4 Tips To Reduce Feelings of Depression
If you’ve been depressed or you’re currently depressed, than you know it drains your energy, hope and drive, which makes it that much more difficult to feel better. The unfortunately reality is that overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy. It’s like running a marathon where you need to take it one step at a time. While you can’t just will yourself to snap out of it, you do have some control, even if your depression is stubbornly persistent and severe. The main thing is to start small and build upon it from there. Feeling better takes time but you can absolutely get there with persistence, with as many positive choices, thoughts and actions that you can manage. Don’t give up! You will recover!
With that said, psychotherapist Stuart MacFarlane has helped hundreds of people overcome depression by giving them some tools they can use outside of therapy sessions. Like mentioned above, the key is to start small and build up from there. Here are four ways you can get started!
1. Cultivate Relationships – Reach out
Getting the support you need from positive relationships plays a big role in lifting the fog of depression and keeping it away. Without supportive relationships, it can be hard to maintain perspective and sustain the efforts to beat depression, but it’s like a double-edged sword – depression can make it challenging to reach out for help from others. While loneliness and seclusion can elicit or worsen the symptoms of depression, emotionally close relationships are imperative when overcoming it. Even if it seems like an overwhelming task, remember it’s the depression that’s stumping you, not your own self. With that in mind, triumph over those woes and reach out to others because it’s never too late to improve your support network.
Depression can make otherwise easy tasks like getting out of bed daunting, but when you muster up the strength to get outside to exercise, it can have many benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants because it increases your energy levels and reduces feelings of fatigue. The most benefits are going to come from 30 minutes or more of exercise per day but you can start small until you’ve built up the motivation to go longer. For instance, 10 minute bursts of activity can have a positive effect on your mood and best of all, you don’t need to hit the gym or run miles. Something as simple as a brisk walk can be enough to get you moving.
3. Challenge Negative Thoughts
Depression tends to put a negative spin on just about everything, particularly the way you perceive yourself. Breaking that pessimistic mind set can be difficult but you need to replace those negative thoughts with more balanced ones. For starters, think outside of yourself – don’t be so harsh on yourself. You wouldn’t say what you’re thinking about yourself to someone else. Accept yourself and allow yourself to be less than perfect because no one else is. Lastly, socialize with positive people because their bright-sided attitude is contagious.
4. Do Things You Enjoy
To overcome depression, you have to do the things that relax and energize you because happiness is important. Doing this will require you to change up your lifestyle to be more healthy like getting a full nights’ rest, eating a well-balanced diet and adopting healthy habits that will become routine. While you can’t force yourself to have fun, you can pick up on things you used to enjoy again, like a hobby or a sport and let that reignite the passion.
All in all, depression can be beaten with the right tools and resources, so take advantage of everything you have at your disposal to get back on track to happiness.