Alternate Between Easy Medium And Hard Tasks
Another element of good mood hygiene is that you shouldnt do all easy tasks or all very hard tasks for long stretches. Where does this recommendation come from? Partly it comes from observations of how kids learn best, and people with developmental disabilities. For these groups, negative feelings often manifest as behavioral outbursts. We see that behavior and happiness improve when people are not being under- or over-challenged constantly.
You dont need to take my word for this, you can easily observe for yourself how you feel if you are constantly challenged to the edge of your capacities versus if you intersperse this with familiar activities you feel confident with, but that still feel meaningful and productive .
When youre scheduling your three activities per day that will provide a sense of accomplishment, aim for one hard, one easy, and one medium.
Overcoming Major Depressive Disorder
If you have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, it can feel overwhelming. Even though you may have known for a long time that something was wrong, hearing the diagnosis can feel like the end of the world, but its not. Explore these tips on how to cope with major depressive disorder and improve your quality of life.
Depression can affect thoughts and feelings as well as behavior and functionality. Its not uncommon to have trouble doing daily activities when you live with major depressive disorder.
Feelings of depression or anxiety can lead to suicidal thinking. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or tendencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at .
Self Care Instead Of Spiral
Its time to invest in yourself. Maybe youve been pouring it all into others, into your duties, your activities, your efforts for success. Maybe youve just kept going, white-knuckling as you go rather than processing to feel or think or simply be. Thats why scheduling self care in your life is so important.
When youre feeling depressed, you also are feeling disconnected. Most of all, youre feeling disconnected from yourself. You suffer in silence so the world will not judge you for it. But when you start to love yourself, you start to grow.
Self care can be many things. It can be walking the dog, taking a shower, writing in a journal, expressing yourself in any way or helping someone else in need can even be a way back to loving yourself.
Make a list of things you can do that are simple, that can help you how to not be depressed by connect with yourself when you feel detached, lonely, isolated and drained, the many symptoms of depression. This plan will help how to not be depressed and to adopt self care in the face of struggle rather than to spiral.
If you have to start somewhere, start in self love. Thats what self care is really all about. You are showing up to face the day because you love yourself. Because you matter. This doesnt mean you have to face everything. You dont have to figure it all out. You just have to meet yourself where you are and simply show up.
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A Slip Doesnt Always Mean A Relapse
One of the things we might fear when we can feel things slipping is that well end up in the middle of a relapse. It can be scary to be facing that. Living with mental ill health can be a lonely and painful place to be. Once weve managed to improve things a little, the prospect of being in a horribly low place again can be terrifying.
A slip doesnt always mean a relapse. Our mental health naturally fluctuates, its not ever static , and that fluctuation can be influenced by several factors. At other times, it might be the beginning of a downward spiral. But if we have an idea of our early warning signs, and some plans as to what to do about them, it can help us to stop our mental health from deteriorating further.
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As a student, the summer holidays can be daunting. The long weeks can stretch out in front of us and feel endless. Everyone around us seems happy, and the sun is shining so it can feel like we have no excuse not to be happy! We might have left a support system behind when returning home after studying away, perhaps returning to a family who dont know about, or understand, how were feeling. It can feel really lonely.
Practical Tips For Breaking The Cycle Of Self
Thankfully, there are things people can do to break the cycle of self-isolating and depression, starting with a concerted effort to reconnect with others. Dr. J. was quick to acknowledge that this sounds easy but can be hard and paralyzing for those suffering. Still, he offered the reassurance that with reasonable individual goals, connecting with others is doable. He recommended making a list of all the people in your life you want to reconnect with, then choosing how youll connect: In this day and age, you can connect via numerous platforms, text, email, videoconferencing, any social apps, or G-d forbid, talk on the phone or actually meet someone out in public.
This process can feel uncomfortable, but getting out of your perceived comfort zone is important, according to Dr. J. He suggested making baby steps, if necessary. Also, celebrate the small victories and notice that you made it and your head didnt explode. See that the world is not so scary and that you are a special, important person who is worthy. Accept that there are people out there who care about you, want to connect with you, and miss you.
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No Matter How Much We Put Our Wellbeing First When You Have An Ongoing Mental Health Condition You May Experience A Time Where You Feel Yourself Spiralling We Share Nine Ways You Can Look After Yourself When A Mental Health Crisis Is About To Hit
Talking about our mental health and wellbeing has become more acceptable in recent years. From campaigns about having a cuppa and a catchup, to people speaking candidly about their experiences on primetime, youd be hard-pressed to go an evening without stumbling across some kind of self-care or wellbeing message when scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, or even Reddit.
