Depression is a powerful thing. One minute everything is fine, and the next, you can barely get out of bed and you’re wondering why. Or you experienced a loss, a disappointment, or a trauma and you can’t get past the sadness you feel. For some, these emotions are short-lived. For others, they linger and are exacerbated by habits, behaviors, and routines that feed the sadness and self loathing. For those with mild depression, there may be some ways to reduce those emotions and be able to live a normal life again. Here are some of the surprising ways to combat depression.

Turn Off Social Media

Young people are especially influenced by what they see on social media. Their younger minds are more swayed by seeing people living what they believe are perfect lives. This can cause discontentment that ultimately leads to depression and a negative self-perception. Adults who constantly see the perfect homes and people living with the things that they don’t have are also prone to depression. The best solution is to turn off social media. Spend time doing the things you enjoy instead.

Seek Out a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

There are many different types of therapy. Some people who suffer from depression could use a cognitive-behavioral therapist instead of a simple counselor. These trained professionals help people develop habits that assist them in managing their mental health conditions. It can also be used to overcome anxiety, deal with stress, and other triggers that might be leading to depression.

Deal With Underlying Trauma

Depression is associated with feelings of sadness, but also anger, irritability, unworthiness, and fear. In some instances, depression was triggered by trauma and if you want to combat the depression, it’s critical to go to the source. Healing from the trauma will assist you in overcoming depression. While some of the sadness may never go away entirely, people can learn to lead functioning and whole lives after a trauma has occurred in their life.

Get a Pet

Owning a pet can be a powerful way to overcome depression. Studies have found that animals help people feel more relaxed, they can help fight loneliness, and they give someone a purpose outside of themselves. Not to mention that holding, petting, and caring for a dog or cat especially, can lower blood pressure. People who struggle with depression may also benefit from the unconditional love and affection that animals show their owners.

Spend Time With Positive People

It’s not that you can’t acknowledge the emotions you feel. But it’s important not to spend too much time with people who pull you into a downward spiral with their negative emotions as well. Spending time with those who are more upbeat and positive in their life can rub off on you as well. They can help you see life through a different lens and get a better perspective on things. They might even aid you in learning to cope with your emotions.

Create and Work Toward Fitness Goals

Exercise releases happy hormones like dopamine that help uplift your mood. By setting fitness goals such as walking 3 miles or running around the block, you can easily give your body the boost of dopamine it needs regularly. These goals can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride when you finally reach them. As an added bonus, fitness goals can also take you outside more often which will give you a healthy dose of sunshine and nature. You’ll find that your moods are more stable and you are less prone to depression when you add some sunshine and nature to your life.

Change Your Eating Habits

There is a correlation between what you eat and your brain health. Some studies are showing that gluten, for instance, can cause or trigger mental health issues. There is a connection between the gut and the brain that when one is unhealthy, the other suffers. A good elimination diet with the oversight of a trained doctor will help you determine if there are foods causing you to feel more depressed. Some individuals find that processed sugar might give them a quick feel-good boost, but that it’s short-lived and leads to more sad feelings later on.

While many of these might help people with mild depression, it’s important to work with mental health professionals who can assess your needs. If you feel suicidal or are having suicidal ideations as a result of your depression, seek help immediately from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.