The Benefits Of Focused Meditation
In this style of meditation, what youre really doing is exercising your mental muscles. Your brain is highly affected by dedicated and concentrated meditation practice.
Scientists have performed countless studies on focused meditation and have found that active meditators have more gray matter volume in their brain and, therefore, offsetting the cognitive decline that comes with aging. So, not only does practicing focused meditation help you learn how to focus better on certain tasks, but it also improves similar functions, such as memory.
Likewise, it helps in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, which our society is currently crippled with. By settling your attention on an object, you are essentially building your ability to observe your thoughts and sensations from a place of objectivity. This allows you to detach from negative self-talk that is often the breeding ground for depression and other mental illnesses.
From a guided meditation for focus to practicing it yourself, daily meditation for focus comes with several benefits:
- Itll reduce stress
- Helps you to focus on the present moment
- Increase your creativity and imagination
- And boost your patience and tolerance for things.
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Get A Handle On Your Household Chores
Depression can make it difficult to complete household chores, such as doing the dishes or paying bills.
But a pile of paperwork, the stack of dirty dishes, and floor covered in dirty clothes will only magnify your feelings of worthlessness.
Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project at a time. Getting up and moving can help you start to feel better in itself. But, seeing your progress in the home can be key to helping you feel better.
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Things To Help With Depression
You want things to help depression, but maybe because of depression youre thinking nothing will help . No matter how bad depression gets, there is hope. Hope exists, and it is real because there are things to help with depression. The below list contains 10 things that have been proven to help depression.
Give these 10 things to help with depression a try. Theyre all effective components of a plan to overcome depression.
Tips For Living With Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Everything feels more challenging when you’re dealing with depression. Going to work, socializing with friends, or even just getting out of bed can feel like a struggle.
But there are some things you can do to cope with your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Here are eight tips for living with depression.
This video has been medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD.
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If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
How Can You Get Yourself Out Of A Funk
Although depression can become a very clinical subject, many of the ways to help yourself through this mood disorder are very simple and practical. Self-care is a key component to living a happy, healthy life and between your diet, exercise, daily routines, and social interactions there are plenty of steps you can take to influence your mood. As you move through your depression, be open to trying new approaches and understand that it might take a combination of these self-care practices before you notice a change in your mood.
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Create The Right Environment For Recovery
When we go through depression, its easy to let even basic things like housework fall by the wayside. The result is that our environment becomes messy, dirty, chaotic and that only makes our state of mind even worse.
So we continue to ignore the housework and thus the vicious cycle continues.
You can break that cycle, and doing so will help create the ideal environment for recovering from depression.
You dont even have to do it all in one go.
Focus on one thing at a time, even if its only one corner of one room. Do what you feel you have the energy for and before you know it, youll have a clean, tidy, clutter-free space thats far more conducive to overcoming your depression.
Whats more, the sense of accomplishment you get from tidying up can do wonders for your self-esteem and provide a powerful boost to your mood.
Why Is It Important To Seek Therapy Promptly
Early treatment of depression is essential because depression itself changes the brain. Research shows that depression is linked to inflammatory changes in the brain. As a result of such changes, the longer an episode of depression lasts, the greater the likelihood of a recurrence of depression. Untreated, depression can become a progressive disease leading to neurodegeneration. Untreated depression especially compromises the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain essential for reasoning and decision-making and enabling control of emotional reactivity. Therapy helps patients develop the skills not just to beat back a current episode of depression but to prevent future ones as well.
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Understanding Depression As A Disability
It’s natural for anyone to feel depressed occasionally. However, that’s different than a diagnosis of major depressive disorder.
Where feeling depressed, sad, or hopeless on occasion is a common occurrence, especially after an upsetting or traumatic life event, a major depressive disorder is more severe, persistent, and potentially disabling.
Illnesses may be obvious to the naked eye, or they can be completely invisible. Sometimes a person with depression might look unwell, and other times they may appear to be perfectly fine and healthy.
It’s important to remember that we do not exist inside anyone else’s mind but our own, so we don’t get to judge whether or not someone else is really sick. A diagnosis of depression may be sufficient to obtain Disability Benefits, and it is a real disability. As such, a service animal can be helpful.
Making A Support Plan
If your child is experiencing depression and needs ongoing support, it can be helpful to create a support plan together with the professionals around your child so that you know exactly what help is available and how your child can access it. This could include things like:
- agreements with their GP, or their key worker if they are being treated by CAMHS, about when they will next check-in
- whether any referrals can be made to other services, and a list of the services available locally that might be able to support them
- what your childs school can offer including a staff member who they can speak to when theyre struggling.
- people your child trusts and can talk to when they need to, including family and friends.
You can find out more about speaking to GPs, finding a counsellor or therapist, accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services , getting help from your childs school and finding local services on our guide to getting help.
