Now Reading
What is Smiling Depression All About?

What is Smiling Depression All About?

Updated on Feb 02, 2023

What is Smiling Depression All About - ThePleasantMind

Key Takeaways

  • It is the masking of depression symptoms to appear lively and competent.
  • Most common symptoms of smiling depression are fatigue, hopelessness, loss of interest, suicidal ideation, and not sharing their true thoughts and feelings with anyone, not even their therapist.
  • As with depression, smiling depression can also be caused because of multiple factors including, hereditary predisposition, environment, their lifestyle, and work-life balance.
  • It is a type of depression that is more dangerous as they have the energy to act on their suicidal ideations and plans, which is lacking in the regular depression population.
  • Some of the treatment options include CBT, family therapy, interpersonal therapy, ACT, and more.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Oh, they were suffering? But they were smiling and cheerful every time I saw them!”. When we find out about other people’s depression, our first thought goes back to all the times we saw them, looking for all the signs that we missed. 

Understanding how depression works and manifests is a complex task. It is further complicated by the phenomenon known as smiling depression.

Smiling Depression - Definition, Physical & Psychological Symptoms
Smiling Depression – Definition, Physical & Psychological Symptoms
Smiling Depression - Treatment and Self-Care Tips
Smiling Depression – Treatment and Self-Care Tips

What does Smiling Depression mean? 

Smiling depression is when a person puts on a fake mask to hide their true depressive nature.

Smiling depression sounds like two contradictory terms put together, but it means that they mask their feelings and continue to live their life like that. It is because of stigma or avoidance of people sharing how they feel. 

It occurs because of natural life events and susceptibility to negative thoughts and feelings about self, others, and the world around them. 

There is a threat of people with smiling depression being active enough to act on their suicidal thoughts without ever expressing them to someone. 

Risk and causes of smiling depression

It can happen to anyone at any time for various reasons. There are multiple levels in understanding of smiling depression. Some of the reasons that a person may develop smiling depression are 

  • They are not where they pictured themselves to be in their life.
  • Their work life doesn’t interest them. 
  • They are unable to find proper meaning in their life.
  • They are unaware of their purpose in life. 
  • They are just going through the motion of life.
  • They had higher expectations of themselves and now are disappointed in themselves.
  • Feel like they are wasting their life.
  • Feel like they are letting others down.
  • They experienced a tragedy that shook their core beliefs.
  • They are living their life for someone else. 
  • Their goals and wishes in life have been left incomplete. 

Due to genetic predisposition or environmental factors, they may also experience smiling depression. There is no one particular reason that causes smiling depression, it differs from one individual to another.

Some of the major tendencies that are present in people who are at risk of developing smiling depression are 

  • Perfectionist.
  • Ambitious. 
  • Good at masking their face and emotions. 
  • It is important to them to keep appearances. 
  • They can always be found laughing. 
  • Over-committing at work 
  • They feel like a fraud inside. 
  • They’re ashamed about feeling sad.
  • They tend to avoid sharing feelings with others. 
  • They usually avoid getting help.

Symptoms of smiling depression

To recognize the symptoms of smiling depression, the following list is given. Since smiling depression has overlapping similarities with other depression types, it is important to notice any key differences. 

Physical symptoms 

These are the few ways that smiling depression manifests into physical symptoms: 

1. Back pain 

When the body is under stress or in duress, the body also gets a physical reaction formed due to biofeedback that is in our system.  
In smiling depression, the person is unaware of the situation and may just brush off the physical symptoms until it becomes too late.

2. Headaches 

Headaches are also a common manifestation of smiling depression. Headaches and back pain are common signs that the body is under stress or not in a healthy condition.

Headaches are common due to the masking nature of this type of depression.  

3. Fatigue

In smiling depression, fatigue sets in, and the person almost always feels tired about their life and what they’re doing. 

Fatigue is the result of putting on a facade and trying to live it through by avoiding the truth and jumping into a lifestyle that is more avoidant in nature. 

4. Lack of energy/Exhaustion 

In smiling depression, they experience exhaustion from keeping up this fake appearance. Lack of energy is a common symptom that occurs as they are always putting on a mask to support their lifestyle. 

