Here are 10 depression causing activities you can and should avoid regardless of the inconvenience, awkwardness, or cost.
1. Consuming lots of alcohol or other drugs (illegal & prescription)
The aftermath is ALWAYS the same. Depression! It’s inescapable. Alcohol and many other drugs stimulate pleasure chemicals in the brain to unnaturally high levels while you are using them. The more you consume the better you feel during the high and the worse you’ll feel when you are going through withdrawal. It’s during the withdrawal when the depression hits. Why? Because your brain chemistry is drastically out of balance.
If you play with alcohol or drugs, you always pay a big price. And the currency is depression.
2. Consuming foods and beverages that are high in sugar
Put a lot of sugar in your body and the results are guaranteed. You get a rush of adrenalin and pleasure chemicals followed by a huge crash. The crash is lethargy and depression.
Processed sugar is considered to be like a poison by many nutritionists and medical experts. It doesn’t have any positive benefits whatsoever.
There is no true sweetness in sugar if you consider the bitter after-effects.
3. Drinking lots of coffee
Drink a lot of coffee or an energy drink loaded with caffeine and the feeling after the rush is gone is predictable. You crash and then you feel lethargic and depressed. The depression is mild unless you go without caffeine for more than 8 hours then it gets much worse.
There is also a point when the level of caffeine in your body gets too high and it starts working against you. You are wired up to the max, but your brain starts miss firing and you get confused. When you get that jacked up the crash is pretty bad.
I got tired of all the ups and downs, so I gave up coffee. And I’ve never missed it.
4. Thinking and talking about your problems
Unless you are working on solutions and positive outcomes, the results of thinking and talking about your problems is always the same. You feel depressed. It’s really that cut and dry.
This is one reason why psychotherapy often fails. The emphasis of the therapy is on discussing, analyzing, and diagnosing a patient’s problems. The process is like getting on a hamster’s wheel. There is no end.
Take action to lift your spirits by deactivating your inclination to think and talk about your problems.
5. Spending time with negative people
If you spend time with people whom you know from past experience are critical and negative, then you know what the outcome will be. You’ll feel depressed after you’ve spent time with them.
Regardless of whether they are a family member or a longtime friend, you should limit your time with them. You should also control how much you communicate. Using email and text messaging is a great way to control the content and amount of communication.
I do not believe that a person should cut a “negative” family member or longtime friend completely out of their life. You never know when they may come around. I prefer the strategy of taking a stand on your beliefs, planting positive seeds, and being a good example.
If you’re the one who’s being negative around other people, do yourself and them a big favor and become an optimist.
6. Attending events that you despise
If you attend events that you don’t like because you’re being persuaded or coerced to go by someone close to you, your frustration can easily turn into depression if you don’t take a stand.
We’ve all done it. Gone to a family gathering, social activity, or entertainment event that we knew we wouldn’t like to please an important person in our life. You could say that going reflects considerable character because of your willingness to try it on behalf of the person who desperately wanted you to go. That may be true, but to go a second or third time is inviting self-punishment and depression if you absolutely hate it.
Give yourself a break. Take a stand and firmly refuse to go in the kindest way possible.
7. Arguing with people
The result of an argument is usually the same. Both people feel depressed.
An argument is a discussion that goes beyond giving an opinion to trying to convince, persuade, or manipulate another person to see it your way.
No one ever wins an argument. Don’t waste your time.
8. Spending time in unpleasant environments
If you spend time in an environment that contains unpleasant memories or scenery, you’ll feel the downward pull of depression.
Locations where bad experiences occurred subtly bring about unpleasant memories and feelings. These memories may be so repressed that they are deep in your subconscious. Then although you are not thinking about any unpleasant memories, you start to feel depressed without any clear reason that you can put your finger on. Avoid geographical locations and buildings that hold bad memories.
Neighborhoods full of litter and graffiti bring down your spirits. Avoid them if you can. If you live in an area that has these things, ignore them and direct your attention and thoughts to things that uplift your spirits. Better yet, do something to get rid of the litter and graffiti. You’ll feel better from the moment you start taking action. For ideas on what you can do about the litter, read my article entitled, “8 Littering Problem Solutions.”
9. Putting up with noisy neighbors or their barking dogs
Few things can be more depressing than having to deal with noisy neighbors or their barking dogs. You really only have two choices: take action to end the problem or move.
If you’re dealing with this issue now, I wrote a very comprehensive article on this topic entitled, “How to Handle Noisy Neighbors and Their Barking Dogs,” that might help you fix the problem.
Not only will your depression lift the moment the noise problem is eliminated, but you’ll also feel exhilarated by the renewed peacefulness in your home.
10. Watching the news
Watching news reports about all the bad things that happened in your town, your nation, and the world each day can only produce one result: depression! Although it may be subtle, nevertheless it’s there, it’s accumulative, and it’s harmful to your state of mind and outlook.
Most of the news isn’t news anyway. A large part of it is just predictions and opinions. You see it all the time. News organizations almost always bring in so-called “experts” who give their opinions on what has happened, what did happen, and what might happen. If you watch these “shows” (and that’s exactly what they are – shows) with these things in mind, you see why the news is for suckers.
There is little to be gained by watching the news but a lot of depressing information, images, and forecasts. Choose an uplifting or educational program instead.
There is probably more depression causing activities that only affect you due to your unique makeup and experiences. For example, if you’re really good at football but you suck at basketball, stay away from the latter regardless of how much your friends pressure you. It will only depress you no matter how much you try. If you enjoy shopping at art & craft fairs but you hate to shop for clothes like the rest of your friends, don’t let them make you feel bad if you don’t join them. Because joining them really will make you feel bad.
The activities you choose have a great influence on whether your thoughts, feelings, and memories are mostly joyful or depressing.