Techniques to Decrease Depression
Eric Metcalf describes his take on depression on Healthline, where he explains that “Depressed people have a harder time finding motivation to go to work, go out with friends, even clean the house.” Low motivation is just one sign of depression.
Signs of Depression:
Techniques for Reducing Depression
1. Focus on Actions and not Thoughts
When you are depressed, you tend to focus on negative thoughts, or ruminating thoughts, so instead of focusing on thoughts, focus on your actions. Pay attention to your movements, your breathing, and even your actions. When we can focus on concrete reality, it helps us to not focus on our thoughts and get in touch with what's really happening in the present moment.
2. Meditation: Live in the Moment
When we focus on regrets, past pain, past experiences, we can perpetuate the cycle of depression. Living in the moment means being aware of your surroundings, your blessings, your current functioning in the minute. Mindfulness meditation is a good place to start to learn how to do this activity. Living in the moment does not mean you forget your past, or that you do not make amends, but rather, you enjoy what is happening now.
Exercise releases endorphins which can elevate mood. Exercise is a good, healthy coping skill. It also can take your mind off of the depressive symptoms, and increase energy levels in the body.
4. Acknowledge your successes
Identifying the right decisions or small accomplishments can help keep away the feelings of hopelessness. There are small accomplishments that sometimes we ignore, but always remember that small accomplishments can lead to big accomplishments.
5. Even when you don’t want to, try to do something, even if it is small.
This could be putting away the dishes or making a doctor's appointment. The saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today” is a good mantra. When we try to keep up, even with small things, we can stop caught in the proverbial “black hole” of depression.
6. Maintain relationships
When someone is depressed they often shut people out or withdrawal from those they love. Stay in contact with family, friends, neighbors, church members, or those in your support group. Have at least one person you have contact at least once a week. Go for coffee, send an email or make a phone call. If you feel that you are withdrawing, make a phone call to get reconnected.
7. Avoid the need for perfection
No one is perfect. Sometimes we put unnecessary pressures on ourselves to be perfect. We are harder on ourselves than we need to be. In addition, sometimes, we expect others to be perfect. That is not fair. We need to accept ourselves for who we are and who we want to be. We also need to do the same for the people in our lives. Having realistic expectations can help battle feelings of shame and hoplessness. As well as battle feelings of hoplessness.
8. Take time for you
Refuse the urge to constantly answer emails or messages. Practice yoga, meditation, or simply general relaxation. Learning to take care of yourself is very important. In addition, learning to be comfortable when calm or alone is an essential tool. It may sound funny, but many people are not comfortable relaxing or being alone.
It's OK to have your teens help you with the chores. It is acceptable to say “no” if you have put too much on your schedule. Ask for help to maintain stability.
Remember that depression is very real, and these are some things that you can do in order to help decrease depressive symptoms and elevate mood. Taking these small steps can help you to feel less and less depressed.
- Kim B.
I seem to be one of those people that everyone else loves. It is not because I have boyishly handsome good looks, I do not. It is not because I am an award-winning educator, actor, or public speaker, I am not. It is not my charming whit, and it has nothing to do with being wealthy, because, as the world defines wealth, I am not wealthy.
I am one of those people that other people love and want around because I have an immense work ethic and great difficulty in saying ‘no’. Acknowledging that fact is a first step of personal growth for me. I have been, for the most part throughout my career-life, very popular with my employers and supervisors, because they could count on me. They have always been able to take advantage of that flaw in my character. I struggle with telling anyone ‘no’, and I have on many occasions over the years worked myself into total exhaustion, both mentally and physically because I could not say ‘no’.
After I became a supervisor and/or a manager, my struggle continued in a new way. What should have been a time of personal growth and achievement, became another pit of struggle. At this point, not only was I unable to tell other people ‘no’, I struggled even more with delegating. I took on more responsibility and even more actual activity due to my inability to delegate, not only with tasks, but also with authority.
Many of my issues with anxiety, stress, and even with depression are as a result of my inability to say ‘no’ and/or to delegate. This struggle has diminished or even destroyed my attempts at growing and developing myself - I believe that everything that is worth doing in life should be done with excellence. My personal struggle comes when others that work with me or work for me, do not possess the same characteristic. It is not that they do not want to perform tasks or achieve results with excellence. In many circumstances they do not possess the same level of excellence or the expectation of excellence that I do.
I have high expectations for the level of excellence at which we should perform and achieve, and I am unwilling to allow a project, a process, an event, or an entity to fail when my reputation or the reputation of my organization is at risk.
I have often thought that if I would allow something to fail in order to demonstrate how a subordinate could not or would not step up to the plate - Then I could illustrate how others were failing to achieve when I was always taking on what they did not. It is ironic to say and maybe even think that failure in this sense would bring personal growth for myself and my subordinates.
Reframe What You Think About Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2014, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-photos/get-things-done-despite-depression.aspx#03
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