Exhaustion is felt through the body as a result of the dual nature of keeping experiences and also avoiding sitting with their real feelings and thoughts. 

5. Changes in weight

In smiling depression, people experience some weight changes. It can go either way, they can gain weight or lose their appetite and lose weight.

People stop caring about their food habits and display drastic weight changes.   

6. Heaviness in the limbs

In smiling depression, a type of heaviness sets in. It feels like a task to be walking around, or doing anything taxing. 

People start experiencing heaviness, which is also mixed with fatigue and exhaustion. The heaviness makes doing things difficult for the person.

Psychological symptoms 

They are vivid, wide-ranging, and can vary in their extremity. Some of the major symptoms include: 

1. Sadness

People with smiling depression might experience persistent levels of sadness in their day-to-day life.

They may not show the sadness that they experience, but they do feel a low, lulling sense of sadness in their life. The sadness may be a part that nobody else knows about besides them. 

2. Low self-esteem

People with smiling depression may suffer from low self-esteem and hence put on a display of “everything is fine” and do not want to share with other people what they’re really feeling. 

Low self-esteem also causes them to pretend and be a people-pleaser type of a person. 

3. Irritability 

As they are putting on a facade, they may get irritated easily, not knowing what could possibly trigger them as their true feelings are hidden from people around them. 

Irritability can also occur due to the fact that they might be unhappy with their circumstances and unable to control their feelings.  

4. Mood swings

People with smiling depression have mood swings, as they are masking their feelings from others and avoiding talking about things that bother them. 

Mood swings also occur, as they are living in the dual nature of thinking and being and hence can have mood swings based on a situation or an event. 

5. Anxiety

It is a common sign of smiling depression. Anxiety becomes a staple when people are not happy in their life and are under stress from putting on a persona whenever they’re around people.

Anxiety may also show up due to the alertness or paranoia that may come up with making sure that people do not find out about how they truly feel. 

6. Suicidal ideation

Smiling depression is also considered a more dangerous form of depression as people think about ending their life, but they are also active enough to plan and have enough energy to execute their plans.

Suicidal ideation takes place in smiling depression, as there is a lack of truth that is being displayed and hence causing a lot of dissonance to the person. They may start to think and plan out their last moments because the current life becomes too much to bear or continue to fake. 

7. Hopelessness

A classic sign of depression is of hopelessness and that is present in smiling depression as well. Hopelessness is when the person feels in the dark about their life and cannot see a positive to go on in their life. 

Hopelessness occurs in smiling depression due to the contradicting feelings and emotions they experience and the facade they put on for it.

8. Guilt 

Guilt comes into the picture when people with smiling depression feel terrible about their life choices and feel like they are being ungrateful or not enjoying the life that they have made.

Guilt comes in many forms, and they may feel guilty about putting up a false front in front of others. 

9. Worthlessness

People with smiling depression also feel worthless about their life or their existence. They feel like they are not productive enough, or doing anything worthwhile or meaningful with their life. 

They may also feel worthless by comparing themselves with other people around them.  

10. Intrusive thoughts 

People with smiling depression also have intrusive thoughts. They are thoughts that are wild/negative and weird in nature and also a factor that is present is that the thought pops in automatically.  

Suicidal ideation and intrusive thoughts also go together. These thoughts may exist out of the imposter nature of thoughts and reactions to the surrounding environment. 

11. Loss of interest in activities that previously brought joy.

Losing interest in things that brought joy before is another overlapping sign of depression. People with smiling depression tend not to feel like doing activities that previously they used to find joyful. 

Loss of interest can be due to multiple reasons, like due to the fake mask that they have to put on to live their life, not feeling connected to the experiences that they are living right now, etc.  

12. Difficulty concentrating 

People with smiling depression have difficulty concentrating on their tasks. The exhaustion, fatigue, and the overall fake nature of their interactions may leave them feeling like they cannot focus or pay attention. 

Smiling and putting on a facade may also leave them with little energy and concentration power to focus on their work. They may feel overstretched and hence have difficulty concentrating.

