Whether you’ve lost a loved one, facing financial troubles, going through health issues, facing an unreasonable boss, not able to breakthrough in life or feeling lonely? We all face the effect of repressing our emotions in the form of depression at some point in our life.
Before proceeding you must know the following ideas are not dummy tips . They do not include any temporary relief methods like sleeping, or meditating, or watching movies, or chanting a mantra. These methods work but soon lose their significance over a short period of time. I want you to know that I am not trying to involve you in any kind of pep talk or motivational tips. These are practical and strategic ideas explained with the purpose of their Cause and Effect, the manner in which they change your physiology . These can be used effectively to identify the cause of our condition and help our body to heal. But you need to put in your effort and consistency with them for atleast 3 weeks before you start seeing a major improvement. Everything you achieve in life is a result of leaving no stone unturned till you complete that goal. You need to take it as a challenge. As a new goal.
Let’s get rolling:
1. Becoming aware of the inner talk and immediately changing the Environment
Self awareness and appropriate action is very important in your fight against depression. As soon as you find yourself in the midst of rumination or in the cycle of depressive thoughts, immediately get your ass moving and change your environment. Be aware of the fact that depressing thoughts are automatic, intruding in one’s state of mind unhidden. Even when we try to suppress our depressing thoughts, we often cannot come up with better alternatives. Once the tide of thought has started, it has a powerful magnetic effect on the train of association.
Sharing your feelings with someone who is understanding and trustworthy enough not to take any undue advantage of your vulnerability can be of great help.
Just when you become aware that the train of destructive thoughts have started, you must make a special effort to get your attention on something that is completely upbeat. Be careful not to choose something like a tearjerker movie, a tragic novel that will drag your mood down again. Rather go for something that can help you to express your repressed emotions in an energetic way. For instance playing outdoor team sports, planning to go for adventure sports, going on a long drive or even a trip with your friends or spouse will help you to express yourself appropriately. Even just discussing with someone who understands you and trustworthy enough not to take any undue advantage of your vulnerability can be of great help.
2. Aerobic exercise or joining a Gym
Cause and Effect
Exercise works well because it changes the physiological state of depression from a low arousal state into a high arousal state of working out. This approach is quite effective because it pitches the brain into a level of activity incompatible with the emotional state that has had in its grip.
3. Creating new but small Challenges
A more constructive approach to eliminating depression is engineering a small triumph or easy success. It means tackling some long-delayed chore around the house or getting to some other duty you’ve been waiting to clear up.
Cause and Effect
Setting up a diary or a schedule for completing small household chores everyday like cleaning in your kitchen before you go to sleep, making your bed when you wake up, putting your toilet seat up after using it, watering the plants, writing a journal before you go to sleep….all these small achievements might not seem to be of any good. But when they add up every single day, and if you complete them whole heartedly every single day…….You’ll be amazed at the kind of change your mood will have.
4. Reframing the Thoughts
Cause and Effect
It is natural to bemoan the end of a relationship and to drown yourself in self pitying thoughts such as the conviction that “this means I’ll always be alone”, but it’s sure to thicken the sense of despair. Rather step back and think about the ways the relationship wasn’t so great, and ways you and your partner were mismatched. In other words frame your thoughts differently, in a more positive light. It proves to be an effective anti-dote to sadness.
NOTE – Some people might make the mistake of relating this method with rationalization. Rationalizing would the case when you have behaved in an inappropriate manner and to hide the fault you create a false justification for that act. If repeated over a period of time, this can soon become a habit which will do you more harm than good because then you will have justification for every kind of inappropriate behavior you come up with. This is completely different from Reframing of Thoughts which should only be used when there is deep sadness over a sense of loss of loved one, breakup, job or any opportunity.
5. Role Change
This one is highly recommended to anyone who has sense of depression accompanied with loneliness and isolation.
Rather than looking for someone to help you out with your troubles, you will try to change the role from a victim to saviour.
This idea relates with the property that in depression and loneliness, an individual is obsessed with himself. He is only concerned with his own thoughts and miseries. In the end he always ends up victimizing himself. This idea will help to change the course of your mind and to recognize the problems and needs of other people.
An effective depression lifter is helping others in need. Depression feeds on ruminations and preoccupations with the self. Helping others lifts us out of those preoccupations as we empathize with people in pain of their own. Throwing oneself into volunteer work- some social group, an elder brother, feeding the homeless, taking care of stray dogs or owning an orphan pet, are one of the most powerful mood changers and will help you constructively to breakthrough from your current state of depression.
Awareness is The Key – Final Thoughts
It might not feel easy to move your butt and try a few things when you are facing the bouts of depression or stress. But if you want your life back from the jaws of Depression then at some point you have to lift your ass from that couch and declare to the world and most importantly, yourself ….“Enough is Enough….I am not going to take this anymore….My life has some value….I am not going to let this take control of my life…..I am in control here….I am going to breakthrough….I will heal myself no matter how hard it seems.” Repeat this line everyday to yourself whenever you feel the destructive thoughts taking you over and immediately start taking the help of some of the above presented ideas. You will require all the 3C’s Consistent, Continuous and Conscious effort in your road to healing…….
Best of luck.
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