There is no health without mental health.In the past decade, depression rates have escalated, and one in four Americans will suffer from major depression at one time in their lives.This article is about “How to overcome dipression” . Hope you will read full article to cope up with dipression.
While there is no quick fix or one-size-fits-all for overcoming depression, the following tips can help you manage depression so it does not manage you.
How to overcome dipression
1. Beware of rumination. The word “ruminate” derives from the Latin meaning for chewing cud, a less than appetizing process in which cattle grind up, swallow, then regurgitate and rechew their feed. In the human realm, ruminators analyze an issue at length (think “emotional vomiting.”). Studies show that depressive rumination most often occurs in women as a reaction to sadness, while men tend to focus on their emotions when they’re angry, rather than sad. Many ruminators remain in a depressive rut because their negative outlook hinders their problem-solving ability.
- Remind yourself that rumination does not increase psychological insight.
- Take small actions toward problem-solving.
- Reframe negative perceptions of events and high expectations of others.
- Let go of unhealthy or unattainable goals and develop multiple sources of social supports.
2. Focus on what you’re doing right. As rough as your life is right now, you haven’t fallen off the edge, and this is not just by chance. Key is to remember that humans are remarkably resilient and capable. Because depression can cloud your judgement, it can be tempting to overemphasize the negative aspects of situations, while discounting the positives.
Action-plan: At the end of the day, write down three things you did well. No need to overthink this, and no act of taking the high road is too small. For example, “When my coworker emailed the budget proposal, he forgot to cite a source. Rather than get upset, I spent two minutes researching the answer and added the information myself.”
3. Resist the urge to live in the past. Time spent reliving, rewriting and recreating the past is like purchasing a one-way ticket to the dark depths of despair. This insidious mental habit is as much a threat to emotional wellbeing as any. Self-loathing or blaming others will not get you on the right side of feeling better, any more than believing the answer is found at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels. You cannot do life differently if you don’t change your thought process.
Action-plan: Commit to a new way of thinking and you will commit to a new way of being. If living in the past takes up a lot of your mental real estate, this article will help you rewire your thought process. Past regrets serve one purpose and that is to rob you of your resolve to do things differently in the present.
4. Leave the future where it belongs. Just as the living in the past leads to depression, fearing or worrying about the future contributes to anxiety. Daily stress and frustration are primarily caused by persistent feelings of overwhelm caused by uncertainty. Chronic worriers tend to catastrophize and before you know it, every headache is a brain tumor, and every romantic rejection is proof that you’re fated for a life of solitude.
Action-plan: Have faith in uncertainty, and in life. A good way to practice is by cultivating a state of mindfulness each and every day. When you learn to intentionally redirect your mind to what is happening in the here and now, you’ll increase your mental energy reserves so you can spend more time on enjoyable tasks. Click here for a beginner’s video about mindfulness basics.
5. Incorporate structure into every day. A lack of scheduled activities and inconsistent routines can increase feelings of helplessness and a loss of control over the direction of your life. Adding a plan to your day can help you regain that sense of control and decrease the feeling that you’re just a passive participant in life.
Action-plan: The following guide may help you develop structure and assess whether your time is well-spent based upon your productivity and moods. On a paper or word document, make five columns:
1. Time of day:
- Early morning (waking time until 10am)
- Late morning (10am—12pm)
- Early afternoon (12pm—3pm)
- Late afternoon (3pm—5pm)
- Evening (5pm—8 pm)
- Night (8pm until bedtime)
2. What you plan to do (complete the night before)
3. What you actually did (if different from your plans)
4. How you felt about what you did (rate your mood on a scale of 1-10)
5. Situations and thoughts which may have negatively affected your mood. Fill out at end of day. Adjust and revise accordingly.
6. Remember there are very few victims in this world. Despite your childhood and life experiences, you are responsible for your choices as an adult. While trauma and tragedy may have informed your world view and your ability to trust others, nothing good comes out of seeing yourself as a victim (even if you were).
Action-plan: Take responsibility for your life. Switch the dial from victim to survivor and revel in feelings of strength and empowerment. Rather than seek retribution over those who have wronged you, seek redemption. Refuse to wallow in self-pity and focus on comforting others. After all, there is always someone out there fighting a battle greater than yours. The victim gives up at the first sign of struggle, while the survivor puts one foot in front of the other and keeps moving.
