kacidepressionUnfortunately, depression has become such a commonplace term and occurrence; even childhood favorite comics make light of the very dark situation.

In fact, it’s so common, I’m sure you can name at least two people – maybe even you or someone you know – that have gone through this state in life. Sometimes it can be short lived, and sometimes it can be dragged out for years – and much of that depends on how you handle it. Below are three simple, concrete action steps you can take to shift your mindset, and in turn, your perspective to help you fight depression.

1. Join a social gym.

Not just any gym – preferably a gym that provides classes so you can learn new moves and grooves – stepping out of your comfort zone means stepping out of your funk.

This action step attacks depression on many fronts. It allows you to get out of the monotonous routine that is often the norm for those experiencing depression. It breaks the monotonous routine and it allows you to establish a healthier routine. You want to find a social gym so you can build up your support system and social interaction because it’s been proven that social interaction allows for an increase in brain activity, which can help directly reverse the effects of depression. Finally, the physical action of exercising has been scientifically proven to help tackle depression because MOVEMENT also increases brain activity – tenfold.

2. Get your Nervous System Checked.

We just discovered how increasing the activity of your brain causes a positive change (and how movement is one of the best ways to create that change), but did you know your brain only gets those signals from movement and other sensory input through the nervous system? So if your nervous system is not functioning at 100%, your brain isn’t getting all the signals from ALL the work you’re putting in, and to be most effective at tackling your depression, you need to have all that information.

That’s where we come in – as experts of the nervous system, we work with all types of patients to ensure their nervous system is firing at 100% so their brain is receiving all the signals it needs to function fully. This way, the brain can interpret and create those positive vibes to either keep a person from dropping into depression – or if an individual is already there – help them overcome and battle that state of mind.

3. Switch out TV time for journaling time.

As cliché as it sounds, we are bombarded with negativity while watching TV. Whether it’s from the news, which tends to have negatively skewed stories, or from reality TV, which just shows us the lives of others that cause us envy, the majority of what we view on the tube only cause discontent of our own lives as we measure them against unrealistic comparisons.

These negative thoughts can be shifted, however, by a change in action. Instead of spending time passively absorbing information, spend time actively creating. Again, this increases your brain activity, and as you actively engage your thoughts and consciousness, you begin to actively realize the ideas that constantly run in your thought process, which allows you to change your internal voice. Journaling is a simple way to achieve that process change – taking 10 minutes a day to create something new, write down your thoughts so you become more aware of them, or simply write 5 things you’re grateful for, everyday can cause a 1800 in your mindset, and in turn, your perspective on life.

Now that you’ve learned 3 easy action steps you can take to defeat depression, I hope you are willing to take the first step forward to begin this process- for yourself or someone you love. And remember, you’re not alone- we can help.

-Dr. Kaci Manion