According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 16.1 million American adults and Persistent Depressive Disorder (a form of depression) affects approximately 3.3 million . It is a serious problem that requires an effective strategy.
Here are 6 proven ways that will help you cope when you are depressed.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
There’s a part of the brain responsible for rational thinking. You use it to make conscious decisions and think logically. For better or for worse, it can influence the emotional part of your brain and change how you respond to emotions and stimuli.
People with depression are not unable to experience positive emotions or thoughts. The problem is that they don’t allow those positive thoughts and emotions to stay alive for long. There’s constant negative self-talk. Every achievement is downplayed and every problem magnified.
This is when CBT comes into play. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy changes the way you think so that you can manage your emotions effectively.
By changing your thought patterns and rationalizing emotions, it will change the way you feel and help you stop the negative self-talk.
Be aware of your emotions and thoughts. Whenever you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, stop and rationalize it. Why now? Where is this coming from? What assumptions are triggering that particular thought or emotion? Challenge those assumptions. As you dive deeper and deeper, the negative self-talk starts to weaken.
2. Listen to Motivational Speakers
A simple Google or Youtube search can lead you to thousands of motivational speakers, videos and life stories that will motivate and inspire you.
No matter how busy your day is, you can always find time to listen to motivational speakers. In addition to actionable advice, they will give you inspiration and motivation to help you cope when you are depressed.
3. Meditation and Yoga
Get up an hour earlier and dedicate some time to meditation or yoga. This will help you relax and feel re-energized to embrace the day ahead of you.
It takes about 21 days to form it a habit. You will be shocked to see the changes as this new habit becomes a very effective way to channel all the stress, anxiety and concerns that are going through your mind.
4. Be Compassionate and Help Others
True happiness comes from helping others. Volunteer, donate, give support. There are countless ways to help others and the best part is: the more you do it, the better you will feel.
Fight for causes you care about, join a support group or get involved in the community. You will get immediate gratification, feel worthy again and find your sense of purpose. It’s an unbelievably powerful combination that will energize you and help you power through your journey.
5. Live Mindfully
Fear and anxiety are essential for survival. The problem arises when they are disproportionate. When you are depressed, anxiety levels, fear and problems are magnified. Living mindfully will help you keep them within normal range. But how do you live mindfully?
First, avoid social media. People only post their best moments; this can create a sense that you are not good enough and that everyone around you is better. You don’t need to give it up entirely, but you must understand that it is a fabricated reality.
Next, get away from negative people. Those who put you down don’t deserve to be around you.
Lastly, embrace the present. The future is uncertain and you will never be prepared for it no matter how much you overthink. Let go of the past, you can replay the same situation over and over, but you can’t change it. Once you let go, you will be able to live in the present and enjoy. To do that, you need to make a conscious decision and focus whenever you find yourself worrying.
6. Join a Support Group
Dealing with depression is challenging and requires social support so that you can achieve the best results. Support groups are the perfect place to share experiences and resources with people that really understand you.
aGroupForME has created a platform designed to connect people who are struggling with depression. aGroupForME aims to get support to anyone that needs it, despite schedule restraints, and physical and geographical obstacles.
From the comfort and privacy of your home, you can attend regularly scheduled meetings. These meetings are intimate, with just 10-12 members, and are hosted by a vetted moderator.
Put simply, with aGroupForME getting support is easier. Join a support group today!