Seven Habits that Could Shield You from Depression: New Study Report

Factors like environment, biology, genetics, and psychology all seem to play a part.
Representational image
Representational image

Living a healthy life by staying active, connecting with others, getting enough sleep, and eating well can reduce the chances of experiencing depression.

This was found in a recent study published in the journal Nature Mental Health, where researchers highlighted seven lifestyle factors that can help lower the risk of depression.

Barbara Sahakian, a co-author of the study and a professor in the the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge in England, in a press statement said, “Although our DNA – the genetic hand we’ve been dealt – can increase our risk of depression, we’ve shown that a healthy lifestyle is potentially more important.”

She added, “Some of these lifestyle factors are things we have a degree control over, so trying to find ways to improve them – making sure we have a good night’s sleep and getting out to see friends, for example – could make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Various factors can influence a person’s likelihood of getting depression. Factors like environment, biology, genetics, and psychology all seem to play a part.

In a recent study, researchers looked at how lifestyle, genetic risk, and depression were connected. They gave each participant a score based on their genetic risk for depression, which was determined by looking at genetic traits linked to depression.

The study found that, regardless of their genetic risk level, people who followed a healthy lifestyle wrere less likely to develop depression. Carla Marie Manly, a psychologist from California, commented that these results were unexpected.

The researchers identified seven lifestyle factors that can lower the risk of depression:

1. Eating a healthy diet

2. Regular physical activity

3. Never smoking

4. Limiting alcohol intake to moderate levels

5. Having regular social connections

6. Getting enough sleep

7. Minimizing sedentary behavior

Among the various healthy lifestyle factors studies, the researchers found that sleep was the most crucial. They discovered that getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night could decrease risk of despression, including treatment-resistant depression, by 22 percent.

Eating healthily was linked to a 6 percent lower risk of depression, while moderate alcohol intake lowered the risk by 11 percent. Regular physical activity reduced the risk by 14 percent, and maintaining low-to moderate sedentary behavior by 13 percent. Never smoking was associated with a 20 reduced risk.

Among these factors, having regular social connections was the most beneficial for preventing recurrent depressive disorder, reducing the overall risk of depression by 18 percent.


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