7. Find your social support network. Humans are wired to connect. Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo, author of the book, Loneliness,writes about how “the need for social connection is so fundamental that without it we fall apart, down to the cellular level. Over time blood pressure climbs and gene expression falters. Cognition dulls; immune systems deteriorate. Aging accelerates under the constant, corrosive presence of stress hormones. Loneliness, Cacioppo argued, isn’t some personalitydefect or sign of weakness—it’s a survival impulse like hunger or thirst, a trigger pushing us toward the nourishment of human companionship.”
Action-plan: In short, reach out: Call a friend or family member and get together for coffee, or go for a hike, or meet up at a park. Even small steps like volunteering and smiling at strangers makes a difference. In long, open up your life.
You’ve heard me harp on this point in at least a dozen other articles for a reason.
Exercise rewires/heals your brain, it boosts your self-esteem, and it releases endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine (happy chemicals) that play an important part in regulating your brain’s functioning and your mood.
During my depression, I thought of exercising as my medication. I told myself that exercising at least three times per week was my non-negotiable, had-to-be-done thing. If I wasn’t going to try any drugs, then exercise would be my medicine.
Even if it feels absolutely ridiculous or pointless, just try it. Work up a sweat… you’ll feel better.
Exercise – seed habit: Enlist the help of a friend and go outside/to the gym/play sports a few times per week and you’ll feel slightly more human. By asking someone else to keep you accountable you’ll be that much more likely to actually do it. Make the exercise that you engage in something that you find moderately enjoyable and it’ll be that much more compelling.
9. Eat the right foods
If you eat nutrient-stripped, overly processed foods, you’re going to feel like shit. Garbage in, garbage out.
To the best of your ability, eat a diet loaded with vegetables, lean proteins, and fruit. Too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol/drugs, and (for some people) dairy and grains will lead to a lot of inflammation and bad/erratic moods. If you can’t muster up the energy to make your own nutrient-dense, home made meals, then ask a friend, family member, or significant other to make your meals for you.
I can’t stress this point enough…
I felt a noticeable turning point in my cognitive functioning, mood, and ease of getting to sleep, when I started taking vitamin d, omega 3’s, and a B vitamin complex. It was a night and day difference and it largely happened within the first week of taking them on a daily basis. I wish I had done it sooner.
Omega 3’s especially have shown to be an extremely promising antidepressant replacement, with zero side effects.
Stephen Ilardi, the author of The Depression Cure, writes:
“Because the brain needs a steady supply of omega-3s to function properly, people who don’t eat enough of these fats are at increased risk for many forms of mental illness, including depression. Across the globe, countries with the highest level of omega-3 consumption typically have the lowest rates of depression.
Clinical researchers have even started using omega-3 supplements to treat depression, and the results so far have been highly encouraging. For example, British researchers recently studied a group of depressed patients who had failed to recover after taking antidepressant medication for eight weeks. All study patients stayed on their meds as prescribed, but some also took an omega-3 supplement. About 70 percent of those who received the supplement went on to recover, compared with only 25 percent of patients who kept taking only the medication. This study–along with a handful of others like it–suggests that omega-3s may be among the most effective antidepressant substances ever discovered.”
If you want to read more on this, I deep dive further into eating for anxiety and depression in tip #2 of this article.
10. Prioritize quality sleep
If you’re slamming coffee, isolating yourself indoors, and only sleeping for an hour a night, it is absolutely inevitable that you’ll feel terrible within a week (whether you classify yourself as depressed or not).
Sleep is when we recharge at the deepest level. This is when we regenerate and rest.
Do whatever you need to to prioritize high quality sleep. It can be challenging to do when your mind is racing, but there are steps that you can take to overcome this.
Do as many of the following as possible/as you feel called to do:
– Cut off your interactions with all tech/blue screens at least two hours before you go to sleep. The blue light messes with your sleep patterns.
– Keep your bedroom at a cooler temperature. People have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep when the room is a few degrees below normal room temperature.
– If you do have to look at screens before bedtime (maybe watching TV/Netflix relaxes you) then make sure that you wear blue light blocking glasses.
– Hang blackout curtains in your room to block out all excess light. The darker the room, the more likely it is you’ll fall asleep with ease and stay asleep until your body wants you to wake up (as opposed to just waking up when the sun rises).
– Read a part of a fiction book before bed or anything that engages your mind away from ruminative thinking.
– Journal out your thoughts before you go to bed. If you write them down on paper, it will feel like you’ve somewhat let go of them and allowed the book to hold your thoughts so that you don’t have to.