Yet just because were reading and hearing more about it, it doesnt necessarily make it any easier when were struggling in the moment. Whether a period of ill mental health has crept up on you, symptoms have managed to sneak in under your radar, or youve been hoping they will go away if you just keep pushing, we all experience times when our mental health feels like it’s on the decline. But what can we do about it? How can we start looking after ourselves when we recognise the signs that our mental health and wellbeing may be spiralling?
Get Proactive Rather Than Reactive
Reactivity is when you act on impulses and over identify with your emotional state. Alternatively, you may be acting productive to cover the painful emotions and thoughts to detach, but that is not the same thing as being proactive. Being proactive means you process things better and decide to be positive despite the negative experience. Thats because of the mindset you choose.
Become solution oriented. Become gratitude driven. Become someone who focuses on the good.
Use what is happening for something greater than yourself, whether it be a project, a personal connection or a new path that you can find purpose in. You dont have to necessarily fix it overnight. But you can use it.
Create something that brings light into your darkness. Tell someone you love them. Do a small act of kindness. Figure out what your needs are and seek to meet them. Learn to listen to the silence and meditate rather than avoid it. Be present, be mindful in actions taken. When you are doing simple acts such as cleaning, take deep breaths and meditate. In any activity, you can become mindful. You can become awake.
Cognitive Distortions And Mental Health
Conditions such as depression and anxiety can sometimes lead to habitual negative thoughts, but in many cases, depression actually is the result of cognitive distortions.
When bad things happen, we begin chastising ourselves with thoughts such as I’m no good, I’m a total failure or Nothing ever goes my way. Our feelings follow what we are thinking, and negative thoughts like these can ultimately contribute to symptoms of depression.
This concept is the guiding principle behind cognitive therapy, a type of psychotherapy developed by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. If we think something often enough, we begin to believe it’s true and our feelings match what we are thinking about ourselves.
To manage depression, we must stop those automatic negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, truthful ones. By nipping these thoughts in the bud, we can sometimes halt depression before it even starts.
One Gradual Habit That Might Help Is Making Mental Shifts
Shifting the way you think means youre consciously stopping an established thought pattern. You re-evaluate how you reflect on a situation, or even what you think about, to focus on something else.
Its like switching gears in your brain so your train of thought isnt just looping and relooping.
In a lot of ways, this is about undoing a lot of negative behaviors and mental programming you may have learned from others. For example, if you grew up thinking you had to be the best in school and life, youre likely programmed for stressful perfectionism.
Making a mental shift is a way to combat your anxiety and stress, or snap out of winding thoughts.
Learn the most common thought patterns, how to recognize automatic negative thinking, and ways to reorient and give yourself the kind and constructive consideration you need.
I should do, act, or feel better.
I should go to the gym every day.
I should eat healthier.
I should stop thinking this way.
Its not that the intention behind these thoughts are bad. Depending on your situation, it can be healthier to eat more whole foods and go to the gym. Whats potentially damaging is the word should. This can trigger guilt and send you down a frustrating path of spiraling negative thoughts.
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How To Cure Depression Fast
To understand how you can easily create an upward spiral that helps lift you out of depression, consider an example of how different positive changes affect one another:
- When you think more positively, you feel more upbeat and energized, which makes it easier for you to exercise.
- When you exercise, you enjoy greater clarity of mind and feel better overall, which makes it easier for you to think more positively.
- When you think more positively, you also enjoy great peace of mind, which makes it easier for you to enjoy restful sleep.
- When you sleep restfully, you feel refreshed and clear-headed, which makes it easier for you to think more positively.
- Also, the better you sleep, the more energy you have to exercise, and the more you exercise, the easier it is for you to get a good nights sleep.
As you can see, these positive changes are all connected and reinforce one another. Each one is great and beneficial on its own, but when combined theyre far more powerful.
Indeed, when combined they create a powerful upward spiral that lifts you out of depression.
The more of these positive changes that you combine, the faster the upward spiral.
Dismantling The Anxiety Spiral
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an approach that helps people tackle the thoughts that trigger the anxiety spiral, allowing them to defuse anxious rumination before it ripples through the bodys hormonal system. Finally, exercise and a diet that nurtures healthy gut bacteria have also been shown to soothe an over-alert stress response and aid in emotional self-regulation. Certain medications like SSRIS and benzodiazepines can also act as a chemical fuse that stops the hormonal cascade that sets off the spiral.
Learn about the effects of visualization for anxiety.