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What Does Depression Look Like
Well raise your question with a few Qs of our own: Are you female? Are you a teen? Depression can also affect different ages and genders in unique ways:
Women are more likely to ruminate . This can look like negative self-talk, sudden crying spells, feelings of guilt, or blaming oneself. Women are also more likely to have depression at the same time as an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, eating disorder, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Men with depression are more likely to show signs of irritability, anger, apathy, escapist behavior , or reckless behavior .
Younger people can struggle with depression and MDD . Children and teens may sometimes exhibit oversensitivity, social withdrawal, poor school performance, frequent physical complaints , or feelings of incompetence and despair .
Older adults and the elderly are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for depression because their symptoms can be mistaken for other disorders , or they may assume their feelings are just an inevitable part of aging. For many, sadness isnt the biggest indicator of depression instead, physical complaints are often the predominant symptom. Sleep trouble, low motivation, neglect of personal care or hygiene, and fixation on death are other signs of depression in older adults.
Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps:
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Looking Good Can Equal Feeling Good
Studies, including one from 2015, show that feeling confident in how you look adds to how you feel. Personal style mentor and confidence coach Yolandie Hamilton has witnessed this firsthand.
One tool that Ive seen help women that I work with who have bouts of depression is managing their appearance, Hamilton says. They know that how they appear in the mirror affects their mood and that the appearance-mood connection can become negatively cyclical if they dont do something about it.
Hamilton suggests adding a happy nostalgia piece to your outfit, something that has significance to you.
These pieces help to interrupt the depressive thought patterns by taking them to a positive memory, she says.
What Are The Signs Of Depression
The signs of depression can vary from person to person. But in general, if you feel continuously sad for at least 2 weeks, you may have a type of depression called major depressive disorder. Signs of major depression include:
Feeling down most of the time
Feeling much less interested in activities or hobbies that you once enjoyed
Changes in your weight or appetite
Sleeping too much or too little
Fatigue that lasts most of the day
Appearing lethargic or moving more slowly than usual
Feeling worthless or guilty
Thoughts of suicide
If you suspect that you may have depression, it is best to meet with a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist for an assessment. The only way to know for sure that you have depression is to get diagnosed by a professional. If youre having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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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.
What Are Some Natural Ways To Deal With Depression
Psychotherapy and medication are two common ways to treat depression, but they are far from the only resources available. There are also natural or alternative ways to help your depression on your own. You may choose to try these while also taking medication or seeking therapy. If you start with natural ways but continue to feel depressed, it is important that you get professional help.
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Learn To Recognize Negative Thinking
Sometimes these thoughts can be obvious, such as times when you berate or criticize yourself. Other times, they can be more subtle. You might find yourself engaging in things like catastrophizing or all-or-nothing thinking.
Catastrophizing involves always anticipating negative outcomes. All-or-nothing thinking means that you think of things as either successes or failures with no in-between. Once you get better at recognizing these cognitive patterns, you can start working on some healthier replacements.
How Is Progress Evaluated In Therapy
While unstructured interactions with patients under their care can provide a window into patient functioning, therapists providing good care make regular assessments of a patients clinical status using criteria that have been validated in many studies. To know whether and how much depression is improving, they regularly monitor treatment progress by measuring the severity of multiple symptoms of depression on standardized scales. The most widely used assessment instrument is the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, or Ham-D, which gauges progress in 21 constellations of symptoms, from level of sadness to degree of guilty feelings to lack of energy to sleep problems. Severity is rated for each cluster of symptoms. Comparison of results over several sessions provides an accurate picture of treatment effectiveness and indicates areas where more intensive work may be needed.
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Why Would Someone End His Life
Worldwide every year 800,000 to 1.2 million people commit suicide. In the Netherlands, with a population of over 17 million, more than 1,800 people die by suicide every year and 94,000 people with suicidal thoughts attempt to take their lives. Despite these high rates and the damage it does to those involved and to society, talking about suicide is still considered a taboo. People with suicidal thoughts often feel isolated. This is partly, because the health care professionals they visit are unable to address the issues of despair and suicidality. In order to promote suicide prevention in healthcare and beyond, 113 provides a range of online services. These services can be used anonymously and free of charge 24/7. This allows people with suicidal thoughts find or regain hope, get help and find adaptive ways to cope with despair and psychological pain. In addition, 113 aims at empowering, teaching and training health care professionals, gatekeepers throughout society, relatives and friends in order for them to overcome their reluctance to address suicidal thoughts and behaviour for those in need.
Who Is At High Risk For Depression
Those most at risk for developing depression include women, the elderly, those with a personal or family history of depression, chronic stressors, those with other concurrent mental and physical health conditions, low socioeconomic status, and those taking medications that may cause depression, like birth control or some anxiety medications.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Also known as SSRIs, these typically have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. Fluoxetine , sertraline , and escitalopram all fit into this category.
Depression is linked to low levels of serotonin . SSRIs work by preventing your blood from absorbing some of the serotonin from your brain. This leaves a higher level of serotonin in the brain, and increased serotonin can help relieve depression.
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