13. Difficulty in making decisions 

As they try to keep appearances, have low self-esteem and intrusive thoughts; this also leads to difficulty in making decisions for themselves. As they try to appeal to everyone and are not self-assured, they are left confused and unable to decide what they want to do. 

Making decisions also can be taxing for them and hence they may try to avoid it or try to push it on someone else.

14. Changes in sleep pattern. 

They start to get unregulated sleep and fall into an irregular rhythm for sleep. Exhaustion and fatigue may hit them at any point of the day and they may sleep for longer hours or may end up staying up where they don’t have to put on a facade. 

Staying up for no proper reason and sleeping all day on the weekends may lead to unregulated sleep issues and start a cycle that may also show up physically, such as exhaustion, tiredness, unforced brain activity, needing substances to stay awake, etc. 

15. Extreme reaction to rejection or criticism. 

People with smiling depression may have extreme reactions to the information that they get. People around them may start to notice that they tend to have extreme reactions to situations and the environment they live in. These reactions can easily be spotted when they receive a negative reaction or criticism from someone. 

Social aspects 

There are some social instances also that become a part of understanding smiling depression. A person suffering from smiling depression may do the following: 

1. Avoidance of social events and interactions.

People with smiling depression may want to avoid social interactions after hitting a limit. They’re putting on a facade and therefore, not looking to continue that for a long time. 

Social interactions and events become an exhaustive force for them. Interacting with people may drown their energies and also worsen their self-esteem. 

2. Having little to no friends.

People with smiling depression tend not to have that many friends. As there is limited social interaction and no interest in visiting social events, people there have no friends or extremely limited friendships. 

They rarely hang out with their friends, and even if they do, they might feel exhausted after it and then avoid doing that repeatedly. 

3. Using substances to feel better about their thoughts and feelings. 

People with smiling depression tend to use different substances available to feel better about their thoughts and feelings. 

Substances that are available to people give an easy fix to these anxious feelings. Using substances like drinking and drugs help in distracting from their current lifestyle and thoughts that they may have.  

4. Seeming aloof 

People with smiling depression tend to be aloof in their actual nature and personality. They act social but nobody actually knows their true feelings. 

They also avoid social interactions and deflect enough in interactions that nothing is known about them. Smiling and looking happy generally makes it seem that people know them, but they’re just experts at being elusive.

5. Being detached

People with smiling depression often feel detached from their surroundings and lifestyle. They do not feel connected to the world they are living in and go about living their life in a detached way. 

They seem to work enough to continue their jobs and lifestyle, but they do not feel as though they are a part of it.   

6. Talking more philosophically than normal.

People with smiling depression start talking more about the meaning of life and what it means to be alive. They might start philosophically talking about death as well. 

As there is detachment and loss of meaning, they may start to think and speak more philosophically about the meaning of life and death. This is only out of place if they haven’t talked about such things before or if they never broached philosophical subjects before.

7. Being vulnerable and then taking it back. 

People with smiling depression may slip and be vulnerable, but they will panic and try to take it back instantly. 

They may let down their guard maybe when it gets overwhelming, but then they will try to say it was a joke or that they didn’t mean what they said. They’ll do anything to take it back to keep the facade status quo. 

Reasons people mask their depression

The marker of smiling depression is that they mask their feelings. They do not feel as though they should share their feelings with anyone. As they are elusive in nature and rarely vulnerable, they will go through their life without sharing. 

But what makes them not want to share their feelings? Some of the reasons are listed below: 

1. They don’t want to upset anyone else. 

People suffering from smiling depression view their feelings as a burden or something that they cannot easily share. They like to keep to themselves. A reason they hold on to not sharing is that they don’t want to upset their loved/ close ones. 

They might keep the facade on because it keeps the people around them happy and not worried about them. They also have high standards for themselves and therefore think that they cannot share regarding the negative feelings that they are having. 

2. They think of faking it, till they make it. 

People might not take what they are feeling as a constant and think that they might eventually get back to normal if they just push through how they are feeling right now. 

They might act the part just to fit in and hope that it would eventually be that way. 

