10 ways to deal with Depression
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
With the recent suicide of celebrity Sushant Singh Rajput, it has come as a shock to almost everyone why a successful, wise & intelligent person like Sushant could take such a drastic step. We all have low phases in our life but these phases should not be so overpowering that we give up on our own Life. Here are 10 ways to deal with a low phase in your life and come out of it. Please note that if you are having suicidal thoughts or suffering from clinical depression, call suicide helplines (which is mentioned at the end of the blog post) or visit a clinical therapist. The following techniques have helped me to overcome my low phase and hopefully will help you as well:
With our sedentary lifestyle increasing day by day, we are having a lack of sunlight exposure. We barely get out of our home or offices and prefer to stay in air-conditioned cabins or rooms depriving ourselves from the required sunlight. Sunlight is essential for a body to maintain its natural rhythm. When we have lack of sunlight, the hormonal imbalance occurs in a body and the body gets the signal that something is amiss. To compensate for that, our body secretes hormones which will balance that stress. So the stress hormones are increased which try to balance the body and hence the happy hormones like the dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin are not produced much. For this, getting sunlight & having natural light in our home is extremely essential. We have abundance of sunlight on our planet. Just go and have your daily dose of it. Also waking up early in the morning will help you get maximum exposure to healthy sun rays and will also help in maintaining natural body clock.
Meditation is the go to tool to help you overcome depression. When we meditate, we still our mind. Even if you are not able to still your mind initially, we become aware of the thoughts that are going on in our head. Our mental chatter which brings us down is known as depression. This mental chatter is the first thing that we need to become aware of. Meditation helps you reflect on that and get to the root cause of it- why are we having these thoughts and gradually learning to still those thoughts and go in a deep state of bliss. Even if you are an amateur in meditation just start doing meditation for 2 to 3 minutes. At first, just focus on your breath. That itself is enough for the start. You can also play a positive affirmation audio in the background so that your mind will not divert to negative thoughts. There is a lot of free audio for meditation available online.
3. Move your Body
As I mentioned before, our sedentary lifestyle has forced us to sit for long hours. When our body doesn't move much, it becomes lethargic and blood circulation in our body decreases. You need to have good blood circulation flowing in your body in order to feel better. When oxygen reaches entire cell and soul of our body it performs better, it releases happy hormones and it regulates the balance in our body. It's very important to keep moving. Every 15-20 minutes get up and move around, walk a lot, dance, do exercise & yoga. Whatever helps you move your body just do that.
4. Eat nourishing food
Many times we feel low because of lack of essential nutrients in our body. When we have high intake of junk, oily, greased or stale food, a lot of harmful chemicals and toxins start to accumulate in our body. And, what we eat is what we are. So what we put inside we become from outside. If we eat lot of junk and unhealthy food, that is what we will become & our mind is definitely affected by the toxins in our body. Hence, it is very important to flush out these toxins. For that it is important to eat a lot of fibre, fruits, veggies and it has been found in studies that lack of vitamin B12 also can lead to low feeling or there can be some thyroid or hormonal imbalances. It is important to get yourself tested as well and understand whether you are lacking in some deficiencies.
5. Share your problem
Another mistake most of us do is, not to share a problem with anyone. We don't think that our family, siblings or friends would understand what we are going through or we might have tried it before but it would not have been so effective but talking or sharing a problem with someone might reveal a different perspective or your mental load might get lighter. Keeping problems to yourself is totally unhealthy because those feelings just keep on bottling up inside and that again leads to lot of negative thoughts. So instead of filling you up from inside take the load out and share with someone you trust. You will not only have a new perspective but you might find a solution or way out of it is well. Here is where a therapist or a coach might be of some use. Please note that in case of severe clinical depression or if you are having suicidal thoughts, it is better to go to a therapist rather than a life coach. But if you are stuck in some beliefs or issues that can be solved by talking, a Life Coach could be a better option. Go to www.mindsutra.in for more details.
This one is my favourite tool. When I was going through a low phase, gratitude is something which helped me bring calm and inner peace in my life. We take blessings in our life for granted but when we start to count our blessings everyday, seemingly small blessings like having food on our table, having a roof on our head, having family, having love and support from friends, having mobile to stay connected with your loved ones or it could be a big thing like having a secure job, getting that award, whatever it might be, it is important to list the things you are grateful for every day. When we start our day with that, it helps to centre our mind. It helps our mind to not get distracted with the everyday outside noise which makes us feel low and sad and it helps in staying connected to our inner peaceful being.
Journalling is something so powerful and has helped me so much to get clarity on my thoughts. It is nothing but writing your thoughts in a notebook. So once your thoughts are on on paper, you start to analyse it that why are you having these thoughts? From where is it coming? When you do that you are taking your thoughts less personally and you are reflecting on it. You try to understand that, why are you having a negative thought? For example, there was an incident where somebody insulted me a lot. So I was feeling sad. But my thought was, how can that person insult me? Why is he doing that? But when I wrote that down I started to understand that because of that insult, I was feeling bad about myself. So the reason I was feeling sad was because I felt that I was not good enough. Hence instead of focusing on the person, my focus shifted to, "I was feeling bad because of outside stimulation. So the problem here was that I should not feel bad about myself from external stimulation. So I need to thicken up. I need to work on my self love. If my self love would have been high I would not have felt bad about myself from outside comment". So I started working on my self love. In this way when we write down our thoughts it brings more clarity as to what is actually making us feel bad.
8. Surround yourself with positivity