Practice These Coping Skills Every Day
I recommend doing many if not all of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. Its important to know you probably wont be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that its normal to feel unmotivated until youre halfway done.
The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better.The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.
1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others.
Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesnt have to be big to count. Consider this, Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued it must ensue as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Viktor E. Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning
2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if its:
If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a what can I learn from this? attitude . Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another persons biggest strength. This is unfair .
3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.
4. Engagement: Stay in the present.
Get A Handle On Stress
Stress can drive up levels of a brain chemical called cortisol, which has been found to be higher in folks with depression. There are lots of strategies for coping with stress, such as time management, meditation, and biofeedback training.
Some stress-relieving activities that you might want to incorporate into your daily life include:
- Deep breathing: A few minutes to slow your breathing and focus your attention on your body in the moment can help you get a better handle on your worries.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity is a great way to blow off steam.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: This process involves intentionally tightening muscles throughout the body, holding that tension for several counts, and then releasing that tension until the muscles are completely relaxed. With regular practice, you may be able to learn how to intentionally relax your body fairly quickly whenever you are feeling tense.
Learning to manage your stress takes time and practice. Talk to your doctor or therapist about other strategies you might try to minimize the stress and your response to it.
There Are More Than One Depression Treatment
Treat depression at home
Get our psychologists tips
Is it possible to cure depression without antidepressants? There is a simple answer to this question: Yes. Yes, it is. Most people dont know that you can treat depression at home, medication-free. If they do, most people dont know how. The fact is, you dont need pills to reduce depressive symptoms or even to recover from depression. By making a few lifestyle changes at home, your symptoms may decrease significantly or disappear altogether. This text introduces five different treatments for depression and none of them includes antidepressant medication.
Treat depression at home
So, what are the five treatments for depression?
Well, similar to a car engine, the human body needs a few basic conditions to stay in a good mood. According to health research, there are at least five different ways to treat depression at home, without medication, by making lifestyle changes. Fortunately, four out of five ways are completely free. Here they are:
Don’t Miss: Difference Between Crippling Depression And Depression
Tips To Beat Depression In College
Have you been feeling under the weather, sad, or moody? These emotions are acceptable. Normal, even, including among college students. College is an exciting time in the lives of young people but it can also be equally challenging. As a freshman, you may be leaving home for the first time, learning independence as you find your way in and out of the campus. Sometimes, the weight of the changes you undergo during your college years can trigger depression.
In addition to feelings of nostalgia, you become stressed out realizing you will be attending tough classes, meeting new and different people, and getting a lot less sleep. You are at your most vulnerable, and it is smart that you acknowledge and come to the decision to seek help. If feelings of sadness persist for weeks or months, you may be having more trouble than you thought you would as you adjust to your new environment. You may be going through depression.
Upgrade Your Mind Mood
In my work with clients, I like to teach what I call three different mind moods:
- unkind mind,
- kind mind and
- quiet mind.
Theyre all pretty self-explanatory. But suffice it to say that an unkind mind dishes out negative and critical thoughts. A kind mind is when were thinking positively or kindly toward ourselves and others. And when were in a quiet mind mode, were simply in the present moment and our minds are at peace.
Lets say you become aware that your unkind mind has been running the show. Here you are going about your day and you become aware of thoughts like, why bother, things are hopeless, Ill always be depressed, Ill never be happy or everyone else has more fill in the blank.
Now youre at a crossroad. You can keep recycling and believing the thoughts that your unkind mind is dishing out, or you can make a conscious decision to either upgrade your thought to a kinder one or to quiet your mind by turning your attention to something that is actually factually present in the here and now, otherwise known as reality.
As you gain more awareness of your depressive thoughts and more willingness to upgrade them, you will start to get some breaks in the regularly played unkind mind programs.
Read more: While much societal emphasis is placed on the importance of having a strong, fit, healthy body, less attention is paid to developing healthy emotional muscles. Explore ways to train your emotional fitness.
