Sunday, April 14, 2024

Things To Do To Help With Anxiety And Depression

How Does Depression Work

How to BEAT Depression and Anxiety NOW

Being depressed is more than feeling blue for a short period of time. People often say things like I feel so depressed or thats depressing, but the truth is that depression is a well-defined disorder, including nine symptoms:

  • Depressed mood: Feeling down most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Loss of interest and pleasure: Markedly reduced interest/pleasure in all activities most of the day.
  • Changed appetite or weight .
  • Sleep disturbance .
  • Moving more slowly than usual or making meaningless movements due to anxiety .
  • Lacking energy: Feeling tired nearly every day.
  • Feeling excessively guilty and/or worthless.
  • Having difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions.
  • Having repeated thoughts about death, suicidal thoughts, or sometimes wishing you were dead.
  • If youve experienced at least 5 of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks, you may be diagnosed with depression. Read more about depressive symptoms here: Am I depressed? Learn about criteria and take an online depression test.

    And if youre interested in knowing more about antidepressant medication, read: What are the side effects of antidepressants? Learn about side effects, tolerance and withdrawal.

    That is how depression works. Its never about laziness or being unambitious, its depression. Luckily, you can reverse this vicious cycle once you understand it. Take a look at this 3.5-minute video about the cycle of depression:

    Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Stress

    Natural remedies are generally safe to use alongside more conventional medical therapies.

    However, alterations to the diet and some natural supplements can change the way antianxiety medications work, so it is essential to consult a doctor before trying these solutions. The doctor may also be able to recommend other natural remedies.

    Take Care Of Yourself

    Its important to remember that your goal is to help the person with anxiety, not fix them or solve all their problems. Helping someone through anxiety isnt always easy and doesnt typically have one direct path, which can feel a bit stressful and overwhelming for the caregiver.

    Some important reminders are that by offering to help, youre doing your best. Its also important to model self-care, by tending to yourself when your own resources are starting to feel depleted.

    Read Also: Proof That Depression Is Real

    The Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression

    Helpful Links


    While anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state and depression a low-energy state, anxiety and depression are more closely related than you might think. A person with depression often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having panic attacks.1

    Anxiety disorders involve more than common nervousness and worry. They can cause terrifying fear about things other people wouldnt think twice about. Many people with anxiety disorders fully comprehend that their thoughts are irrational. But they still cant stop them. Feelings of losing inner control haunt them. This angst is one of the entry ways for depression.2

    Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts

    Five Ways to Support a Loved One with Anxiety or Depression

    Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.

    For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:

    A Question Checklist

    When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:

    • Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
    • What evidence is there that something is wrong?
    • Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?


    Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:

    • I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
    • I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
    • My anxiety won’t control me.

    Getting Used to Physical Symptoms

    The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.

    Recommended Reading: What It Feels Like To Have Depression

    Therapy Activities For Adults With Depression

    Science has proven the healing benefits of some activities, especially those that allow the mind to relax. Some of the best therapeutic things to do for depression include the following.

    • Yoga: Since this ancient practice is a spiritual one at its core, the benefits of yoga go beyond physical. When you include yoga and all its mindfulness practices with your treatment for depression, like antidepressants and therapy, you will likely see an overall improvement in your physical and mental health.
    • Meditation: Like yoga, meditation is an excellent way for you to learn how to relax your mind and efficiently refocus it.
    • Coloring: Adult coloring books may seem like a fad, but they have legitimate value in treating depression. Allowing you to be creative, focused and occupied, adult coloring books soothe and bring peace of mind.

    Dont Enable Their Anxiety

    When someone feels anxious, they may start to avoid anxiety-inducing places or situations, such as preferring to order online vs. going to the store. As a caring friend or loved one, you may also start to modify your own behavior to help alleviate or avoid their worry. Unfortunately, when a person with anxiety continues to avoid a situation, the worry and fear grows.

    For example, rather than enabling them by shopping for them, an alternate solution could be to go shopping together. This way, they are able to recognize that its possible to address the worry without negative repercussions.

