Feelings of depression and anxiety can come seemingly out of nowhere, and they can be debilitating when they do. Knowing how to fight them off is important. There are a number of ways to redirect your mind when these feelings come creeping in and help you to learn how to combat depression and anxiety. Keeping these 7 easy suggestions in mind can help you to combat these unwanted emotions:
1. Get Some Fresh Air
Nature has a way of elevating mood and attitude. Sanborn (2018) said that making time for yourself to get outdoors at least a few times a week is good for your mental health. Whether you sit in a field relaxing and soaking up the sunlight, go out for 30 minutes run, enjoy a few hours of ice skating or skiing, or play in a rainstorm, enjoying some fresh air is a natural mood enhancer. Make it a point to spend at least 20-30 minutes outdoors at least 3 times a week, particularly when you are feeling down or depressed.
2. Curl Up With A Good Book
Open up a book and get lost in another place and time for a while. Pick a comfy spot (somewhere outdoors as we previously discussed would be ideal!), choose a good book, and spend some quiet time reading.
Sometimes the mind just needs a break from the stresses of everyday life, and reading is the perfect escape. Lose yourself for an afternoon in a Gothic romance, a thrilling mystery, a beloved classic, any world you choose. Relax and read some good books you love. You might just discover – or rediscover – a calming, enjoyable habit.
3. Exercise Your Mind
From Sudoku to crossword puzzles to Jeopardy, if you practice some brain training games with your friends or alone, you’ll find it’s nearly impossible to feel depressed. Even a more physically involved activity, a wooden game like bocce ball which has relatively simple rules to play or a game of tennis, for example, can take your mind off of negative thoughts. These types of activities also help to keep the mind focused on positive things and away from unpleasant thoughts or feelings.
4. Get Involved In Group Activities
Isolating yourself and spending too much time alone can cause depression and anxiety to take over. Take part in some enjoyable group activities that will amp up the natural “feel-good” chemicals the brain releases during physical activity.
Get together with friends for a night of bowling once a week, laugh, and have a great time. Get yourself an exercise buddy and go for a run together a couple of times a week. Both the physical and mental benefits of running are incredible.
5. Focus On You
Practice being kind to yourself. Oftentimes people who suffer from depression beat themselves up for it, especially if they are told to “cheer up” or “snap out of it” by people who don’t understand that depression is not about simply being in a bad mood. Take the time to do some good things for yourself.
Meditate, listen to an upbeat playlist and dance around the room, treat yourself to a manicure, a massage, a mini shopping spree – or all three! Realize that you deserve to have wonderful things in your life. Loving yourself and treating yourself well will work wonders to relieve feelings of depression.
6. Talk It Out
Having a close friend or family member you can call up or visit with when feelings of anxiety or depression hit can help immensely. Talking through these feelings can help to identify possible triggers that may bring them on. A positive contact person can help immensely.
Having someone else’s input and advice is a good way to get a look at the bigger picture and to see things from another point of view. This can help you to have a different outlook of your own, especially when the other person helps you to see the positives about yourself and your life. Seeing things through someone else’s eyes can make a huge difference.
7. Keep A Journal
Keeping a journal can serve two purposes. It can help you to identify any common denominators that may precede bouts of depression, and it can also help you to focus on the things you need to keep in mind when these feelings occur.
When you realize you are experiencing these feelings, write down what you are thinking about, how you are feeling (both emotionally and physically), and where you are when the feelings come on. Then give yourself a few moments to think, and write down 3 things that have made you happy in the past 2 weeks.
Whether it was a television show that made you laugh, a visit from a friend or a family get-together, a good phone call, anything that brought a smile to your face. It doesn’t have to be a huge event, just something that made you happy.
Read over these notes often, including when you are not in the grip of depressive thoughts and feelings. This activity is therapeutic and will help you to remember that no matter what there are positives in your life. It will help you to re-train your mind and learn to redirect your thoughts to the good things when you need to.
Author Bio: Aside from her full-time job as a creative content writer, Maryn Mcdonnell is a passionate blogger and artist who loves sharing her views related to healthcare and self-improvement. As a person who is sometimes struggling with depression and anxiety, Maryn never stops finding her ways to improve the balance of both physical and mental health.
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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