How to Overcome Depression & Anxiety
With over 265 million peoples affected by depression worldwide, it’s an incredibly real and serious issue without any doubt. Time has come now to discuss about the topics like mental health and anxiety in a broader context. And just like heart disease and cancer, limelight onto the subject is very important to bring funding and proper research.
According to psychiatry, Depression is a mental health disorder that negatively affects the way you think, feel and act. It is the leading cause of disability in the world with around 1 million people die due to suicide every year. Depression is classified into 3 categories – Low, Moderate & Severe.
It is now very necessary to spread awareness related to the misconceptions about depression. While the precise reason behind depression is yet to be pinned down, but still there are some causes found in various research and surveys:
- Biological, Psychological & Social factors
- Environmental factors
- Chemical Imbalance
- Sustained Stress
- Genetic Vulnerability
To be sure, chemical imbalance and sustained stress are involved in this process but not an only cause of depression. Biological factors like genes also determine mental health disorder. Sudden changes in hormonal level can cause depression. For example, many mothers experiences postpartum depression after giving birth to a child.
Social factors like loneliness, social withdrawal and long periods of demotivation are also a major cause of anxiety. Feeling hopeless and a sense of low self-worth for a lengthy period of time can negatively affect your mental health.
Environmental factors mentioned above plays a big role in triggering depression. If you are living in an environment of huge competition where everything is subjective, then you have more chances to attract depression in your life.
Sadness vs. Depression (Ignorance)
Most people confuse sadness with depression. This is a main reason behind ignorance and misconceptions related to depression. We underestimate depression by using the term loosely to mean sadness. Be honest with yourself about how long you have been struggling with this. Depression and anxiety are not a reflection of weakness and both of them are closely related to each other. Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often trigger depression inside us.
The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities can cause significant impairment in daily life. There is a false perception among many people that depression is a disease of the modern age. Depression has been around for a long time but we have just learnt to identify it.
We have now come to recognize the science behind depression and the major causes of anxiety and mental health disorder. So without giving so much time to technical and medical terms, let’s come down to the steps that can help to overcome depression:
Meditation, Yoga & Exercise
Light exercise within your comfort and ability helps in making your mood stable. Commit to daily fitness and go for walks, even if it is just a brisk 20-minute walk. Daily cardio of 45 minutes is mandatory so that you can sweat a little bit and gets your blood flowing. Break the duration in bouts of 10 minutes & spread throughout the day. Increase intensity gradually day by day. Muscle strengthening exercises should be done at least twice a week.
Apart from exercises, you should commit to regular yoga and meditation that can boost your spiritual and mental power. It also allows you to concentrate on what happening inside you and to live in the present moment. Both of these practices may help you to recognize the root cause of anxiety and sadness.
Proper Diet & Nutrition
Most of the people think that depression and anxiety often results from a chemical imbalance. But according to a research, lack of recommended minerals and vitamins can also be a big reason behind this. For example, the deficiency of Vitamin D & B12 may leads to depression.
Follow a balanced diet to meet daily requirements of all nutrients. One may include vegetables like carrot, spinach, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, tomato, asparagus, and broccoli; and fruits like mango, citrus fruits, and strawberries. These fruits and vegetables contain vitamins A, C, D, E and minerals like magnesium and zinc.
According to Ayurveda, the root cause of all sickness in body is your gut. If you take the right kind of food for your body, that food is medicine without any side effects. If you are strictly following a diet with all essential nutrients, you don’t need any additional medicines. Importance of diet is properly emphasized in the book “food is your best medicine” written by Dr. Henry Bieler.
Socialize & Improve Emotional well-being
Invest some portion of your time in conversation with family and friends who are both positive & supportive. Be compassionate and help others who are in need. Try to avoid text messages & calls, and perhaps prefer face to face meet ups. But always remember to stay away from those who judge or criticize.
Practice positive self-talk and surround yourself with positive, supporting people. Always remind yourself that you have control over your actions and thoughts. Commit to your core values daily with a strong purpose behind your actions and thoughts. Volunteer for noble cause, Spend time on your hobbies, Travel new places, Learn new skills and Enjoy life in your own way.
Stay away from Gadgets & Get proper sleep
As I have discussed in my previous article on boosting immunity of your body, sleeping properly also helps you to overcome depression. Your body heals and recovers while you sleep. Don’t delay your sleep when feeling sleepy. Don’t ever wake up if your sleep requirement is not met.
Always try to create a restful environment where you can get minimum 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Do not eat anything within 2 hours of going to bed, turn off the television and put down the electronic gadgets like mobile & laptop at-least 1 hour before sleeping. Spend less time on social media and playing video games. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet and cool for optimum sleeping.
Work on your Finances to avoid Depression
This applies only to those who don’t have enough money. Having lots of money and recognition is often perceived as the symbol of happiness. So, it is very necessary to overcome all the financial myths to cope with depression. Make yourself rich without sacrificing your happiness for entire lifetime.
If you are not seriously working on your financial freedom, then this approach may take you away from real abundance. And always remember that only real abundance can keep you far away from depression.
Look Forward & Change your View
During the initial stage of depression or sadness, plethora of negative thoughts repeats in the mind of peoples. But there are number of ways to view anything. Try to take a different view instead of convincing yourself towards hopeless options. Try to visualize a happy memory rather than revisiting a painful memory. Always keep in mind the famous quote that “difference between good day and bad day is your attitude”.
Start your day with the beginning of a project that can potentially create some value in the world. Shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance and relive all the wonderful experiences of your life.
At some point, nearly everyone encounters stressful events in their life. It may be the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or a broken relationship. But only some people got affected by these events. So, the biggest challenge is to accept a real cause and source of this condition, which is surely not this mentioned events.
In the current situation of uncertainty, many people with or without mental health disorder are feeling anxious. We are witnessing an increase in worry, fear and sadness among many people.
Keep your body strong both physically and emotionally by avoiding stressful conversations and by exercising, eating well and getting good sleep. Put your best efforts to maintain all the 3 areas of your well-being i.e. your mind, body and spirit.