Depression accounts for a large percentage of mind-brain illnesses. It can also be both a state of mind and a mental illness. Depression is an “umbrella” condition, meaning there are several conditions in the category of depression. These include postpartum depression, bipolar depression, anxiety disorder, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you’re suffering from any form of depression, there are several treatments available to minimize symptoms. Here are some depression solutions you may want to try. While these are not substitutes for therapy or medication, they are practices you can try to help minimize the symptoms you might be having.
Visualize Happy Memories
When you constantly revisit painful or negative memories (i.e. the loss of a job, a breakup), this takes a toll on your emotions. If you’re already prone to depression, it’s easy to remain in a negative state of mind. When you feel yourself having a sad or angry thought, make a decision to pause, take a breath, and force your mind to think about something positive. Even if the memory was from years ago, simply thinking about a happy occasion like your wedding, graduation day, the birth of your child or a job promotion can give your mind a dose of positivity. Sometimes you’ll have to do this several times a day to combat depression.
Tell Yourself Something Good
When you’re depressed, it can be difficult to think about your flattering character traits. When you’re in a therapy session and you’re faced with the question, “tell me something good about yourself,” don’t say things like “I’m boring” or “I’m a coward.” Instead, take some time to think about what’s good about you. Say things like “I’m a loving parent,” “I’m a hard worker,” or “I’m a good friend.” When you hear yourself say the words, you’re more likely to believe them. Write out a list of your positive attributes and carry them with you every day so you can use the list as a reminder during difficult times.
Get Out More
When you’re by yourself, it’s easy to fall into a state of depression and stay there. Depression makes it easy to stay in bed all day, and the thought of having a phone conversation, doing household chores, showing up to work or caring for children can seem extremely daunting. Making a plan to get out more can improve your mood and help you manage depression symptoms. Take a trip to a local botanical garden. Read your favorite book outdoors instead of in your room. Plan a lunch date with a friend. If you’re not ready for large crowds yet, organize outings by yourself or with one or two loved ones. As you become comfortable with engaging in activities that take the focus off your depression, you’ll look forward to more social gatherings.
Neurofeedback could be effective for you if you’ve tried medications or therapy for depression. Medications work well for some people; however, some people have negative reactions to these medicines. Neurofeedback is a holistic depression treatment and involves exercising the brain to improve its function. To begin this treatment, you’ll receive a QEEG diagnostic evaluation that produces a brain map. The QEEG measures the electric activity in the brain. The process is painless and a specialist will review the results with you to come up with a customized treatment plan for you based on the sections of your brain that need attention.
NeauroHope, a center that does neurofeedback treatment in Colorado Springs explains that “neurofeedback is a way to exercise your brain so that it can become healthier.”
This treatment can help you cope with depression symptoms. This form of treatment is available in many parts of the country as well. You may be able to get a referral for neurofeedback treatment from your physician or therapist.
Manage Your Stress Levels
One of the best ways to cope with depression is to minimize your stress levels as much as possible. Excess stress can lead to a buildup of cortisol in the body, which can cause sleep disturbances and weight gain — and this can intensify your depression. Take a few minutes each morning to meditate. Focus on your breath and think about the goals you want to accomplish during the day. Listen to music that calms your brain; you can also listen to nature sounds while you work or exercise to help you focus on the task without becoming too overwhelmed.
You can practice many of these depression management tips daily. Your neurofeedback results, along with treatments from your doctor and therapist, will also give you insight into which coping methods you can use to minimize depression symptoms.