How do I deal with depression?
Feeling sad, anxious or depressed? There is no lab test for depression, but it affects almost one in six people at some point in their lives. In fact, by 2014, roughly one in every eight Americans reported recently using antidepressants, according to a recent survey by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Greater mental health awareness is likely one factor in this usage increase – that is, in the past, there were likely many undiagnosed cases. Still, antidepressants don’t work for everyone, and they don’t always get to the root of the problem.
If you are learning how to deal with depression, take a moment to look at what your body is doing. What position are you in right now? It’s likely that you’re slouched, head down, with your body curled inwards. As Tony Robbins says, you don’t get depressed, you do depressed.
How do I fight against depression?
Depression symptoms can vary, but it always results in living in a negative state. Instead of suffering, change your body and mind with positive, empowering rituals that make for a feedback loop that brings you up, instead of taking yourself down.
What are your options for dealing with depression? A host of treatments exist, and they all have one thing in common: for all the research and studies performed, we only know a tiny bit about why brain chemistry works the way it does. What we do know for sure is that your mind-body connection is a huge determiner for whether you live in a beautiful state or a negative one. Here are some strategies to battle depression symptoms and win:
Change your physiology
Change your body and you change your mood. Exercise and movement is a great way to naturally improve your mood, releasing endorphins and improving overall mental health. But changing your body can be as simple as lifting your chest. Seriously; Tony does this exercise in his seminars all the time, and you can try it right now. Stand up normally. Now lift your sternum just a little higher; there’s a point where you’ll start to feel powerful and confident. Now depress your chest and start to round your back; can you feel the difference? You can play with lifting your sternum and ribs even higher, but hold the position for a few moments. See what happens to your mood.
Feeling more confident and in control? It just took a few physical adjustments in how you held your body to make that happen. Symptoms of depression can make it feel like you’ll never be happy again, but you can train yourself to be wired for the emotions and state of being you want. Start making a positive feedback loop with energy and you can begin to take charge of your emotions.
Get a routine with empowering rituals
Depression often takes away structure in people’s lives. Establish a routine you love to create stability and certainty even when the world looks bleak. Even better? Avoid training yourself to be frustrated and stressed out when things don’t go your way. Instead, try empowering daily rituals like priming as a way to focus and recenter your state.
Change your words
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on breaking patterns in how you perceive the world around you. You’ve built up dozens of patterns throughout your life that you might not even be aware of. Patterns can be as simple as the words you use when talking about yourself and how you feel. Change your negative self-talk with empowering words.
Transforming your vocabulary is another way to change your state of being. The biochemical effect of feeling “devastated” or “crushed” is much more negative than “disappointed.” Remember: the words we attach to our experiences become our experience. When you’re dealing with depression, recognize that your words matter.
It’s not uncommon to spend most of the day online. While there are benefits to using social media and in realizing that it’s important to be connected with other people when you have depression symptoms, turn to real life interactions when you’re learning how to deal with depression. Facebook and other social media sites often make us feel worse, not better. Even the hunched-over position we use to look at our phones makes us feel down. Instead of scrolling through status updates, go outside for a short walk in the sun; your spirits will instantly lift.
Depression is serious. With all the resources out there, just knowing where to start can be overwhelming. If you’re thinking about ending your life, call one of the suicide hotlines: 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) and 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). If you have a plan to commit suicide, go to the emergency room for immediate treatment. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. See full disclaimer.