Three Surprising Ways To Deal With Depression
Therapy and medication are two well-known ways to treat depression, but you might be surprised to learn about a few simple methods that can give you a lift without involving a professional. Try one or more of these natural methods to get relief from depression symptoms whenever you need it.
Take A Walk
It may seem too simple to be true, but just walking briskly a few times around the block can do many positive things for your mood. First, it can be a good way to distract yourself from your depression and the things that trigger it. When you get yourself moving, you are likely to get a little distance from the environment where you were feeling low. The world also looks a little different when you are whizzing by it at a quicker pace.
When your blood starts to pump and your breath quickens, it gets tougher to ruminate and focus on specific things in your mind. If you have to pay more attention to your walking path and keeping your balance, your mind doesn’t have the ability to also focus on your negative thoughts or feelings.
Despite what busy people try to do, they really aren’t keeping track of two things at once because the brain simply can’t do it. Sometimes all it takes is a small interruption in your thoughts to disrupt the momentum of a depressed mood. It’s also widely understood that brisk exercise, even a small amount, releases the natural feel-good chemicals in your body called endorphins.
Write A Letter To Or About Your Depression
Don’t worry if you don’t write as a hobby or for your job. You won’t be sending this written work out to anyone to judge. Imagine your depression as some kind of creature or being that has a life of its own. Consider your feelings, your thoughts, the actions you take or avoid, and your entire demeanor when you are depressed. When you’ve had some time to let this sink in, write your letter. This can be directly to your depression, or you can write to a loved one about it. Remember, this isn’t a letter meant for anyone else to read so you can be free with your expression.
Tell your depression what you think of it, or describe it to another person. Just write whatever comes out as your natural expression. Offer no judgement about whether your writing is good or bad. People often become so overcome with their depression that it seems to be part of them. After writing, you might feel more empowered to take back your life. This powerful technique, sometimes used in depression counseling, may give you a new understanding of the reasons and depth of your illness.
Do Something For Someone Else
When you’re depressed, perhaps the last thing you’d think about is going out of your way for someone else. After all, you’re the one hurting and dealing with daily misery. Remember how your mind can’t focus on two things at once? This also comes into play when you do something for others. Step into another person’s shoes for a moment and see what could make their day better.
Is there something thoughtful you could say? Could you offer help with a task they need to finish? Is there something kind you could do that this person would truly appreciate? If just for a moment, you’ve focused on someone else more than yourself. Doing this can bring a surprising amount of meaning and satisfaction in your life. It’s a very effective way to distract yourself from your depression while creating something positive in your own life.
(If you’re doing these things and they’re not working, it may be time to seek the help of a trained therapist.)