Clinical depression is not simply synonymous with the deep sadness with which it is commonly associated. People enduring depression sometimes have to deal with the emotional weight of a wide variety of difficult feelings.
In particular, anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Feeling disempowered by heavy stress or anxiety can both fuel, and intensify the negative feelings of depression. Here are a few methods that can help you relax and de-stress, in a way that can manage your depression, and find enjoyable things in the present moment.
One of the most effective calming mechanisms is one that you carry with you every moment of every day. You are breathing all the time, and so paying attention to your breathe can be an excellent way to bring your focus to the present moment and ignore the anxiety-producing chatter in your head.
Slowing down to deep, deliberate breaths allows your brain to slow down too, bringing on deep relaxation, focus, and calmness. Sometimes it can be especially helpful to put your hand on your belly and feel the deep rise and fall, to keep your attention on your breath.
Exercise brings your attention to your body and allows you to get moving and active in a way that can be very beneficial to your mood. Simply the act of taking time to care for yourself can be a way to remind yourself of your value as a human being, and paying attention to your external and internal world can do a great deal to calm an anxious brain. Physical activity is also an excellent source of endorphins, and other neurotransmitters that can help lift your mood and help you feel calm and excited to be alive.
Although all forms of exercise can be valuable, yoga can be especially therapeutically beneficial for when you feel the need to de-stress. This is because it combines attention to your physical self, gentle physical activity, balance, meditation, and deep breathing all at the same time.
Vacation in Your Mind:
When the world around you feels like too much to bear, you can use your imagination to come into a state of calmness. Through the technique of guided imagery, you can focus on a place where you have felt calm, serene, and happy.
Breathe deeply, as you imagine yourself slipping deeper and deeper into this setting of deep peace. If stress or worries do enter your mind, or you find yourself getting distracted, use the memory of the scene to gently bring yourself back into peaceful feelings. Take all the time you need to truly imagine all the sensations of the experience.
As troubling thoughts are running around in your head, they can often intensify and get bigger with repetition. Sometimes, if something keeps bothering you, the best thing to do might be to let it out.
Keeping a private journal can be an excellent way to get things off your chest and communicate your thoughts, concerns, and worries. If trying to write it down feels difficult, you can also express your feelings creativity through painting, sculpting, music, dance, or another creative activity. By stating your emotions fully and honestly without judgement, you may find that they get easier to handle.
Everybody is different, and so different things will be relaxing to different people. Some people might find a massage very relaxing, but other people may not enjoy that experience and find it actually increases their stress. Keep trying a wide variety of different things, to create a "toolbox" of activities that help you unwind, feel good, and enjoy the moment.
Plan for a little bit of time each day to devote to what truly helps you feel relaxed. These activities can be powerful coping mechanisms that can be your best personal way to build up good emotional health.
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