3. They don’t know if it’s real

They may be putting on a facade and acting the part, but they may not be aware of how much of it they are faking it. Because of their environment and the people around them, they may want to keep up appearances. 

They may think that they do not deserve the praise and hold negative views about themselves. They may just feel like they’re being fake instead of realizing that it may be something serious. 

4. Unable to express their feelings accurately. 

They may want to express their feelings and share them with someone when it becomes too much for them, but they may not have the words. 

It may also happen that when they express to someone what they are feeling, they are just laughed off or told that they are being humble, “fishing for compliments” or that they might just need a break and they’ll be fine. 

Opening up at the right time, the right way, and to the right people is also important. 

5. They think they can fix themselves. 

Since there is not a lot of awareness about smiling depression and mental health, they may just be waiting for it to be better by itself or doing things to help them feel better. 

They may engage in self-medicating and doing drugs to make themselves feel better about their thoughts and feelings.
They may continue to chase mini-highs to make them forget about what they’re feeling and hope it gets better, eventually. They may also try different products to make themselves feel better rather than thinking about going to a  therapist.

6. Stigma for opening up

They may also fear opening up and getting backlash for it or some opportunities may get taken away from them. Mental health stigma still exists and they may also be accused of feeling this way, faking it, while their work-life/ personal life stays relatively successful. 

They might get accused of “playing the mental health card” after reaping benefits. 

7. Cultural norms.

Depending on the place they’re living in, it may be more dominant towards people not expressing themselves about suffering mental health. Men especially, equally in almost all cultures, are invalidated or struggle to express themselves. 

Comorbidity of smiling depression 

The comorbidity of smiling depression can exist with multiple different disorders and mental health conditions. Smiling depression is a type of depression, but these are some of the conditions smiling depression can exist with or be mistaken for: 

1. Major Depressive Disorder 

Depression affects the mood of a person. This mood change also then makes their daily life difficult. According to DSM 5, the criteria for being diagnosed with depression require that: 

  • There’s a depressive mood, feelings of sadness, and hopelessness for most of the day. This can be self-reported or reported by people around them. 
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in all activities and activities that used to bring them joy before. 
  • Disturbance in sleep pattern, sleeping too much or too little.
  • Drastic weight change, weight gain, or weight loss. 
  • Feeling tired and exhausted almost every day. 
  • Feeling of worthlessness.
  • Psychomotor agitation. 
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Thinking about death and suicide. 

These symptoms need to affect the person’s life drastically enough that it’s making their life impossible in their personal, social, and work life. These symptoms should not be a result of any other medical conditions, and cannot be better explained by other disorders. It’s also important to make sure that the person didn’t have a history of mood or any other disorders. 

MDD is also known as clinical depression or major depression. It is characterized by persistent sadness and other symptoms of a major depressive episode but without accompanying episodes of mania or hypomania or mixed episodes of depressive and manic or hypomanic symptoms. 

Smiling depression can be misdiagnosed or co-exist with MDD because of the overlapping symptoms of hopelessness, fatigue, and suicidal ideations. The diagnosticians need to take care of going through and realizing which symptoms fit and give out a proper diagnosis. 

2. Bipolar Disorder 

BD is any of a group of mood disorders in which symptoms of mania and depression alternate. In DSM–IV-TR and DSM–5, the group includes primarily the following subtypes: bipolar I disorder, in which the individual fluctuates between episodes of mania or hypomania and major depressive episodes or experiences a mix of these. Bipolar II disorder, in which the individual fluctuates between major depressive and hypomanic episodes; and cyclothymic disorder.

Smiling depression and mood depression can get mixed due to the way in which they affect the individual. There are overlapping symptoms of mania and depression episodes. The symptoms of fatigue, change in appetite, and feelings of worthlessness are common in both. 

Consulting a proper diagnostician is required to understand the difference between the two. As was previously stated, the history of any other conditions and the history of the individual needs to be taken into account for a fair assessment. 

3. Substance or medication-induced disorder 

Substance/ Medication Induced Disorder is also known as toxic psychosis. This happens when drugs, prescribed medicine, or excessive alcohol consumption mimic psychotic symptoms. This is more common with someone already diagnosed with mental health problems who overindulge in drinking, legal, or illegal substances. 

