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Healthy Habits That Can Lower Your Risk of Depression

A recent international study published in the Nature Mental Health journal found that certain lifestyle factors can reduce the risk of depression by 57%. This study, which examined data from nearly 290,000 people over a nine-year period, found that there are seven lifestyle factors associated with a lower risk of depression, and sleep was at the top of the list.

The study found that getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night could reduce the risk of depression, including single depressive episodes and treatment-resistant depression, by 22%. Furthermore, the study revealed that participants with the lowest genetic risk for depression were 25% less likely to develop depression than those with the highest genetic risk, representing a much smaller impact than lifestyle factors.

The seven lifestyle factors that were linked to lower rates of depression included the following:

· Limiting alcohol consumption

· Keeping a healthy diet

· Engaging in regular physical activity

· Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule

· Avoiding smoking

· Minimizing sedentary behavior

· Having frequent social connections

Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

You can reduce your risk of depression and boost your mental and physical health by altering your lifestyle. This may include eating a diet that’s high in lean proteins and vegetables, reducing your alcohol intake and getting 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Additionally, you can encourage healthy sleeping habits by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, avoiding caffeine and nicotine before bed, putting your technology away prior to bedtime and ensuring you have a dark, quiet place to rest.