– Cuddle someone and/or have sex. Physical touch releases happy brain chemicals that relax you. If you don’t have access to someone to touch, then give yourself a massage (you can use lavender essential oil or magnesium oil for added benefit) or cuddle with a stuffed animal or pet.
– As much as is possible, try to go to bed at a consistent time. You train your body how to sleep. If you always go to bed around 10pm, it will come to expect it from you and falling asleep will become easier over time.
– If you lie down in your bed and can’t fall asleep within twenty minutes, get up and do something else for a while. Massage yourself, read fiction, meditate, breathe deeply, etc. Then come back after a while and try again. If you lie in bed growing increasingly frustrated with your lack of ability to sleep, then your mind will begin to associate your bed with frustration as opposed to associating it with rest.
– A guaranteed way to slow your heart rate down and feel more calm is to breathe in the following specific pattern. Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of four seconds, suspend your breath for four seconds, exhale through your nose for eight sounds, and suspend at the end of the exhale for four seconds. Four in, pause four, exhale eight, pause four. Repeat. Put your fingers on your pulse and watch it slooooowww right down.
11. Get sunlight during the day
Sunlight is a natural antidepressant that has been proven to balance your immune system, improve cognitive function, improve hormonal regulation, and stabilize and improve your mood. So if you’re working in a cubicle all day, staying indoors all the time, or wearing sunglasses 24/7, then you might be missing out on a natural and effective cure for depression.
If you live in a part of the world that doesn’t get much sunlight, you can supplement with light therapy and a high quality liquid vitamin d3 supplement.
Getting sunlight – seed habit: go outside for thirty minutes a day. While you’re at it, walk around. Ideally walk around outside with a friend. If there’s no sun where you are this time of year, supplement with liquid vitamin D and pick up a light therapy kit and use it daily.
One thing that depression would often have you do is stay inside by yourself and not connect with anyone. While being left to your own devices, you will inevitably ruminate on all of the things that feel awful about your life and you will downward spiral further. The solution? Socialize. Especially if you don’t feel like socializing.
Meet up with friends or family members. Meet up with anyone who cares about you. Meet up with anyone who makes you laugh.
One of the best things that you can do for your mental health is to frequently surround yourself with people who make you feel seen, supported, and loved.
Go for walks with them. Go to movies and/or stand-up comedy shows with them. Anything that gets you out of the house and socializing is a huge win. It will also help you to have more structure in your life by having set plans in your calendar.
Socializing – seed habit: enlist the help of a few close friends and let them know that you’re suffering. Tell them that you need to see them semi-regularly in order to have a break from being in your own head all day.
13. Engage in flow states
We’ve established that ruminative time allows you to downward spiral further into your mind and your depressive thought processes. Is there anything other than socializing that gets you out of your head and back into feeling engaged in your life? Why, yes there is.
Anything that you do that puts you into a flow state.
In positive psychology, a flow state is a mental state of operation that makes it feel like you are fully immersed and time just flies by. A guitarist playing music on stage… a writer writing feverishly in a crowded coffee shop… a world class gamer playing his favourite video game while an audience of thousands cheers him on.
Whatever your flow states are, they are unique to you. Ask yourself, ‘What do I do that, when I do it, time seems to fly by?’
For me, even at my most depressed, certain flow states never seemed to fail me. I can reliably trust that I’ll get into a flow state by playing guitar, writing, listening to my favourite music, or having a philosophical discussion with someone whose mind I respect and feel challenged by.
What are your personal flow state inducing behaviours?
Flow state – seed habit: engage in flow states that appeal to you… if only for a few minutes, every day.
14. Get in a routine
Depression can strip away the structure from your life. One day melts into the next. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track.
When you’re depressed, you may feel like you can’t accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself.
“Start very small,” Cook says. “Make your goal something that you can succeed at, like doing the dishes every other day.”
- Create a list of small goals to achieve, and then work towards accomplishing them
- Eat nutritious meals
- Get a reasonable amount of sleep each night
- Journal all of your thoughts for 10 minutes each night before bed
- Listen to music that makes you happy (nothing sad)
- Hang out with people and do not isolate yourself
- Make yourself laugh (watch funny videos, find humor in everyday happenings, etc.)
- Meditate to focus your thoughts on something other than your situation (there are meditation apps that you can download to your phone)
- Use thought stopping techniques.
- Check out our 99 coping skills, which can help you to refocus your thoughts on positive things.
- Ask for help. If your depression is overwhelming, do not hesitate to tell an adult that you need help
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