Everyone at some point in their lives experiences depression. Common symptoms include reduced energy, anxiety, isolation, and decreased interest in things that once made you happy. Everything is relative. If you were never sad, how would you know what happiness is. You wouldn’t. So it is okay to experience the occasional depressed mood.
This is normal every once in a while, but for many people, depression is a constant part of life, like a wave that washes the happiness and joy out of existence. If you have persistent depression, I empathize with you. I experienced almost non stop depression and anxiety from around the age of 12 all the way to about 27. Eventually, I found the right combination of medication and therapy. But it was a long process of trial an error.
But this doesn’t have to be your journey. If you truly have the willingness to get better, you can do so. It takes a lot of work, but once you have that willingness that you are going to get better no matter what, you are well on your way to recovery from depression. Please consult a physician if you are experiencing persistent depression or suicidal thoughts.
One of the best pieces of advice that I learned in therapy was “move a muscle, change a thought.” If you are unhappy with your current situation, get up and do something different! Here are some tips that really have helped me in my journey in recovering from depression.
1. Breathe. The average person doesn’t breathe deep enough, and therefore doesn’t get enough oxygen to the brain. When you are stressed out or depressed, take some time to take some deep breaths. When you do so, imagine that you are breathing in positive energy and exhaling negative energy.
2. Exercise. This is probably the most important action you can take to combat depression. Moderately intense cardio, such as a brisk walk for about 45 minutes, works wonders. You will not only feel invigorated, but your mind and body will function at higher level. If you are consistent with it, you will lose weight, which will help reinforce a positive body image.
3. Don’t get overwhelmed. If a situation becomes to stressful or demanding, step back and take some time out. There is situation in life that is more important than your mental health and happiness.
4. Relax. Take some time out each day to do something you enjoy. Read a book, spend time with loved ones, go for a walk, etc. Be sure you give yourself some time where you are focused on yourself and not the chaos in your life.
5. Talk to someone. Talking about your problem with another human being takes the power out of the problem. Plus it feels good to interact with others. Many people with depression tend to isolate, but all this does is further your depression. Seek out a therapist if you have the resources to do so. Therapy is a great way to help recover from depression. If not, there is a 12 step group for people with depression, Depressed Anonymous (http://www.depressedanon.com).
If you are unable to snap out of your depression within a week or two, please consult a physician. There are many effective anti-depressants on the market today, which basically adjust certain neurotransmitters in your brain. Medication was one of the keys to my recovery from depression. It’s not for everyone, but if you’ve tried everything else, why not give it a shot?