8 tips to relieve depression
Nowadays, depression is a typical and very frequent problem of the society in which we live, being an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in the population.
We consider as depressed that person who presents at least a sad mood and partial loss of the ability to feel interest and pleasure , along with other problems such as fatigue, poor judgment, sleep or feeding problems, recurring negative thoughts that make life look negative, sometimes uncontrollable and hopeless.
What can we do to keep depression away from our lives?
Depressed people have mood, cognitive, behavioral, physical and interpersonal symptoms , being a problem that generates a lot of difficulties when it comes to living a normal life.
Taking this into account, we proceed to give you a series of indications or tips that are useful to improve your state in a depressive process. Although the tone of this article may seem casual, all the indications that are given have a scientific basis, the majority being applied in clinical practice in people with different types of depression.
1. Create a schedule ... and complete it
Depressed people tend to have a passive attitude towards life . Depression makes you lose the illusion and energy, losing the motivation to make plans and do things. It is also common to think that whatever you do, there is not going to be an improvement in your situation, which facilitates the inhibition.
One way to combat this passive attitude is to make and commit to a schedule. This schedule should incorporate the different activities that will be carried out throughout the day and week, forcing the depressed to distribute their time in a way that avoids as much as possible the negative thoughts they may have. It must incorporate both daily obligations (going to work, for example) and daily habits (time to eat, sleep and hygiene habits), and it is especially important to incorporate leisure and socialization periods in a specific way (not to say this time for leisure, but you have to plan a specific activity such as going to the movies for example).
Making a schedule is a way of forcing yourself to plan and act , but the schedule you do must be realistic or else you can get frustrated and worsen your mood.
2. Set goals
Very linked to the previous advice. It is about imagining a future or situation that you want to reach and that you think you can perform .
The objectives that you set have to be realistic and achievable in the short term, that will involve a small effort but that are not so hard that you want to leave. If the objective that comes to mind is complicated or long-term, share it so that you can divide it into small achievable objectives in relatively short timeframes. It is not about making a race in the background, because you can fall on the road. It's about taking one small step at a time.
3. Do sport
We all know the phrase "mens sana in corpore sano". Actually, this popular saying contains more wisdom than it may seem. It has been shown that performing sports on a regular basis generates endogenous endorphins , making us feel in a better mood and reducing the effects of depression.
It also strengthens the body and immune system, helps improve self-esteem and allows you to rest better. The data reflects that it is even a protective factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, as well as for coronary diseases. So, do not hesitate to go running, swimming or going to the gym, since it will make you feel better and it will be useful in many aspects. Endorphins relieve depression.
4. Make a list of everything that goes wrong
Writing what happens to us or happens is a good way to do introspection . Making a list of things that cause us to feel bad can be very useful. However, simply listing all that goes wrong is a process that can help to locate cognitively where the problem or dissatisfaction is, but it does not help but a subsequent work is done. Once done, write down what thoughts provoke you, and then try to imagine possible interpretations different from yours.
This helps to gradually modify dysfunctional beliefs and negative thoughts if we can integrate more positive interpretations and reject those with more negativity.
Who knows a depressed person can probably say that person is wrong and may even have told him the reasons why he is like this. However, although you can give reasons why they feel bad, many depressed people often inhibit and shut their emotions and real thoughts about it.
In this sense, If you feel that you are in a bad moment, you do not have to hesitate to vent . The list of things that go wrong that we talked about earlier ... burn it. Sing, scream, cry, run, practice a contact sport that allows you to download frustration. The important thing is that you do not lock yourself in and let your thoughts flow and, above all, your emotions.
6. Obligate to go out and socialize
Depressed people tend, in the long run, to avoid contact with others . Their state at the beginning generates empathy and concern in friendships or loved ones, but in the long run the negative and isolationist attitude that produces depression can produce some rejection in others.
That is why if you are in a situation of depression, it would be useful for you to participate in the social life around you. This does not mean that you force social situations or establish a relationship of dependency with others, which also tends to cause rejection, but try to leave, participate in the conversation of your friends and are open to participate in different plans and activities.
6. Do something that you like
We have said before that depressed people tend to have a passive attitude and lose the desire to do things. Even something that you used to be passionate about now loses its meaning and seems stupid to you.
For this very reason it is important to force yourself to do them, trying to recover the illusion . It is not necessary that the activity makes you completely happy or that you enjoy the same as before, but it is enough that you reduce the level of sadness a bit, and in the long run you could recover the passion for it.
Introducing changes in your life can make you discover new sensations and views about life . It is not about leaving behind all the above, but about introducing some small variant that may be satisfactory and even changing the vision of the whole.
For example, sign up for a cooking course, Chinese writing or origami, or travel to a place where you've never been before (even if it's a different neighborhood in your city). You can discover a new passion, know environments and people that make you think and value things differently.
8. Go to a professional
If you do not see yourself able to get out of the situation for yourself, you can always call on the help of a professional. Mood disorders are, along with anxiety disorders, the most common types of problems that psychologists and psychiatrists usually work.
This does not mean that your problem is solved overnight, but they can help you establish strategies and perform psychological treatments that improve your situation.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.
- Beck, A.T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. International University Press, New York.