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Coping with Depression

Do things that make you feel good

Do things that relax and energize you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day.

Even if your depression doesn’t lift immediately, you’ll gradually feel more upbeat and energetic as you make time for fun activities.

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Coping with Depression

Coping with Depression

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm

helpguide.org

10

Key Ideas

Reach out and stay connected

You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking

Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. 

How to reach out for support

  • Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. They just need to be a good listener.
  • Make face-time a priority. Talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression.
  • Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. 
  • Find ways to support others. 
  • Caring for a pet can get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed.
  • Join a support group for depression. 

Do things that make you feel good

Do things that relax and energize you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day.

Even if your depression doesn’t lift immediately, you’ll gradually feel more upbeat and energetic as you make time for fun activities.

Support your health

  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.
  • Keep stress in check. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out, and find ways to relieve the pressure and regain control.
  • Practice relaxation techniques daily.

Get moving

Regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms and prevents a relapse.

  • Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic: walking, weight training or swimming.
  • Add a mindfulness element. Focus on how your body feels as you move.
  • Pair up with an exercise partner. 
  • Take a dog for a walk. You can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. 

Eat a depression-fighting diet

Foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood: caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones (such as certain meats).

  • Don’t skip meals. 
  • Minimize sugar and refined carbs. 
  • Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. 
  • Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. 

Get a daily dose of sunlight

Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. 

Get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. 

Challenge negative thinking

Do you feel like you’re powerless or weak? That your situation is hopeless?

These types of thoughts aren’t realistic. When you really examine them they don’t hold up. Identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.

Question your thoughts

Ask yourself:

  • “What’s the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?”
  • “What would I tell a friend who had this thought?”
  • “Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?"

Get professional help for depression

If you’ve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. 

Depression can be treated and you can feel better.

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How to know if you're depressed

Depression symptoms can vary, but it always results in living in a negative state. 

Common signs include:
  • Feeling hopeless or a lack of energy and interest in things that ...
Ways to deal with depression

Understand the common triggers. Once you understand which one is behind your depression, you can better learn how to cope with depression.

Feelings of loss, “less than” and “never going to happen” are the major reasons that most people dip into depression. Loss can result from a loved one dying or losing a job; feelings of “less than” can be triggered by comparing yourself to others you view as having more than you and “never” occurs when you start believing that your goals and dreams are completely out of reach. 

Address your limiting beliefs

Many of those trying to find ways to deal with depression have formed limiting beliefs that negatively affect how they think.

If you come from a family who has never had a member attend college, you might believe that you are not smart enough to achieve your goals. Another common limiting belief is that they are supposed to be sad because depression or anxiety runs in their family. 

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How depression is measured

Depression is often measured by scientists using something called the Hamilton Scale. It runs from 0 (where you are dancing in ecstasy) to 59 (where you are suicidal). 

Causes of depression

Many leading scientists believe the whole idea that depression is caused by a “chemically imbalanced” brain is wrong. 

There are in fact nine major causes of depression and anxiety that are unfolding all around us. Two are biological, and seven are out in here in the world, rather than sealed away inside our skulls.

Childhood trauma can cause depression

When you’re a child, you have very little power to change your environment. So, you have two choices.

  1. You can admit to yourself that you are powerless and there’s simply nothing you can do about it.
  2. You can tell yourself it’s your fault and at some strange level under your control. If you were responsible for being hurt, then at some level, you have to think you deserved it.

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Recognize Your Critical Self Attacks

Depression is often accompanied by a critical, self-destructive mentality that interferes with and distracts us from our daily lives. 

Ask yourself, would you think such cruel t...

Think About Your Anger

Many people who suffer from depression are actually masking a feeling of anger, turning their rage toward someone else on themselves.

By acknowledging and accepting or discussing your angry feelings, you are much less likely to turn these feelings against yourself or allow them to lead you into a depressed state.

Be Active

It's a physiological fact that activity fights depression. 

Get your heart rate up 20 minutes a day, five days a week, and it has been scientifically proven that you will feel better emotionally.

Even just getting out of the house for a walk, a game of catch with your kids, or a trip to the gym is a medically proven method of improving the way you feel.

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Boost Your Energy

Bad moods happen 50% of the time simply because of a lack of energy. When you have lots of energy your mind moves faster, you get more done and you feel happier.

The next time y...

How to boost your energy
  • Physical Exercise – Doing some light exercise creates a huge boost in your physical energy.
  • Think Faster – Games, brainstorming or other thinking exercises boost your mental energy.
  • Drink Some Water – Hydrating yourself can give you a boost of energy.
Get New Input

You may notice that often when you are in a bad mood you don’t do very much. Depressed people often perpetuate their mood by remaining in the same environment.

Going to see friends, watching a movie, reading a book, even doing the errands and chores that need to be done, are all methods of getting new input.

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Craving for normalcy
Craving for normalcy

With all the 2020 events, we all want life to be normal again. While we are starting to adjust to the new normal, many of us are not adjusting in a good way. We let go of positive routines and repl...

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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Dopamine Explained

We all seek happiness, and there is a scientific way we can find it.

Dopamine, the feel-good chemical in our brains, positively affects our mood, focus, energy and behaviour.

Happiness Centre: Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls our brain's reward and pleasure centre. It can help us:

  • Lose Weight
  • Fight against Depression
  • Be Motivated
  • Improve our Memory
  • Feel Happy
  • Stay mentally strong
  • Reduce bad habits
  • Increase Feelings of contentment
How Dopamine Works

The body and mind seek pleasureable experiences, resulting in the neurons creating dopamine in our brain. This can be also overdone using drugs, leaving a negative impact eventually.

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Get Motivated
  • Set SMALL AND SPECIFIC GOALS that will not make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.
  • Practice self-compassion. Try to use the same encouraging words you might use ...
Creating a sleep-inducing environment
  • Turn the temperature between 60 and 72 degrees.
  • Turn off the lights. Artificial light suppresses your body’s production of the sleep hormone melat...
Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep.

Try and aim for around 7 hour...

Reduce Stress

Feelings of stress can mean that you struggle to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, difficulty switching off and tiredness.

Strategies to improve your energy levels include taking some time for yourself to relax, reading or going for a walk.

Move More

One study found that sedentary people with persistent, unexplained fatigue decreased their tiredness by around 65% just by regularly participating in low-intensity cycling.

Get up and move your body like brisk walking or cycling to boost your energy levels.

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Mental Health on the Rise

Mental health issues are on the rise globally, due to a complex life that has us pursue perfection in every aspect of our lives.

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Exercise to treat Depression

Regular exercise can treat mild to moderate depression, as good as the antidepressants.

Exercise provides us with feel-good chemicals made naturally inside our body, as the brain releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.

Exercising for Self-Esteem

Exercise also has a psychological benefit of making us feel great.

Using exercise as a social activity, we improve our self-esteem and get to meet new people, forming healthy and positive connections

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