New research is being done constantly, and scientists are slowly gaining a picture of anxiety that encompasses the psychological, cultural, mental and physiological for example theres now some suggestion that the amygdala is not the only key brain region, and that a tiny area called the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis may play a key role in hypervigilance. On the psychological side, many therapists have found value in mindfulness-based techniques or in essentially inverting the anxiety spiral to create a mindfulness spiral one that uses the bodys inbuilt mechanisms to focus on and amplify more adaptive responses to anxiety.
These evidence-based guided meditations can help to reset your spiralling mind when anxiety arises:
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Acknowledge The Emotional Roller Coaster Or Burden When You Experience It
Like recognizing ANTs, theres also power in simply acknowledging that you feel overwhelmed. Dont automatically put yourself in defensive mode and whirl into an anxiety tailspin. Whether its from stress, anxiety, or another condition, the first step to combatting mental strain is welcoming it.
I know what youre thinking: Why would I ever welcome all the shakes and jitters that take over my brain and body?
Because embracing it can take a lot less energy than dreading it.
Instead of using extra energy to forcibly fight back, realize that this reaction means youre encountering something thats important to you. It also means you may not have to force yourself to operate at 100 percent all the time. Thats exhausting.
Understanding your anxiety and what it means is one of the first steps to managing the stress that comes with it. You may discover that theres a trigger. When you find it, you can act to avoid or you may find yourself spending less time dreading it.
Spend more time asking yourself, Oh, hello anxiety, what do we need to do to function together today? and you might end up fighting against yourself less through the stressful event.
Reminder: Theres always another option even if it means opting out or saying no. If your anxiety or stress is based on a situation, ask yourself if you can opt out. Chances are you can!
How To Turn Depression Around: Spiral Up Not Down
After being suicidal on three occasions, I started to reflect on not only why I fell in to depression, but most importantly how I got out of depression.
Particularly, as I went through the Post Olympic Crash it became evident to me what I had done, and this is my first hand description on exactly where I went wrong.
I was once a very successful, driven, healthy athlete who literally was in the best shape I had been in my entire life. I had routines for everything, I was disciplined, always got my eight hours of sleep. Then, all of a sudden one day, I found myself in the emergency psychiatric ward at St. Josephs Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
When people hear this, they usually ask me a two questions. The first question is What happened?. The second question is How did you turn it around?.
I literally answer, I went out and bought groceries.
You went out and bought groceries???
Yup. I bought groceries.
Im telling you this because this is literally what happened.
When I look back on why I spiralled downward after the Paralympic Games, it was evident. These are the things I did wrong.
1. I stopped eating right. What was there to train for now?, I asked myself.
2. I stopped exercising because when I was in peak physical condition, I could do nothing for quite a long time and still look great!)
3. I started drinking more aka celebrating. Lots of celebrating.
4. I stayed up late often to 2am, either out on the town or on my computer.
My head was a mess.
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How Not To Feel Depressed: Think Long
The effects of depression can be downright painful, so its natural to concentrate on them in order to get them to go away. Unfortunately, focusing on fixing how you feel right now actually increases rather than decreases depression.
Problems like depression grow when you feed them. Because acting on the short-term goal of symptom alleviation feeds depression, instead, try looking at long-term changes. Think in terms of quality of lifenot just getting rid of depression but replacing it with things that you value and bring overall life satisfaction .
How not to feel depressed involves envisioning your ideal self living your ideal life. What do you value most? Then, despite the presence of depression, begin to take little steps toward that quality world. Just shifting your focus from short term depression relief to long term life satisfaction helps you not to feel depressed.
How To Keep Your Sadness From Turning Into Depression
Across the spectrum, mental health problems seem to be on the rise. One-quarter of Americans reported moderate to severe depression this summer and another quarter said they suffered from mild depression, a recent study reported. These findings are similar to surveys done by the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Former first lady Michelle Obama highlighted the problem for many when she said in August that she has been dealing with low-grade depression.
As a psychologist, I hear almost daily how the combination of coronavirus, racial unrest, economic uncertainty and political crisis are leading many people to feel a lot worse than usual.
It is not at all surprising that we are seeing the significant increase in distress. Its a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, said Judith S. Beck, president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Philadelphia and author of the widely used mental health textbook Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond.
As we head into winter, which can stress the coping skills of many people, here are some strategies that can help you resist the depressive downward spiral.
1. Reduce overthinking.
It can also be useful to identify common rumination triggers such as being tired or tense and come up in advance with engaging alternatives such as videoconferencing a friend or reading a page-turner.