The primary symptoms include: 

  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Unusual beliefs 
  • Delusions of persecution  
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lowered emotional expressions
  • Poverty of speech and thinking. 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior and agitation. 
  • Insomnia.

As we can see, there are some symptoms that can overlap with smiling depression. As the psychosis is induced due to the use and abuse of substances, it can be determined easily in the intake history by the diagnostician what the real reason for these changes are. 

Some common symptoms between this and smiling depression may make it confusing for some time, but it is much easier to determine than other mood disorders. 

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder 

SAD is known as depression which occurs when the seasons change. This usually starts in the later days of fall and the early days of winter. It lasts the entire winter and ends in spring. 

The sadness or change in mood stems from the change in the daylight and coldness of the area people live in since it gets dark outside and may not be sunny at all in quite a few places. 

SAD is like another version of depression that is triggered during weather changes. It affects the person’s daily life and how they act and feel. The symptoms of SAD also mimic that of smiling depression, such as

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Foul mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Trouble focusing 
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety

A mental health professional can diagnose quickly if its seasonal disorder or other mood disorders based on the pattern and behavior of these feelings and behavior. 

5. Persistent Depression Disorder 

PDD is also known as Dysthymia. It is a type of chronic depression. It is milder, but it lasts much longer than normal depression. 

Some of the symptoms of dysthymia are 

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Long-lasting moods of sadness
  • Changes in appetite. 
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions. 

Some of the symptoms overlap with smiling depression and make it possible for people to misdiagnose themselves. A diagnostician is required to understand if your depression has been chronic and if it may be a result of other pre-existing conditions. 

6. Depressive disorder because of underlying medical conditions 

Most diagnosticians will make an effort to check if the depressive phase has a medical reason to exist. People can have underlying medical conditions whose side effects and medications may result in a depressed outlook and smiling depression type of diagnosis. 

Medical conditions that cause pain, lowered morale, social isolation, or disability, and can lead to depression. This can continue as a cycle in a person as they deal with the physical as well as the psychological consequences of being chronically ill. 

Other health conditions that coexist with depression: 

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Parkinson’s 
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stroke 
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic Fatigue 
  • Fibromyalgia

Smiling depression can also exist with such conditions and needs a proper diagnostician to understand what to treat first, which is a symptom and which is the perpetrator. 

Treatment for Smiling Depression 

Depression is well-researched and there are multiple options available to treat someone with depression. Not a lot of cases have been registered as in smiling depression, as people do not come forward and admit it when they are suffering through this. 

As smiling depression is a type of depression, what is effective for depression and mood disorders would be effective in the treatment of smiling depression. 

1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 

CBT is part of psychotherapy that believes in changing thoughts to affect the behavior patterns and the overall mood of a person. Historically, CBT has been proven to be helpful against depression. The same techniques and methods would be used to treat smiling depression as well. 

In the session, the therapist will challenge the thoughts and language that is used by the client regarding themselves and their life. They will challenge that and will give them an acceptable alternative to use and try to shift their perspective from all negative to more attuned with reality and more self-confident. 

Some of the techniques that are used in CBT to help depression are: 

  • Cognitive restructuring: It helps in challenging the negative thoughts and restructuring thoughts and mental response to them. It helps in making healthier thought patterns and reducing cognitive errors. 
  • Activity scheduling: It involves rewarding positively when self-care activities are done and scheduled in their day. It increases the chance of making more concrete action post-therapy and also getting tasks done. 
  • Thought journaling: Gives an insight into what are the triggers and what can be worked upon. Reading back to the journal entry creates more self-awareness. 
  • Mindful meditation: This helps in having clearer headspace and having greater concentration by clearing overthinking and negative thoughts. 
  • ABC analysis: This is the worksheet that CBT has about what is causing triggering thoughts and what negative behavior it is leading to. Continuing this outside of sessions gives way to understanding the triggers and their consequences in real-life situations. 
  • Fact-checking: The client is asked to challenge their negative thoughts by not taking them on as facts about oneself. The opinions and beliefs we hold can be fact-checked in real time by self or by asking other people.
  • Successive approximations: This is used to help clients finish tasks that they feel are too big for them. They are asked to break down tasks into smaller, more achievable, and doable goals for the day and finish their tasks one bit at a time. 

