Depression has become so rampant in today’s society that even if you are not a sufferer yourself, you sure know of somebody who is. Quite contrary to what is generally thought, depression is not just sadness, not only tears. It is a constant feeling of being numb and an irrepressible nagging anxiety. The causes of depression are generally deep rooted, where a person, unable to be released from his overwhelming anger and frustration, begins his downward spiral.
Depression is often caused by the constraints of society and the struggle to fit in. It causes an overpowering sense of inadequacy which often leads to a path of self-loathing and even self-harm. Sylvia Plath, in her novel, The Bell Jar writes, “the trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.”
We have all felt this numbing sense of inadequacy at some point in our lives, haven’t we? In some cases, we can actually relate to the person suffering from such a psychosis. We have all been someone who obsessively chases our desires, and along with it the idea of building our own identity, and watching their trauma with life is like standing in front of the mirror. Moving cities, changing jobs, taking up new hobbies, cooking and what not, we have tried it all, and yet the whole pressure of not being enough, somehow never ceases to exist.
But depression is not the end. Apart from medical help, we bring to you certain exercises which you can follow in your daily routine which can make the battle with depression a bit easier. Nicholas R. Forand, a clinical psychologist and also an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Health says, “ the good news is that if you keep these changes up, they can make you less likely to become depressed in the future.”
Set achievable goals: This is something we can never bring ourselves to do. We are always in the rush to do better, achieving impossible goals and then getting anxious when we can’t achieve them. However, trust me; this is detrimental to your mental health. Let’s try not overwhelming and torturing ourselves with extremely high ambitions. As they say “ you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
Do something which makes you happy: Remember all those little things you used to enjoy before this overpowering depression set in? As you became more and more devoured in the whirlwind of anxiety and anguish, the desire for doing those activities subsided, isn’t it? Well, this is the time you should go back to all those little things which make you happy because trust me, you deserve to be happy. This can really change the way you feel. A daily activity, some new found hobby, music lessons or any other thing, make sure that you smile again.
Laugh more often: Laughter is really a great, great medicine. Try more of this and see yourself feeling better. It is one of the best therapies you can ever have. Douglas Cootey, creator of A Splintered Mind states, “A fake smile begins to work its magic on the brain until the smile becomes real. I feel so silly making grin after grin in front of the mirror that it elevates my mood.”
Get outside more: The Sunshine, exposure to light and being close to nature can do wonders for you. Research has shown that being exposed to bright light actually helps to increase serotonin levels and consequently alleviate depressive symptoms.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself: There may be days when you feel a deep numbing sense of anxiety and frustration but it is extremely important to treat yourself well both inside and outside. Harbor positive thoughts. Whenever you feel the sense of inadequacy overpowering you, try to redirect your thoughts. Try thinking of all the little things you have achieved this far.
Make sure you look and feel good: It is important that each day you dedicate a small amount of time and energy towards your appearance. When you look good and feel comfortable, automatically you feel much better.
Last but never the least; do not neglect your medication. Remember it is okay to be sad sometimes and that it is normal that your anxiety gets manifested in a variety of ways. It’s okay to have experienced a loss and to grieve it. However be sure that it does not cause a great harm to your mental well being. Speak up, talk to your near and dear ones about the way you feel. And finally, don’t ignore the little things like proper sleep, a nutritious diet, and regular exercises. Depression is curable, make sure each day you choose to do everything that makes you healthy and happy because believe me, life is beautiful!