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    Identify And Learn To Manage Your Triggers

    You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.

    Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.

    When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you cant limit it like if its due to a stressful work environment that you cant currently change using other coping techniques may help.

    Try Some Aerobic Activity

    5 Daily Routines to Help with Depression and Anxiety

    During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:

    • Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
    • Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
    • Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
    • Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
    • Exercise is a healthy distraction.

    Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.

    Read Also: Who Do I See To Get Diagnosed With Depression

    Anxiety And Depression: What Are The Possible Links

    Although clearly not identical emotional states, mental health research suggests that depression and anxiety often coexist because they can be caused by the same or similar factors. According to an article published May 2020 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, those overlapping causes can include:

    • Genetic Factors Genetic factors contribute to 40 percent of the predisposition to depressive and anxious symptoms, with 60 percent being attributed to environmental, noninherited factors. “Especially with anxiety, more so than depression, there often is some family history, and so therefore we think that there may be some genetic predisposition to this,” Connolly explains.
    • Environmental Factors Also referred to as social factors, these include experiences like trauma or neglect in early childhood, and current stressors such as relationship difficulties, unemployment, social isolation, and physical illness. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder , an anxiety disorder, are particularly likely to also develop depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health .
    • Pain Chronic pain, and particularly disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome , low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain, are closely linked to psychological distress, including both anxiety and depression, notes Harvard Health. In fact, they say, research suggests that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.

    Supplement St Johns Wart

    A very popular home remedy for anxiety and depression is the herb St. Johns Wart. This is because of the hypercin that is one of its main components. The hypercin will affect the various neurotransmitters in a similar manner to prescription drugs for depression and anxiety.

    Required Ingredients:

    • Take 300 milligrams of the St. Johns Wart 3 times each day.
    • Repeat for at least one week.


    The hypercin in the St. Johns Wart can sometimes interact with other drugs. Be sure to speak to your doctor before you start this home remedy for anxiety and depression.

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    Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter

    Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.

    Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:

    • problems with sleep
    • sudden loss of interest
    • feelings of worthlessness or helplessness

    If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.

    Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety

    Depression and Anxiety

    Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:

    Read Also: My Friend Is Severely Depressed What Do I Do

    The Strong Link Between Anxiety And Depression

    Over 40% of those diagnosed with depression also had one or more anxiety disorders within the same 12-month period. Nearly half of those with anxiety disorders will also experience major depression at some point in their lives.

    Plus, anxiety disorders are the single most significant risk factor for developing depression. In cases where depression and anxiety exist simultaneously within a person, its most common for anxiety to precede depression.

    Approximately 85% of people battling depression also experience some significant symptoms of anxiety. Similarly, nearly 90% of patients with anxiety also experience some significant emotional and physical symptoms of depression.

    Feeling Blue Use These Natural Ways To Feel Better

    When youre living with depression or anxiety, one of the things you want most is to feel well again. Both of these conditions can sap your energy and fill you with worry. If depression and anxiety are getting in the way of living a happy life, it helps to know that you can relax and experience relief. All it might take are a few of these natural remedies for anxiety depression. They can help you start improving your mood and feel hopeful while healing.

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    Look After Your Body And Your Brain

    Looking after your body with physical activity, good food and sleep will also help you look after your brain.

    Try taking one of these steps:

    • go to the beach or bush, listen to the sounds of nature and smell the fresh air
    • get out and do something physical, like going for a run, walk or to yoga
    • get your hands dirty in the garden
    • sleep in your bed
    • keep a bottle of water in your car or handbag
    • cut back on alcohol and recreational drugs
    • eat healthier meals.

    How does this help? Since childhood, weve all been told to think about what we put in our bodies and what we do to them. Its with good reason. Keeping physically active, eating right, sleeping well do make a difference to our mental health.

    Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests

    7 Things to AVOID That Help Anxiety Disorders

    The negative, irrational voice in your head may talk you out of self-help. However, if you can learn to recognize it, you can learn to replace it. Use logic as a weapon. Address each thought individually as it occurs.

