Learning how to cope with depression in seven manageable steps can have a transformative effect on your life.
Every human, at one point or another, has experienced some form of depression. Depression makes you question the purpose of your existence; it wins if you cannot answer this question and if it completely engulfs you. It drives a wedge between you and the rest of the world, it makes you feel alone and hopeless. Depression is not invincible, though; you can fight back and defeat it. But keep in mind that if you fight it alone, it has already won. Reach out to others (either your loved ones or experts), fight it as a team, outnumber it. If not for you, then fight for your loved ones.
How To Cope With Depression
These 7 tips will help you in that fight.
Get Some Physical Exercise
Let it be regular exercise or gym or aerobics or yoga, whatever suits you, do it regularly. If possible, do it in same time slot every day. Push yourself some more every day so that you can concentrate on exercise instead of brooding. Research suggests exercise is very efficient as an antidepressant. For example, long-distance running releases euphoria-inducing neurochemicals like endorphins. Also, a healthy body supports a healthy mind. Come on, sweat it out!!
Get Some Mental Exercise
Depression is usually characterized by a feeling of emptiness. Fill that void with your passion or hobbies. If you have none, find something now. But be careful not to allow any negative influences affect you. Control what you think about. Set some time aside for meditation or other concentration-enhancing exercises every day. Some forms of meditation increase activity in a different part of the brain which can cause relaxation, happiness, and emotional balance.
Meet New People
Talk to the person sitting beside you on the bus. Introduce yourself to a person in your office with whom you haven’t talked until now. Converse with the person at the grocery store. Join a depression forum, even an online depression chat room. Learn their stories. Sometimes, life surprises you; one of their stories might be the solution to your situation. There are people out there who faced or are facing the same problem as you, you are not alone in this.
Get Out Of The Room
If you are feeling depressed or dejected, immediately walk out of that place (if circumstances permit). Visit a new place if possible. If you cannot afford long, expensive vacations, just explore your office building or your neighbourhood. The place where you live also influences your mental state. Make sure it is well-lit and organized. Also, Serotonin, a hormone which regulates your mood and makes you happy, is released when exposed to sunlight, so try to get plenty of it.
Use Positive Auto-Suggestions
If you say something to your brain repeatedly, the poor thing believes it to be true. This is called “Auto-suggestion”. It can be used either positively or negatively. So, stop telling yourself that you are depressed. Instead, tell yourself again and again that you are doing great. Avoid using the word “depressed” or similar ones and your brain will start believing in positivity.
Complete Small Tasks
Lack of accomplishments is one of the reasons for depression. Make a to-do list and start completing small tasks first and gradually level up to bigger ones. After completion of each task, your brain is rewarded with endorphins that make it happy. It starts craving for more and you will start achieving big.
Most importantly, express yourself, talk it out
In many countries, there is a social stigma attached to the word “Depression”. People like to keep their depression a secret, even from their loved ones. You have to realize that it is not something to be ashamed of. If you share your situation with your dear ones in its initial stages, mere words or a hug can relieve you. Hugging releases oxytocin, a hormone which can help with depression and social anxiety. Remember, the first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge that there is one.
Depression is a formidable opponent. But you can defeat it by fighting it along with your team; these tips provide you with the required ammunition. Go get ‘em, tiger!
For greater insight into interacting with those suffering from depression or if you would like to chat with others affected by depression, I highly recommend joining the app, Reachout.
Sunil is a social entrepreneur working on projects that enhance the quality of life for people. He is passionate about using tech to help the human cause.