood boosting effects and can possibly work to reduce the symptoms of depression.  Some studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants.  Make sure to get high intensity workouts.

Am I eating well?

You may not realize it, but it is very likely that your diet plays a big role in how you feel.  Eating unhealthy, fast foods all the times can take a toll, and starting to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as a better diet might make you feel better.

Is my diet providing me with enough nutrients?

Beyond just getting enough calories, does your diet provide you with a balanced amount of nutrients?

Have I recently had a breakup?

After a relationship ends, it is only natural to feel unhappy or depressed for some time.  So some unhappiness is normal.  It’s when it persists for too long or is too severe that there is a problem.

What activities do I enjoy doing most?

What is something you do that, when you do it, time just seems to go by?  That you really enjoy or that doing makes you happy?

Whatever the answer, it’s likely that doing more of that might make you somewhat happier.  It doesn’t have to be that dramatic an activity – some people just feel better after cooking or gardening.

Do I find my work meaningful?

Most people spend a lot of time at work.  Having a job which is not so fulfilling or that you find boring can lead to frustration.  Try to find ways to make your work more enjoyable, or take on more responsibility in an area you are more passionate about.

What can I do to get more meaning in my life?

There are many ways to add variety, excitement and energy to your life.  Consider getting involved by volunteering.  Spending some time say, in a soup kitchen, will help give you perspective and make you feel good about yourself.

Not to mention that you’ll meet some awesome new people.

How are my relations with the family?

We sometimes forget how important family can be.  When is the last time you had a good conversation with a family member?  Or have you had a fight and things are still a bit rough?

Maybe take the time to reconnect or smooth over a past conflict.  Our families can be an amazing support system.

Do I get enough sunlight?

Some people get depressed when they don’t get enough exposure to sunlight.  Seasonal affective disorder, for instance, where people get depressed in the winter, is hypothesized to in part be due to less sun exposure.

Of course, you have to remember that exposure to sun also increases your risk of skin cancer.