Also Check: I Think I May Be Depressed
Healing From Depression The 6 Proven Non
Depression steals people. So far, despite the colossal investment of resources, there is still no reliably effective treatment. What we know for sure is that antidepressants just arent working. According to Dr Stephen Ilardi, respected psychologist, university professor and author of The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs, antidepressants only have about a 50% success rate. Out of the people who do find relief, half of them will relapse, taking the actual recovery rate to 25%. Then there are the side effects, such as emotional blunting, weight gain and sexual dysfunction.
When antidepressants fail to deliver, the hopelessness that lies at the heart of depression becomes even more brutal. If we could immunise ourselves and the people we love against depression, wed be lining up. There is no immunisation, but a growing body of research is finding that there are ways to protect ourselves from depression and alleviate any existing symptoms, particularly for mild to moderate depression.
Its about certain lifestyle factors six of them and the difference they can make to each of us, depressed or otherwise, is phenomenal. The claims may sound extravagant, but science is proving them over and over. The evidence is too compelling for us not to take notice.
What Is The Most Serious Form Of Depression
Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder.
However, he adds, There are some different treatments that can help mild to moderate depression. Reflection, dietary supplements, and also other different depression treatments are not substitutes for medicine or psychotherapy, yet they can have some benefits. Some people with depression favor best way to beat depression non-drug strategies to aid them manage their condition and also feel far better. All-natural treatments as well as natural remedy may be good for milder forms of depression. However theres no hard evidence that they work for modest to serious depression.
Also Check: Ssi For Adults With Depression And Anxiety
How Does Exercise Help Beat Depression And Anxiety
- Exercise triggers the release of those all-natural feel-good brain chemicals that stifle depression, rejigging neurotransmitters and endorphins
- Reduces immune system chemicals that will trigger and heighten depression
- Boosts body temperature that helps calm the body in general.
Aside from stabilizing weight, deterring obesity, and decreasing the risk of serious disease, routine exercise also has numerous psychological and emotional benefits, including:
When Is The Best Time To Exercise For Anxiety
Assuming you have a healthy circadian rhythm, exercise first thing in the morning is generally the best time.
If you are worried and overloaded, as well as seem like you simply can not claim no, you are more in danger for depression. Establishing healthy borders in connections as well as at work can assist relieve anxiety, and therapy can help you determine and confirm the limits that are ideal for you. Some types best way to beat depression and anxiety of therapy show you useful methods on exactly how to reframe negative thinking and use behavior abilities in combating depression. Therapy can also help you overcome the origin of your depression, helping you recognize why you really feel a certain means, what your triggers are for depression, as well as what you can do to stay healthy.
Recommended Reading: Is Anxiety Worse Than Depression
Harry’s Story: Overcoming Severe Depression
Sitting at my desk as I try to start this story, I’m struggling to decide where to begin and I can feel it coming on. Shivers up my arms and into my neck, a heavy chest, now my legs start, I’m not sure if I’m hot or cold, my chest gets heavier as my body decides whether to fight or take flight.
Luckily, I’m aware of what’s going on my head remains calm as I write these words. Letting myself become overcome with the anxiety that is taking hold of my body, the natural response I feel when confronted with difficult tasks or stress, is not going to happen. I’d like to show that if they’re spotted early enough, mental health problems can be managed and even prevented.
Dealing with depression is an everyday struggle. It’s definitely true that some days are worse than others, but I’ve learned to manage it, to become aware of my symptoms, my triggers, and to remain in control.
However, this has not always been the case. It’s only of late that I have come to understand what’s going on inside and the relationship between my body and mind. Awareness is the key to prevention and that is why I’d like to share with you my story of battling depression. I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I have done, to feel trapped and isolated by mental health problems and to not be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Don’t Miss: How To Tell The Doctor Your Depressed
Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
Listen To Inspiring Music
In my grade school years, Bach and Beethoven were my primary therapists. Today Ive expanded my musical repertoire to include the Beatles, Ray LaMontagne, and Josh Groban. In fact, I just created a playlist on Spotify called Inspiration to listen to in the car and whenever I need a boost of feel-good hormones. Today, music therapy is used as an evidenced-based practice to treat depression and anxiety.
