Depression - Tips
Tips for coping with depression
Would you like some tips and advice how to deal with depression?
This forum is a great place to:
- explore several tips.
- respond to tips / share your experience.
- share the tips that work for you.
What's your tip how to deal with depression?
Tip 1 - Keep regularity and structure in your life
Keep regularity and structure in your life, also when you do not have any plans. Get up in time at a certain time. Eat on regular times. And go to bed in time at a certain time. This way you keep control over your life.
Tip 2 - Three anti-worry-tips
In general, thinking about a problem is a very useful way to find the solution for a problem. But sometimes we keep on thinking very hard to try and force a solution to come that is just not there yet. This creates a kind of thinking that is more like worrying and it seems like you do not control your thoughts anymore. Many people have this.
Here are 3 anti-worry-advises
1. Stop your thoughts
When you notice you are worrying, say STOP IT to yourself. You can visualize a symbol for that, for example a traffic light or a traffic sign that says STOP. Then think of something funny and also make a symbol for that. For example a nice holiday memory.
2. The 'hair band'
This simple method will help you to release yourself from thoughts: Put a hairband on your wrist. Every time you notice you are thinking too much, pull the rubber band. The little pinch will get you out of the thinking loop. Then think of something nice again.
Allow yourself to write down all your worries. For that time, don't do anything else, just concentrate on writing down your thoughts. Set the alarm for fifteen minutes, choose every time the same place to sit down for it and just allow your thoughts, without talking drinking or eating. When the alarm goes off, you immediately stop writing. Then go and do something nice.
Tip 3 - Keep a gratefulness diary.
Keep a gratefulness diary.
Gratefulness is like a medicine for body and spirit. Research shows that people that are grateful, are happier in life, more successful, more forgiving and have more energy.
Grateful people are less likely to get a burn-out, depression or fears. Gratefulness is not a quality you are born with, it is something you can develop! You can start even today with a gratefulness diary and you will be surprised by the effect.
Write down every day 5 things you feel grateful for.
Tip 4 - Exercise and stay active
Stay physically active through regular exercise. Depression, fatigue, lack of energy and apathy can cause psychical inactivity, and exercising can often seem like the last thing you want to do.
Exercising and staying physically active is very important, for two reasons:
1) You can help improve your mood, and lower your feelings of d
2) When you exercise, your body releases chemicals which help to trigger a positive feeling in your body.
Thus, do exercise! For example running or swimming. Or go dancing. Or bicycling, or hiking every day. Or do gardening, or walk to the grocerystore instead of talking the car.
Tip 5 - Facial feedback
Research has shown (Strack, Stepper & Martin, 1988), that a positive facial expression creates a positive emotional experience. So, a smile can have a lot of influence on your emotional well being.
Experience it yourself:
Put a smile on your face and keep it there for 20 to 30 seconds. Then relax your face again. Repeat this 10 to 20 times and see if you feel suddenly more positive.
Even better: Do this exercise in front of a mirror so that you can experience what psychologists call 'facial feedback': your emotions start to resonate with your facial expression.
Tip 6 - Find distraction and do 'fun stuff'
Find distraction and do 'fun stuff'
Try to keep on doing 'fun stuff'. You can think of things that you used to really enjoy before the depressed feelings started. Often you feel a little bit better afterwards.
When you do nothing while you feel depressed, you will get even more down. You will keep on thinking and worrying.
Make a list of the things that were (or are) relaxing for you and make some time for this. Even when you don't feel like actually doing it yet. The joy in your life will gradually find its way back when you pick up your life again.
Tip 7 - Look at what you feel good about
Make everyday time to think about the things you did that day that you feel good about. For example just before you go to bed. What you don't feel good about already gets way too much attention!
Tip 8 - Take action
The idea that you don't control your life makes the depression stronger. As soon as you take action you will notice that you have more control then you thought. Also with small actions.
Tip 9 - Start everyday with a Body-Scan meditation
With a Body-Scan meditation (check youtube) you practice conscious breathing while you focus on the body. As you know, body and soul are connected. Feelings are in the body and not in the mind.
A relaxing Body-Scan is also a great gift you can give yourself everyday: a relaxed mind in a relaxed body. Do it! You will notice it will make you feel better.
Tip 10 - Eat healthy, varied and sufficient.
Eat healthy, varied and sufficient. When you eat unhealthy or not enough and do not get enough nutrients in your body, this can make you feel even more weary, down and apathetic. So eat healthy. It's also very important to drink enough water.
Tip 11 - Practice mindfulness
Look with a mild, gentle and friendly attention to your depression.
Accept that the depressed feelings are there, without identifying with them. You are not the depression, you have the depression.
By approaching yourself and your depression in a gentle manner, you can relax deeper and then your feelings can become soft too.
Tip 13 - Find a counsellor
Do you suffer from depression and could you use some support?
A therapist or counsellor can help you.
Tip 14 - Don't escape into alcohol and drugs
Don't escape your depression by using alcohol or drugs. It might seem like a way out and it seems like it makes you feel better. But it is not a solution.
On top of it, it might create an extra problem: an alcohol/drug addiction.
Also escaping your depressed feelings by emotional eating is not a solution.
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