Smiling depression can also be helped by using such techniques as they would work on changing the negative thoughts to more acceptable and manageable thoughts and behaviors. 

2. Interpersonal Therapy 

IPT’s focus is on the social and family circle that a person might have, i.e. how much support is available to them if they are suffering from a mental illness. This type of therapy views depression in the context of relationships that they are a part of. 

This view is that the relationships that an individual has built will increase or decrease their depression. Therefore, the goal of IPT is that of alleviating the depression symptoms while also working on the betterment of the surrounding relationships.

The therapist and client begin by taking an inventory, which is an in-depth interview of their past and present relationships that were significant to them. These relationships are then grouped according to the problem area such as grief, role dispute, role transition, and interpersonal deficits. 

Smiling depression can be treated with this therapy module, as there are impaired social relationships that can be helped. 

3. Family therapy

This works on the improvement of relationships within a household, and behavioral patterns of the family unit as well as within individual members and groupings, or subsystems in the family. 

The family therapy system works on exploring the roles and relationships, identifying and improving unhealthy communication patterns. Strengthen the weak spots and perfect the strengths they already possess, and give the members tools to handle problems as a family.

The general look at family therapy sessions is that they take in-depth history of the past of the family dynamics and the reason for starting family therapy. Then they will move on to making assessments regarding the family system and help based on the feedback they receive. 

They will map the family structure and then collaboratively create a treatment plan that would be effective in and out of the sessions. 

Smiling depression also hampers the personal and family relationships as the real feelings aren’t being communicated. Family therapy will give them space to express what has gone wrong and how they need to be supported or changed in their behavior. 

4. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) 

ACT helps people be more in tune with their thoughts and feelings rather than avoiding them. They believe that suffering and pain are natural for human experience and that people have an instinct to control their experiences, but that instinct is not always useful.

ACT has six core processes, which include: 

  • Acceptance
  • Being present
  • Self vs Context
  • Values
  • Cognitive defusion
  • Committed action 

ACT can be used in treatment for smiling depression as the therapist allows the clients to sit and accept their negative thoughts and feelings and then move towards helping the clients be equipped on how to apply these core concepts to their life. 

They may teach how to practice acceptance, and cognitive defusion, and develop a sense of self. The therapy sessions can also include homework to practice between sessions, such as mindfulness, cognitive, and values clarification exercises. 

5. Medication 

As depression is treated with medication, similarly, smiling depression can also be treated with medicines. 

It may take time to show effects and may also have several side effects that need to be discussed with a therapist or a clinician. 

Active communication with the clinician is needed when starting a course.

6. Light Therapy/ Phototherapy 

Phototherapy is used to get exposed to artificial lights and get more light in their daily life. 

Light therapy is usually used with Seasonal Affective Disorder and also with depression and its various types, such as smiling depression. 

Light therapy helps by increasing alertness, creating consistent sleep patterns, helps in mood regulation, and helps in maintaining the circadian rhythm. 

7. Electroconvulsive therapy

ECT has been scandalous in the past because of unethical treatments, but today it is practiced safely under ethical guidelines and codes. It is suggested for depression when other treatment options are run out.  

ECT is done for severe depression when there is a detachment from reality or when there is depression that is not helped by medication or long-form treatment. 

How to help someone with smiling depression? 

If you think someone you know is suffering from smiling depression, you can offer help by 

  1. Providing emotional support 
  2. Providing space for someone to talk to you
  3. Sharing your observations about them in a non-judgmental way
  4. Asking how you can be there for them/ help them 
  5. Offer helping with small, manageable tasks. 
  6. Find support 
  7. Clarify your love, motivation, and intentions with them. 
  8. Have honest and open communication. 
  9. Offer non-judgmental acceptance and support 
  10. Don’t downplay their comments about suicidal ideations and plans
  11. Reach out when they cancel their plans or go too long without contact

Self-Care Tips for smiling depression

These tips are not replacements for therapy but for individuals to use as a tool with or try until the therapy session. 

