Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States, for men and women ages 15 to 44. After you fall into depression, it can be difficult to pinpoint the root of the problem. That’s because depression often results from several different circumstances. Stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and poor sleep habits can all increase your risk of depression. Making a few life changes can help you reduce your risk of depression.

Here are eight hidden causes of depression and how to avoid them:

1. Overthinking

If you’re an overthinker, you know that simply “turning your brain off” is far easier said than done. But constantly replaying things over and over again in your head will only bring you down. Find a way to relax and clear your mind. It might be exercising, hanging out with a close friend or spending some time in nature. Finding a way to control your overthinking habits is the only way to stop them from filling you with negativity.

2. Low Self-Esteem

Society has a lot to say about beauty, and too many people are negatively affected by it. Men and women both can get dragged down by poor self-esteem due to issues such as body image or social status. It’s important to remember that true happiness comes from the inside out. Learning to accept yourself can help you become more confident and help you finally find an inner peace.

3. Financial Troubles

Being in debt can be extremely stressful, and the more you dwell on it, the deeper your thoughts will pull you down. Search for a solution instead of dwelling on the problem. Create a budget, cut back on spending, find repayment plan or see a financial adviser.

4. Relationship Problems

Going through a tough breakup can cause feelings of depression. You might think you’ll never find love again, or that you aren’t worthy of it. Breakups are never easy, but one of the best ways to get through them is to spend time with your loved ones. Let them be there for you and help ease your pain while you get back on your feet.

5. Expecting The Worst

If you’re constantly expecting the worst, that’s what will end up happening. Thinking that your boss hates you or expecting your date to go horribly wrong will fill you with negativity. A positive mindset can change your entire outlook on life. Focus on the present, instead of worrying so much about the future. Try to slow down and enjoy your life, instead of letting it pass you by.

6. Aging

Many people have a fear of getting older, which means greater anxiety with each passing year. To help take your mind off of your fears, think about all you’ve achieved throughout your life. Think about your family, your friends, your career or you education. Focus on all of the wonderful things you’ve gained in your lifetime.

7. Grief

Losing a loved one can cause immense grief, which can lead to depression. If you lose someone you love, allow yourself to feel your emotions instead of trying to hold them in. Don’t shut others out who want to help. Surround yourself with family and friends who love you and care about you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

8. Poor Sleep Habits

Sleep deprivation can lead to many health issues, including depression. When you skimp on sleep, your body doesn’t have time to replenish your brain cells. As a result, your brain isn’t able to function properly, which makes yore more susceptible to depression. Make sure you’re getting a solid 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to keep your body and mind healthy.

Power of Positivity
Psychology Today