    If you believe an event wont be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, You might be right, but itll be better than just sitting here another night. You may soon see the negative isnt always realistic.

    A lengthy to-do list may be so weighty that youd rather do nothing. Instead of compiling a long list of tasks, consider setting one or two smaller goals.

    For example:

    • Dont clean the house take the trash out.
    • Dont do all the laundry thats piled up just sort the piles by color.
    • Dont clear out your entire email inbox just address any time-sensitive messages.

    When youve done a small thing, set your eyes on another small thing, and then another. This way, you have a list of tangible achievements and not an untouched to-do list.

    All goals are worthy of recognition, and all successes are worthy of celebration. When you achieve a goal, do your best to recognize it.

    You may not feel like celebrating with a cake and confetti, but recognizing your own successes can be a very powerful weapon against depressions negative weight.

    The memory of a job well-done may be especially powerful against negative talk and overgeneralization.

    Focus on times when you feel the most disorganized or scattered.

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    Make Books Your Best Friend: Develop Reading Activity For Relief From Depression & Anxiety

    Reading is also one of the most recommended activities for people suffering from anxiety and depression disorders. Immersing yourself into a book, helps you drive your thoughts away from the troubling concerns of your life. Also known as cognitive bibliotherapy, reading shifts the mood and changes the direction of your thoughts which helps in alleviating depression and anxiety.

    Know That Today Isnt Indicative Of Tomorrow

    Todays mood, emotions, or thoughts dont belong to tomorrow.

    If you were unsuccessful at getting out of bed or accomplishing your goals today, remember that you havent lost tomorrows opportunity to try again.

    Give yourself the grace to accept that while some days will be difficult, some days will also be great. Try to look forward to tomorrows fresh start.

    Read Also: How To Get Help For Depression And Anxiety

    Prevalence Of Anxiety And Depression In Men

    On average, one in 8 men will have depression and one in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.

    Men are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than women. They are also less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their anxiety or depression going unrecognised and untreated.

    Untreated depression is a high risk factor for suicide. In Australia, there are about 3,000 suicides each year. Around 75% of people who take their lives are men, with an average of almost 7 men taking their lives every day.

    Its important to remember that anxiety and depression are conditions, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available.

    and depression not only for you, but for your friends and family. Visit Beyond Blue to find out more about anxiety.

    Seeking Help For Depression

    Stress, anxiety and depression statistics 2016

    Get help if you’re still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.

    Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.

    You can refer yourself for psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling on the NHS. You don’t need a referral from your GP.

    You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.

    If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.

    You can:

    • contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support

    Recommended Reading: I Feel Depressed And Worthless

    Recognize Your Own Limits As A Helper

    As a caring friend or loved one, your primary role is to offer support. Doing research online, reading books, and following therapists on social media can provide a wealth of knowledge however, some people may need the additional support of a licensed therapist.

    As a trusted family member or friend, you can help them explore the various therapists available and determine if theyre interested in talk therapy, medication support, self-support, or some combination of the three.

    Daily Routine For Depression: 10 Things To Try

    Depression can make just getting out of bed feel impossible some days. But having a daily routine can help.

    Sometimes, symptoms of depression can make you feel like youre sinking into a void. And the deeper you sink, the harder it can feel to get out.

    This is especially true because depression lies it may tell you that youre alone and unloved, or that youll never escape the feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness youre experiencing.

    But heres the truth: Youre not alone.

    According to the CDC, nearly 5% of all adults over the age of 18 years experience regular feelings of depression.

    And though it can be a challenging condition, it is highly treatable, most commonly through a combination of talk therapy and medication. Whats more, there are things you can do in addition to treatment to help keep depression symptoms at bay.

    For example, evidence suggests that creating and sticking to some reliable daily routines may help improve mental health.

    After all, if youre committed to doing certain practices every day, you have something that will get you out of bed and moving. And if some of those practices have been proven to help reduce symptoms of depression? Even better!

    Here are some things you can try.

    2021 study found that having an irregular sleep pattern can also increase a persons risk of depression to the same extent as not getting enough sleep.

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