Also Check: Can Depression Cause Panic Attacks
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
Why Exercise Is Good
Science Daily reports regular exercise not only treats depression but also helps to prevent it. Thats exciting news if you have trouble battling those low feelings in your life.
Evermore evidence pops up supporting the fact that exercise can be an excellent and effective tool to treat depression and prevent it in the long term.
Exercising 5 days a week for 30 minutes is all you need to reap the rewards when it comes to improving your mental health.
Related: What are Great Physical Activity Guidelines? Tips for Everyone.
Read Also: Severe Depression In Young Adults
Do Activities That You Enjoy
May it be sports, going outdoors, fraternities and sororities, or student journalism, do what interests you. In order to take a closer step towards overcoming depression, find and do things that relax and energize you. Aside from the opportunity to meet like-minded people in the group, these activities may break your daily pattern of activities, which could be crucial to ending your depressive cycle.
While it is not easy to find pleasure in just about anything, you can push yourself to do things that will positively impact your day. Who knows, you might actually enjoy whatever it is you choose to do. Start with your former hobbygo back to the activity you used to enjoy the most.
While you try your best to enjoy life, do not expect to feel better outright. Appreciate the gradual changes in your mood. In due time, you will feel more upbeat and energetic.
How Can We Keep Our Stone Age Brain Happy
Brains can change, and we have the capacity to change them. The key is finding the most effective ways to do that. Enter neuroscience. The chemistry of our brain is very responsive to what we do for better or worse. Depending on the choices we make, we can deplete it or enrich it.
In preliminary clinical trials comparing the effect of lifestyle changes against antidepressants, researchers found that lifestyle choices brought about a reduction in depressive symptoms almost three times that experienced by the antidepressant group. There are six primary lifestyle factors that have been proven to protect the brain against depression and reduce depressive symptoms and Ilardi details them in his book, The Depression Cure. Interestingly, these lifestyle factors are remarkably close to the way we would have been doing things had we been living in the Stone Age.
Pillow time. Blissful, restful abundant pillow time.
Yes. I know you know this one, but despite knowing how important sleep is, so many of us remain chronically sleep-starved. We need at least eight hours as eight hours every single day. Sleep is like a superpower. It really is that good and that important to mood and mental health.
Disrupted sleep is one of the most potent triggers of depression, and theres evidence that most episodes of mood disorder are preceded by at least several weeks of sub-par slumber. -Dr Stephen Ilardi
Recommended Reading: Will I Be Depressed My Whole Life
Ok Im Feeling Depressed So Now What
Now that you know the symptoms of depression, some positive coping skills can be useful. All of the following techniques are supported by scientific research and medication prescribers like psychiatrists and these skills are frequently recommended as important parts of treatment even for patients who continue to take antidepressant medications.
WARNING: Do not suddenly go off your prescribed antidepressant medications without first talking to your medical provider. Discuss any questions or concerns about the side effects of your medications with your provider.
Ways To Beat Depression According To A Neurosurgeon
- At 41 years old, Joseph Maroon was a highly accomplished neurosurgeon. At 42, he was working in a truck stop, had gained so much weight that he struggled to breathe, and was too depressed to get out of bed most days.
- Getting out of depression is exceptionally difficult, but you have more strength in you than you think. Exercise, stable circadian rhythm, honest mindfulness, and working hard toward meaningful goals can beat depression and help you find more resilience in yourself than you thought possible.
At 41 years old, Joseph Maroon was a highly accomplished neurosurgeon. He was chief of surgery at a prestigious hospital, he had money, he was healthy, he was helping people hed achieved his biggest personal and professional goals.
That all changed overnight. In his Bulletproof Radio Podcast episode , Maroon describes the biggest downward spiral of his life.
One day, my father died, Maroon explains. My family broke up. I was doing brain surgery in the hospital one week. The next week I literally did not have the ability or strength or resilience to continue.
One year later, he was working at a truck stop. He had gained weight to the point where he had trouble breathing. He had lost friends and colleagues. He was so depressed that most days he struggled to get out of bed.
Related: How to Fight Depression Without Medication
Don’t Miss: How To Heal Yourself From Depression