Depression is a serious mental illness that affects over 3 million Americans in a given year. While anti-depressant medications may be helpful to some people, they don’t work for everyone. Fighting depressive feelings is a constant, day-to-day battle for many people. If you’re struggling with depression, depression management techniques may be able to help.

Follow these four depression management tricks to make you happy again:

1. Exercise

exercise depression management

When you’re depressed, exercising might be the furthest thing from your mind. But if you can just get up and get moving, you’ll reap the benefits. Exercise stimulates the heart, which releases more blood. Blood flow is an important part of cognitive health. Working out also releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which help fight stress. If you can muster up enough will power to get in a good workout, you won’t regret it.

2. Travel

travel depression management

Exploring new places is a great way to open up your mind and feed your soul. If you can’t afford a plane ticket to Paris, don’t stress. You don’t need to leave the country to soak up the benefits of traveling. Book a small cabin in the mountains a few hours away or drive to the closest beach for the day. Even a day trip can help you find peace and quiet, relax and recharge, and find happiness once again.

3. Dance

dance depression management

It might seem silly, but dancing can do wonders to brighten your mood! Studies have shown that the physically expressive nature of dance can help you recognize and release your pent-up feelings. If you’re not up to a night out with friends, throw on your favorite song and have a dance party for one in your living room. You could also start taking dance lessons on a regular basis for a weekly mood-booster!

4. Ask Yourself Questions

ask yourself questions depression management

If you really want to find what makes you happy, don’t be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions. What makes you happy? How can you get back to a place of happiness? Get a pen and paper and write down your answers. When you’re finished, you’ll have all of the things you love written down, staring back at you. Get rid of all the negative or unnecessary things in your life, and focus on what truly makes you happy.

Also, think about good nutrition. Some common nutrient deficiencies may create depression symptoms.

Power of Positivity
Psychology Today
Anxiety and Depression Association of America