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3 Ways to Fight Depression in Only an Hour

3 Ways to Fight Depression in Only an Hour

Tips

Whether you’re dealing with work stress, or personal problems, it's easy to fall into a funk—and may be tough to pull yourself out.

If you’ve been feeling blue for a while, it can help to talk with a mental health professional. But research also suggests there are some quick and easy ways you can do to feel better, at least temporarily and perhaps even long-term. If you’ve got a free hour and you’re looking for a pick-me-up, here’s how you spend it.

1. Get Some Exercise
Exercise has been shown to boost the production of endorphins in the brain, and numerous studies indicate that the feel-good glow after a workout can last at least several hours. Now, a new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that getting as little as one hour of exercise a week may even help prevent some cases of depression from developing.

2. Catch up with an old friend
Whether it’s calling a childhood pal you haven’t seen in a while or meeting up with your neighbor for a cup of coffee, spending an hour in meaningful conversation can have serious benefits for your mental health. Turning to a perpetually cheerful friend may even help you “catch” his or her good mood, according to a recent study in Royal Society Open Science.

For urban workers, spending time with friends and family is something they don’t do enough, and it has a lot to do with our happiness and wellbeing. For double the mood-boosting benefits, combining exercise and social interaction by inviting a buddy along for your regular walk or jog.

3. Write Down What You’re Grateful For
Keeping a gratitude journal has been associated with both short-term mood improvements as well as a reduced risk of depression over time. Some experts recommend writing down three things a day you’re grateful for, take a more reflective approach to counting your blessings.

You can write down one thing every day that you are really grateful for, and at the end of the week you look back and think about the best thing that happened to you that week. Do the same thing at the end of the month, and at the end of the year, and that’s will keeps you going back to your journal and keeping everything in perspective.