Lifestyle Habits Can Help Prevent Depression

Facing Depression in Muncie, Indiana

Signs of depression should always be taken very seriously, and seeking professional medical help is always recommended. This blog post focuses on ways to help prevent or alleviate mild feelings or periods of depression.

A recent research study by the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine claims that exercise can help alleviate and prevent depression. Researchers found that by engaging in regular physical activity, individuals have improved cognitive functioning and lower stress and anxiety.

Exercise may not be the only routine that can help lesson the presence of depression. These are some other activities and lifestyle habits that can also be natural ways to avoid feeling depressed:

Vitamin D

Oregon State University researchers have found people who suffer with depression tend to have low levels of vitamin D. This vitamin is an essential nutrient for bone health and muscle function. People create their own vitamin D when their skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D also is found in some foods, including milk that is fortified with it, and is available in supplements.


There is a great deal of research demonstrating that music affects your mood. It can alleviate anxiety and depression, increase your cognitive function, and affect your worldview. Musical baths, background music and your favorite CD tracks on your way to work have been recommended alleviating stress and lightening your mood.


Poor diet has been linked to depression and added stress. Including foods from of all of the USDA pyramid groups (i.e., total fruit, total vegetables, total grains, milk, and meat and beans) can control bodily performance, lower weight and increase self-confidence. Researchers also suggest widening your dietary selection with foods you have never tried before, as this can help the body physically and mentally.


New apps are popping up that can help people manage and prevent depression from their phones or other electronic devices. Although professionals recommend seeking help from a counselor when symptoms are not controllable, the National Health Service and other medical groups are creating apps that offer advice and resources for individuals with questions or concerns about depression and other mental illnesses.


For pregnant women with significant depression, practicing yoga may be a useful approach to decrease prenatal depression symptoms, according to a recent study conducted at Brown University. Reports showed that the more the participants performed yoga the more they showed the signs of recovering from severe mood disorders Yoga has also been used to help veterans prevent and alleviate symptoms of depression and PTSD.

Written by: Casey Smith

This story originally appeared in Facing Depression in Muncie, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by the Ingelhart Scholars at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

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