How to help alleviate depression
Many people goes through periods of depression where you lose your interest and will to do things you normally enjoy and this can affect your life and work in a big way. Luckily there are many tips you can use to overcome a depression, here are some that I find very usefull.
It is essential to overcome a stage of discouragement and loss of interest in things to perform activities that make you feel better. While it is true, that when you are depressed you do not feel like it or do not think that doing activities serves you at all, however, the execution of activities allows you to increase your level of physical and mental energy, to defocus the mind of negative thoughts and obsessive thoughts.
The practice is that you select a group of activities that, before entering into crisis, generated interest and enthusiasm. For example, if before depressing you liked to practice some type of sport, now you should propose to recover that activity, even if it is in a reduced way.
This practice is the most used by psychologists of cognitive-behavioral orientation. It consists of learning how to identify negative thoughts, which tend to be automatic and semi-unconscious. They are usually brief and very toxic, for example "I am stupid", "I will never get better", "everyone gets what I am unable to get", etc.
Once identified you must learn to replace them with other thoughts that are realistic, logical, rational and positive. For example, if I've done something wrong, instead of thinking "I'm stupid," I'll learn to tell myself, "Making a mistake does not mean I'm stupid." In order to carry out this work correctly, you must record your negative thoughts in writing and change them to realistic and positive thoughts.
Develop your self-esteem
Self-esteem is like the mental health immune system. With a good level of self-esteem it becomes very difficult for depression to develop. Self-esteem is supported by good self-support, where we value ourselves and tolerate our faults.
The fundamental practice for developing self-esteem is the identification and elimination of self-critical thoughts. The biggest enemy of you is yourself, particularly when you attack with critical thoughts. You have to learn to speak to yourself in a respectful way by giving yourself the value you have just for being a person. Treating yourself well, like a good father who transmits your affection, support and appreciation, is key to developing your self-esteem.
Develop your assertivity
Assertiveness is the ability to know how to defend yourself in a non-violent way against the pressures, demands or abuses of others. If you have difficulty reaffirming your points of view before others, knowing how to say "no" to an abusive request, or taking initiatives with others, you may need to learn to develop your assertiveness. If you feel unable to respond to the abusive demands of others, this may make you feel weak and insecure and you will end up criticizing yourself instead of being critical of others.
Develop your emotional intelligence
Knowing how to accept and tolerate different emotional states, even if they are negative, will be one of the best advantages you can count on in life. If you have anxiety, sadness, fear or anger and you can "control" without these emotions overflowing, you will be a person with a good capacity for self-control. And of course, if you know how to tolerate and accept negative emotions, you can have a greater capacity to enjoy positive ones.
Facing the situations
It is frequent in the work of psychologists to care for people with a high level of avoidance. That is, fleeing from situations that involve a high level of discomfort: a subject that has been suspended several times, a meeting with people who make me feel insecure, a person who attracts me but who I think can reject me, the commitment in a couple relationship, etc.
Avoidance is a defense mechanism that "protects" in the short term of not experiencing fear or anxiety, but that in the medium term ruins the achievements in life since any objective that supposes a certain degree of fear is avoided and thus frustrated. It is evident that depression is nourished by avoidance.
One of the typical characteristics of depression is the loss of interest in reaching goals. People always need to have goals, major or minor, that they can achieve in life to be excited and stimulated. The know how to establish objectives that I wish will be an important stimulus to overcome depression and in general in life to have good stimuli to overcome.
Learn how to relax
Another technique taught by psychologists is relaxation. This technique is fundamental for you to learn to loosen your muscles and with it your mind as well. When the body is relaxed, your psychological fitness is more serene and your way of thinking becomes less negative, apprehensive, obsessive or rigid.
In recent years there has been a multiplication of research by psychologists on the effectiveness of the practice of meditation or mindfulness (mindfulness). Its effects are very valuable for the treatment of anxiety, obsessiveness, relapses of the depressive type, psychosomatic diseases, and in general for the development of the capacity for acceptance and tolerance of both physical pain and any type of emotional discomfort. Read more about meditation in our article “Meditation | Whole-Brain Thinking And Its Benefits”
Learning to solve problems
Knowing how to solve the different problems that life subjects us to is something that we can learn or improve through problem solving strategies that have been well empirically verified. It is about developing the ability to know how to properly assess the pros and cons implied in any decision making in order to choose properly.
What do you do to combat depression? Let me know in the comments below.
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