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- 31 Coping Skills for Depression
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These are some ways people may be affected:. Unfortunately, when the effects have worn off, alcohol and other drugs can leave them feeling much worse in the long term. There are lots of things that you can do to improve how you feel and get better at managing tough feelings.
It can feel hard to find the energy or motivation to do these things. Sometimes it might feel like nothing will help. Try starting with one thing you know you can do, then slowly add things in step by step. Looking after our minds and bodies can help us with our general mental health and wellbeing. You can:. Being aware of our thoughts and feelings is an important step toward improving how we feel.
Taking notes on this can help you to figure out which thoughts make you feel better or worse.
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A journal like this online workbook can help you to understand this more. Talking to others can help you feel understood and can also help you see things from a different point of view. You might:. This can be very helpful in lifting your mood. Try to notice any changes in how you feel before and after these activities, to see those links for yourself. About one in eight Americans take antidepressants. Of course, these are only the reported cases.
The actual instances of depression might be much higher than reported, as people could be too embarrassed to mention that they suffer from depression. Particularly men face this issue, in which there is significant societal pressure for men to act stoic in the face of suffering. In any case, the evidence is rather clear: depression is a massive issue within the United States. So what is there to do about it? Kierkegaard may have gotten much of his inspiration for his writing as a result of his depression, and Kierkegaard also believed that depression was the cause for beautiful works of art.
Kierkegaard clearly lists the massively negative effects that depression can have on people. The idea of being a leader or following what others tell us to do is practically out of the question. Kierkegaard experienced repeated instances of depressive episodes during his lifetime.
I have experience with depression. About a year ago while attending university, I experienced a bout of inexplicable depression for a few weeks.
31 Coping Skills for Depression
During that time-frame, it was difficult for me to study and even eat. I decided to attend gym and run on the treadmill for an hour every day. After about a month, the feeling of depression vanished as inexplicably as it arose. But those few weeks felt like hell.
A condition does not define a person; they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: "I am not depression, I just have depression. A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves.
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They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are. Self-care is essential for good physical and mental health. Self-care activities are any actions that help people look after their wellbeing.
Self-care means taking time to relax, recharge, and connect with the self and others. It also means saying no to others when overwhelmed and taking space to calm and soothe oneself. Basic self-care activities include eating a healthful diet, engaging in creative activities, and taking a soothing bath. But any action that enhances mental, emotional, and physical health can be considered a self-care activity. Deep breathing techniques are an effective way to calm anxiety and soothe the body's stress response. Slowly inhaling and exhaling has physical and psychological benefits, especially when done on a daily basis.
Anyone can practice deep breathing, whether in the car, at work, or in the grocery store. Plenty of smartphone apps offer guided deep breathing activities, and many are free to download. Progressive muscle relaxation is another helpful tool for those experiencing depression and anxiety. It involves tensing and relaxing the muscles in the body to reduce stress. Again, many smartphone apps offer guided progressive muscle relaxation exercises. We have reviewed some meditation apps that can help with depression and anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT is an effective therapy for those with depression and other mood disorders.
CBT proposes that a person's thoughts, rather than their life situations, affect their mood. CBT involves changing negative thoughts into more balanced ones to alter feelings and behaviors. A qualified therapist can offer CBT sessions, but it is also possible to challenge negative thoughts without seeing a therapist.
Firstly, notice how often negative thoughts arise and what these thoughts say. These may include "I am not good enough," or "I am a failure. Take some time every day to be mindful and appreciate the present moment. This may mean noticing the warmth of sunlight on the skin when walking to work, or the taste and texture of a crisp, sweet apple at lunchtime.
Mindfulness allows people to fully experience the moment they are in, not worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Research suggests that regular periods of mindfulness can reduce symptoms of depression and improve the negative responses that some people with chronic or recurrent depression have to low mood. Sleep can have a huge impact on mood and mental health.
A lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression, and depression can interfere with sleep. To combat these effects, try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at weekends. Establish a nightly routine. Start winding down from 8 pm. Sip chamomile tea, read a book, or take a warm bath. Avoid screen time and caffeine.
Dealing with Depression: 4 Psychology-Based Actions to Help You Heal
It may also be helpful to write in a journal before bed, especially for those whose racing thoughts keep them up. Exercise is extremely beneficial for people with depression. It releases chemicals called endorphins that improve mood. An analysis of 25 studies on exercise and depression reports that exercise has a "large and significant effect" on symptoms of depression.
Alcohol is a depressant, and alcohol use can trigger episodes of depression or make existing episodes worse. Alcohol can also interact with some medications for depression and anxiety. Often, depressive episodes can leave people focusing on the negatives and discounting the positives. To counteract this, keep a positivity journal or gratitude journal.