It is not unusual to be attacked by depression, and once in a while each one of us finds ourselves in a depressed state. Once depression affects us, it is hard to drive it away. Here are certain steps that can help us feel better:
Exercise regularly: A brisk 15 to 30 minute walk, a jog or some yoga could help bring immediate relief. Even if the mood opposes exercise, force yourself to go ahead, seeking the company of a friend if required. Once in exercise mode, you can sense a change in your mood. Certain yoga postures also help eliminate depressive feelings.
Meditate: Meditation along with breathing exercises is a panacea for all mental depressions. Connecting to the mind and soul, and seeking solace from your thoughts is the best healer. Choose a serene and cool place devoid of disturbances, and meditate for at least 20 to 30 minutes. You can feel the difference.
Spend time with people close to you: If solitude pushes you further into depression, then it is better to seek social connections. Turn to a trusted close friend or relative to share your woes, because sharing reduces the intensity of gloominess. Another alternative is to volunteer to help the needy, do charity or help a person in need. Helping someone raises morale and boosts self esteem, thus pulling you out of the well of depression. The satisfaction of having done something useful for someone suppresses depression.
Conquer your critical self-attacks: Depression tends to make you think negatively and critically about yourself, thus worsening the situation. Negative thoughts seat themselves in your inner voice, and start dominating and ordering you to act against your positive self. Take action by overpowering it with your positivity and a realistic attitude. Free your inner voice from negativity.
Analyse the cause: Rather than shouldering the entire blame on you and accusing yourself of everything, try to investigate the reason. The actual reason could be different, and may not concern you at all. Do not blame yourself for every failure or mistake; avoid being a perfectionist. Before jumping to conclusions, attempt to reason out facts. Do not generalise things based on a previous negative experience.
Do things that you like: Getting active is easier said than done when attacked by depression, but force yourself to fight lethargy and do things that you like. Listening to music, dancing, talking to a friend, cooking a meal, trying out a new dish, reading a favourite book, watching a movie, or a comedy show, playing an instrument, gardening, and pursuing a hobby are some activities that can pull you out of depression. Suppress your critical inner voice that prevents you from feeling better, and try to act up.
Remember, you need to love yourself and help yourself; depression is something very natural and treatable. Do not hesitate to consult a therapist, if symptoms persist.
Paramita Mishra holds a PhD in Environmental Biology, and has been associated with teaching Communicative English and Personality Development for nine years now. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org