Depression can feel like the worst enemy at times.
It can be hard to shake, and it will often take us into deep and dark spaces where we feel we can’t find a way out. Shared below are a few tips to help you avoid the black hole of depression.
Here Are 10 Tips to Avoid Depression from Taking Over:
Notice if you are mentally living in the past.
When you become aware that depression is present, are you able to pay attention and notice the thoughts swirling in your mind? Are they bringing up and reliving past times? Are you noticing that most of your day(s) spent living mentally in the past?
It is valuable to check-in and become aware of this and make the choice to bring your mind back to the here and now. Today is today. You are not living in the past.
What are you feeling deep inside, can you name it?
In my experience, depression or my feeling depressed has a lot to do with my not expressing what I am feeling, either now, nor in the past. What I have noticed that works is to allow myself to get in touch with my emotions and what I’m feeling. This helps me to at least begin the journey of exploring what is really happening for me.
Know that it is okay to be sad and express grief for things that didn’t go how we wanted them to in our childhood. And yes, you are probably thinking, “by allowing myself to get in touch with my emotions that are related to childhood experiences, I am living in the past,” and yet, my #1 tip was to not live in the past. It’s okay to visit the past and get in touch with the emotions from there. After all, aren’t they what you’ve been hiding or pushing aside for a long time? There is no need to live there day in and day out.
Notice if you are mentally in the future.
Life may seem hopeless. You might have a story running in your mind that things won’t change, or that you can’t change. This is what I mean about noticing you are mentally in the future. How can you truly know what life in the future is going to be like for you? You can’t.
And yes, the New Age gurus will tell you it’s all about ‘Living in the Now.’ You know what? It is, and it helps to ground us in the reality of what is occurring. Give it a go.
Allow yourself to BE emotional.
Give yourself permission to BE emotional. Our emotions are reactions to what we are thinking and believing, so in not allowing ourselves to feel we are arguing with the reality of what our mind is thinking. That’s crazy!
We are thinking the thoughts, why not allow them to be; allow ourselves to have the reaction to the thoughts and express the emotion. You might just find that if you do this, as it happens you don’t feel as depressed.
Go for a walk or exercise.
Walking is a great way to move away from the space of being down and gives a different perspective on your day. Even a simple walk around the block will do the trick. Step out into the sunshine. Get out in the open air and breathe.
If you are or have been into exercise, then that works just as well. Do whatever exercise makes you move your body, it beats laying around on the bed or sitting on the couch.
Watch a comedy movie/tv show and laugh out loud.
It may be the last thing you think you want to do and yet in my experience, it is the best. I’ve had nights of feeling low where watching a couple of re-runs of the Stephen Colbert show has been enough for me to laugh out loud and get myself into a different space.
Laughing shifts our hormonal balance. Give it a try.
Connect with your body.
You may notice that when you feel depressed, you spend a lot of time in your head thinking, thinking, thinking. So, one trick is to find ways to connect to your body, and yes, I mean physically. Go get a massage or give yourself a massage. Even the process of showering and rubbing your body to ‘wake it up’ will make a difference.
Sit in a chair, or on the couch, and take one hand a gently squeeze the opposite arm, then move down your body doing this same thing, right down to your toes. Then change sides and do the same thing down the other side. This gentle process of squeezing and connecting your hand to your physical body will bring you out of your head.
Be okay with being depressed.
Often, we want to fight and argue with ourselves, telling ourselves that we should snap out of it or we shouldn’t be depressed. And yet, the reality is we are, thinking we are depressed.
So, allow yourself to BE Depressed! Don’t fight it. Sometimes for fun, I like to really exaggerate the feelings I have, just to see what happens. So, if you can exaggerate feeling depressed, then do it. Make it as bad as it can get.
Giving yourself permission to be that way might be a brand-new concept for you, and by doing that you might find, suddenly, that you don’t need to be depressed anymore. It might mentally help to make the shift into a different space.
Notice where you are right now.
This is that thing that some of the gurus call being present or in the now. What I have found is that noticing where I am right now, helps me to be present with exactly where I am. Whether it’s sitting on my chair, feet on the floor, at my computer desk, and typing on my keyboard. It’s like being in that space that’s not the past and not the future, it’s just now.
Listen for sounds; notice the light or dark; check for smells; what else do you notice about where you are NOW? Is the chair you are sitting on hard or soft? Can you feel your feet in your shoes and are your feet warm or cold?
Check your story and capture what you really want.
Have you noticed that when you feel depressed you have a story running and that story says that you don’t deserve to have what you want? Well, I’m here to tell you that you do, deserve to have what you want, especially if you clearly ask for it.
So, check in and see what story you are running when you feel depressed. If you notice you are thinking about not getting what you want, STOP and then take a breath. Consider what it would be like to put into words what you want. Even if to start, that is simply just writing it down.
You may be surprised to find that you had a want, in the story you have that is making you feel depressed, that childhood story. What was it?
The bottom line in avoiding allowing your depression taking over is to allow yourself to feel.
The more you allow yourself to be in touch with your true emotions and notice what you are thinking, the less depressed you are likely to be.