Human beings are profoundly social creatures. Through the mechanics of things like mirror neurons, our brain is significantly influenced by the presence of other people. When we are beginning to feel depressed, we can use the power of other people to help us right the ship.
Here are some ways we can engage with other people to help fight depression:
- Call a friend. Talking with a trusted friend can often help prevent a minor depressive episode from becoming a major one. When we start to feel the depression coming on, call that friend -sooner rather than later.
- Go to a public place. Our brains are affected by other people, even if we don’t interact with them. Go to a park, coffee shop or shopping mall. Just sit on a bench, and watch the people walk by. Just being in the presence of other people can be enough to light up the pro-social parts of our brains and help fight the depression.
- Make people part of your routine. By joining a club or team, we make the presence of other people part of our regular routine. In doing so, we already have programmed time with other people put into our schedule if and when we begin feeling depressed. It’s much easier to keep a commitment that we have already made, rather than come up with a new social idea from scratch. By joining a club or team when we’re feeling fine, we can help mitigate the effects of depression when it comes.
Eric McClerren, APC