When depression strikes, it can feel like the world is against you, that no one understands. Depression can happen at any time of life and often occurs following a stressful period in life, even joyful ones like the birth of a child, or a marriage. Whenever depression happens, it is important to acknowledge that you are experiencing it and to get help. Here are ten tips that can help reduce clinical depression right away.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
There is nothing wrong with feeling depressed. Problems stem from denying feelings and repressing them to please others or look good to them. Acknowledge the way that you feel. Be honest with yourself, and with others (but be gentle too). Do not dwell on the bad stuff, but by all means, do not ignore it either. It is important to give voice to what you are feeling, as speaking your truth empowers you and breaks the cycle of isolation and depression.
Be Kind To Yourself (And Others)
When depression strikes, it is easy to be overly critical of everything and everyone - yourself included. It's easy to criticize and be a Negative Nelly. Negative talk, whether it's to the self or to others, only contributes to depression, making it worse. Say good things to yourself and others as this will make it possible for others to return the favor. Everybody needs kindness - so take the time to be kind. You (and others) will be glad you did.
Walk (Or Work) It Out
Sometimes it's tough to speak out the feelings inside. Not just because the feelings are hard to handle - but because words are sometimes inadequate to describe what's in your heart. Going for a walk, or working out, can be a good way to work through depression. Physical exercise gets the heart pumping, and it's possible to work through hard emotions in this way. Also, by being active, the body produces endorphins that automatically give the body a post-workout "high" which can be a good boost to an otherwise difficult day. Even better, do this activity with friends or family. Having their company can be an emotional boost.
Spend Time With Friends (And Loved Ones)
Whether it's time being active, or just hanging out, spending time with friends and loved ones is a good way to combat depression. When dealing with depression, having people who care nearby can be an emotional boost. Go for a walk, to the gym, to a cafe or even just for a stroll around the mall. Being surrounded by the love of a good friend can help overcome feelings of inadequacy and being worthless, useless, or loveless.
Stay Away From Combative People
When depression hits, some people see it as an opportunity to pick fights and prove their worth at your expense. As much as possible, avoid these types of people. When they start their rant, walk away. Whether they're picking or criticizing something in the workplace, the world, or something specific you've done, spending time with these people is harmful and can push back progress in overcoming depression. It's hard to beat depression when surrounded with angry, depressed people. Spend time with positive people, and their positive vibe will be like armor against the barbs of combative people.
Arm Yourself With Positivity
When surrounded with positivity, it's hard for depression to linger long. Practice thinking positive about even stressful situations. Visualize that report going well, rather than poorly. Spending time with people who also think and speak positively creates a shield against times when depression pushes forward. Dwelling in positivity, even in tough times, can make it possible to fight the depression monster and tame it. Best of all, research has shown that those who think positive have a happier, healthier life. Choose to be positive and claim this for yourself.
Keep Your Promises (Especially To Yourself)
When depression hits, sometimes people let go of the commitments that they have made to themselves. Ones like doing that hard thing, or completing a task, keeping active, or even doing something they love. They might feel like they just don't have the energy to do it right then. It's important to always recognize when things are too hard to do right then, but also to make a commitment to pick it up again as soon as possible. Recommitting to these promises gives you the power to tell depression where to go and to reclaim power over it.
Move Forward (Not Back)
Depression can often cause people to get stuck, sort of like getting stuck in mud or a snowbank. It's hard to move forward when all momentum is spent spinning in place. Set goals, and work toward them. If it helps, make a vision board filled with images of what you want out of life, and look at it every day. This is a sure-fire way to get unstuck and get moving toward a better, happier life.
Eat Healthy Meals
When depression happens, many people stop eating healthy foods and eat lots of junk and fast food. It's a damaging lifestyle and one that makes it even harder to overcome depression. The body needs healthy foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables, as well as lean proteins and simple carbs to fuel the body, mind, and spirit. Depression is going to reign so long as food that is filled with salts, fats, and processed sugars keep coursing through the body. Choose to eat a variety of healthy foods. Try a new fruit or vegetable, or switch it up and try preparing a staple in a different way.
Be Thankful For Everything
When dealing with depression it can be difficult, to feel good about anything. Event the smallest things often seem to be awful. It is hard to see anything is happening that might be beneficial or something to be happy about. That is why keeping a gratitude journal is a great tool to help combat depression. Take a moment every day to write down at least three things you are thankful for. It might be as simple as being thankful for being alive, and a place to live. Or it might be the chirp of the birds on the way to work or a strangers' smile. Being able to see the good part of a rough day can help break the cycle of depression.