Depression has sadly become an epidemic on its own. Earlier, mental health concerns were swiped under the carpet, while fortunately today we have learned to acknowledge it and share with others. Acknowledging the problem in itself is the first successful step towards recovery. It is time to take the next steps by building a healthy environment around and inculcating healthy habits to fight depression.
It is easier to fight depression naturally without medication in the initial stages…
1. Depression can be cured. Just be regular with positive intake.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is not just about apples, but is about how a good thing done daily can help mitigate larger health concerns. Just like walking daily counters weight gain.
Nowadays, many authors are talking about the exponential benefits of daily activities. A dollar a day can save only 365 dollars but then it changes when there is compounding effect with interest. Similarly, a positive act a day or less of a negative activity a day has its own compounding effect in making life fuller.
You must be wondering, what does a positive act entail?
A positive quote a day, a benevolent act, a good book, an hour of comedy. Anything that makes you smile or laugh, just do it every day. Positive psychology, a branch of psychology deals with developing an optimistic view and shifting negative outlook, for a more flourishing life.
Considering that people are trustworthy in general, or good things can happen anytime, etc. helps a lot in managing negative thoughts. Looking at life in a positive way is a habit that one need to build.
Don’t underestimate this seemingly simple, zero cost habit, it can help save your life one day.
2. Change the ratio to fight the depressed thoughts
If till now you were being sad the whole day, make 30 mins of it funnier with your favorite comedy series. Spend an hour chatting with your best friend, after a bad exam. Play your favorite sport, after a fight with the boss.
Just change the ratio of fun to sad moments. It would be difficult at start, but first focus on 30 mins a day and gradually increase it. I make it a point, to do something I like when I am having a bad day. Even listening to my favorite song, tends to reverse my day.
Having a fun playlist and a dance sequence, a favorite dish/recipe and friends on fast dial. All these need to be in your toolkit for a rainy day. Prepare a list of things you enjoy, in fact preparing the list itself can be fun.
There is a famous Hindi proverb – “Khushi baatne se badhti hai, aur dukh ghat ta hai” (happiness increases when shared, and sadness reduces). Try it, and you will know the efficacy of age-old adages. Yeah, Pluses and Minuses of maths work differently in real life.
Surrounding yourself with good people is a very important life skill. People think that we should be near more intelligent people or more rich people, but the truth is when you are near people with beautiful hearts, you learn the goodness in humanity.
Life seems more beautiful when you are around good people. And goodness does not even need to be shared, just being around makes you feel better.
4. Write about it. Journaling through grief and happiness helps.
Write a journal daily, about what you feel good about, bad about, your fears, worries.
When you write you cleanse the stuck emotions and let it flow again. Also, writing gives you a better perspective. Once you write down your thoughts, you can look at it with an outsider’s view. And thus, it gives you more clarity, sometimes makes us realise that the matter is not as serious as we make it to be.
The break-up may after all not be so bad.
Hmmm… that’s more of a bluff, just one write up will not make you see it, but a few will definitely help.
5. Engage in a hobby.
Any hobby be it painting, dancing, cooking, sculpting, star gazing, anything. Every hobby in the world has the power to get you out of depression.
When you do something with passion, with a continual focus, it is like meditation. And that is the science behind it. When you focus on something you like or you are good at, you have
1. replaced your sad thoughts during that moment,
and 2. you now know you are good at things.
A real boost for your self esteem. A good self esteem can help you walk confidently through the murky paths of sad incidents in life.
Depression can be automatically taken care of with a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet and healthy body.
Even though exercise feels most unnatural during these times, it has the most immediate benefit. Just 15 mins of workout will make you feel euphoric. Even gentle exercises like yoga and tai chi helps.
It is scientifically proven that exercise stimulates your mind and releases positive chemicals called endorphins and reduces stress. Refer to the Harvard article here for more on ‘The exercise effect’ – Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression
7. Take medication, if required.
When you fight depression for long but still not able to win over it, it is time for medication.
Anxiety or depression happens because there are too many or too less chemicals in your brain and they are out of control.
What do you do when your stomach has a similar problem, you treat it, right? First at home and if severe, then with a doctor.
It is so surprising that we invest so much in our skin and hair while giving the brain zero priority.
Don’t worry, medication is a temporary tool, it just helps you clear the mess created in your brain. And after the prescription time is over, the other tools will help you stay on track for a flourishing life.
p.s. Clinical depression need to be treated by a psychologist. If you are being overwhelmed by depressive thoughts or it is too long now since you are battling these thoughts, visit a professional. If someone can help you resolve this issue within a few days, why not solve it at the earliest.
Tackling the problems at the first stage before it gets bigger and unmanageable is the biggest hack of my Life coaching techniques. It is the simplest solution for a flourishing life, but surprisingly very few reckon with it. Hope this article serves as a reminder that solutions for big problems can be very simple.