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How to engage with life when you feel down | Psyche Guides

https://psyche.co/guides/how-to-engage-with-life-when-you-feel-down

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How to engage with life when you feel down | Psyche Guides
Withdrawing from activities you enjoy is both a product and cause of low mood. Break the cycle with behavioural activation

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Action has the power to improve our low mood

Action has the power to improve our low mood

We normally think our mind makes our body get into action, but the reverse is also true: Action has the power to improve our low mood.

When one is down in the dumps, even simple chores need a lot of effort. The ongoing global crisis has had many activities that one enjoys to be indefinitely cancelled, leading to withdrawal.

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The Depression Cycle

Depression can be distilled down into a problematic cycle due to reduced activity and low mood: when there is less activity, the person becomes withdrawn or isolated, and new opportunities become less likely, leading to a downward spiral.

Prolonged isolation and inactivity make previously enjoyable activities challenging or unappealing, making people withdraw further.

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Behavioural Activation

The Behavioral Theory states that positive reinforcement acts as oxygen for the body/mind/soul, and makes the person break the cycle of negativity and depression.

The depression cycle of inactivity can be broken by Behavioural Activation which is an effective depression therapy in psychology. The depressed people are made to engage in activities they have stopped doing or are reluctant to do now.

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Behavioral Activation Action Mode

  1. Ensure variety in the activities, and strike a balance between pleasurable, routine and necessary ones.
  2. Avoid prolonged inactivity periods and remember that challenging activities provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, boosting one’s mood.
  3. Carry out the activities even if you don’t feel like it, and let the body cure the mind.
  4. Do self-evaluation on a daily basis and be patient with yourself.

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Behavioral Activation Therapy - BAT

The idea behind BAT is that we have to do happy to feel happy. Instead of our mood changing what we do, we need to change what we do to fix our mood. The first principle of BAT is to change what you do. Engage in the right activities and positive feelings will follow.

We can't wait until we feel better before we act. Emotions perpetuate themselves. We have to move now and break the cycle of our feelings. This is how we grab hold of happiness.

The Balance Between Leisure And Mistery

  • Pleasure is vital, but we want the kind that will last and not leave you even more stressed than before you started. We're looking for a deeper satisfaction that comes from truly meaningful activities like relationships, exercise, and reading.
  • Mastery can be thought of as a feeling of accomplishment. Progress in goals that are meaningful to you, whether it pays the bills or not.

Create a balance between leisure activities and mastery.

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A psychologist you click with

One of the most important aspects of psychological treatment is having an engaging relationship with your psychologist. If you don’t “click” within the first few sessions, treatment is ...

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

It's one of the most widely used and well-known talking therapies. It is based on the assumption that the way a person feels is closely related to the way a person thinks and the way they behave.

To change a person’s feelings, a psychologist providing CBT will help that person engage in different activities that can help to change thinking and behaviour patterns.

Acceptance&commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT targets a person’s tendency to avoid things.

  • It introduces the idea of achieving a state of mind where people are able to notice the problematic thoughts, feelings, or behaviours but not be overwhelmed or consumed by them (the “acceptance” part.)
  • It encourages people to identify values that are important to them and figure out ways their day-to-day life can reflect these values (the commitment part).

Mindfulness And Simple Knowing

Mindfulness And Simple Knowing

Mindfulness is the act of being aware of our present experience in real-time.

Normally people start processing inside their minds what they experience, creating perceptions. At its core, mi...

One Medicine Many Cures

Mindfulness can be practised to:

  1. Manage pain, anxiety, stress, or mood swings.
  2. Provide the body and mind an oasis of calm in between a hectic lifestyle
  3. Reduce suffering, distress and trauma caused by pain and depression, along with the negative emotions that come with life-threatening diseases.

The Space Inside Us

Mindfulness opens up a space inside our minds that helps us respond to outside situations with ease, instead of just reacting impulsively.

We become aware and are able to detect our default setting, which is our ‘driven-doing mind’, and catch hold of it before any impulsive reaction is acted upon. It also helps us arrest our cycle of negative thoughts.