These are just some tips to make lifestyle choices that are better for individuals to cope with smiling depression or trying to move out of it. 

1. Daily movement

This is required to feel better and have a better shot at a longer and healthier life. Having daily movements throughout the day makes it easier for you to avoid feeling tired out, and dull. 

Daily movement includes walking around while on the phone, going out to get some chores done, Zumba, walking around the house during work breaks, taking a walking or a stretching break every 20-30 minutes of sitting in front of a screen. 

The point of having daily movement is to get out of bed or couch and get stimulated by the real environment. Sitting in one place for long hours uninterrupted sours the mood and makes you feel drained out. 

2. Balanced diet

Having a balanced diet makes you more prone to active and healthier output in life. The more balanced diet you eat, the better results you see in your life. 

Getting many nutrients and proteins can make your body feel and look better and hence make you think you are doing better. Fast food or a terrible diet only continues to make people more miserable and leads to worsening of body and health conditions over time. 

3. Hobbies

Having multiple hobbies or interest fields gives people some passions to follow. Hobbies like reading, drawing, sketching, and cooking are all effective and a hobby can be anything that draws your interest so it can be mainstream or a niche interest that you take up. 

The goal is to engage with this hobby multiple times and master it or just explore it. Cooking, drawing, sketching and all loved hobbies tend to leave us more relaxed, all the while engaging our brains. 

4. Mental breaks

Taking mental breaks from a task is important. Constantly concentrating on work or worrying about it will give you brain fatigue. 

You can take mental breaks by engaging in shows or TV watching, going for a play, reading a book, solving puzzles, playing games, meditating, taking a quick nap, or anything else that gives you a break from your work and worrying thoughts. 

5. 7 to 9 hours of sleep

It is of crucial importance to sleep at least for 7-9 hours. Having an unproductive sleep cycle will cause you trouble the next day. Having a bad sleep pattern also makes you lose concentration and focus and diminishes your ability to finish tasks faster. 

7-9 hours of sleep is the basic requirement for all adults. Proper uninterrupted sleep makes your memory weak, weak concentration, prone to accidents, weakened immunity, mood changes, irritability, weight gain, and poor balance. 

6. Nature break 

Being in front of a screen all day can become taxing and unproductive. If all of your hobbies and your work time require you to be on screen, then it is important to carve out time for nature breaks. 

Nature breaks essentially mean, walks in the garden, hikes, and finding a place where there is quiet and greenery. These help you get away from the usual kerfuffle of life and find some time for introspection, get some quality air, and feel some nature around you. Being around the big open sky, near a lake, and around some trees makes you appreciate the smaller things in life and makes you introspective. 

Having a small balcony with greenery somewhere you can relax is also helpful in uplifting your mood. 

7. Stress management

Stress is a by-product of living life. Work, studying, and any life event can be stressful and it’s impossible to avoid. Therefore, the only solution is to manage it. 

Doing meditation, yoga, and exercise all help in making the body feel less stressed out. Breathing techniques, as well as journaling, can be helpful for managing stress and being more in control of the situation. 

8. Mindfulness practices, like yoga or meditation

Yoga and meditation help to focus and recalibrate your mood. Deep breathing exercises help to control your mood and have a better relationship at the moment. Yoga increases body awareness, elevates mood, and makes your body healthier overall. 

These are all tips and tools that you can use on your own and in your own time, but they are not replacements for therapy and medication. These are tips that the more you repeat, the better it would be. Remember to take it one day at a time and that whatever you do is enough, but to see results in the future, these need to be repeated consistently. 

Summing up 

Smiling depression is a type of depression where people mask their genuine feelings and put on a facade. It is a dangerous condition because people suffering from smiling depression have suicidal ideations and are capable of acting on them.

It is a condition that can co-exist with multiple mood disorders and medical conditions, due to the overlapping symptoms. 

If you know someone or think you are suffering from smiling depression, please reach out to a mental health professional, as only they can provide appropriate and accurate help.  

Scroll To Top
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
Privacy Policy