To even begin to control depression, you must first realize that you have been victimized. Victimized by the most cunning and cruel thief ever!
Depression cunningly sneaks into your heart and steals everything that ever excited you: your passion, your enthusiasm, your love – intangible things, though priceless to you.
It cruelly raids your life, grabbing your most beloved and precious possessions – not for its personal gain, no, simply because it can – and then replaces them with hollow projections.
How can you control depression, if you don’t see that you’ve been robbed? If you don’t accept that it has happened and believe it’s all in your mind? Or if you keep saying it’s your own fault?
You have to make it real!
Make a list of everything that depression has stolen from you. When it makes you angry enough to decide that you won’t let this thief get away with victimizing you any longer, then you’re finally ready to take back your life.
Control Depression – Take Back What It Stole From You
Controlling depression requires action. But how can you act, if you feel drained of all your energy – both physically and mentally? There exists the paradox: the things that are the most helpful for recovery are also the most difficult to do – but they are not impossible to do.
The key is: taking small steps and building on them.
Take Back Your Health
Exercise is a powerful way to trigger new brain cell growth and boost mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, reduce muscle tension and stress, and increase energy levels. You might not have much energy to begin with, but you must be determined to do whatever you can. Ten minutes of regular, rhythmic exercise can have a positive effect on your mood for two hours afterward.
No matter if you sleep too little, or too much – your mood will suffer. Make every effort you can to schedule eight hours of sleep in your day.
Don’t skip meals, and strive to eat a balanced diet of low-fat proteins, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits. Include foods rich in nutrients that boost the mood, and stay away from mood draining foods, such as alcohol and caffeine, or foods full of chemical preservatives and hormones.
Take Back Your Optimism
Of course, challenging negative thinking isn’t as easy as just visualizing happy thoughts. It means to replace negative thought patterns with more balanced thinking and less severe, more realistic statements.
One way to do this is to write down negative thoughts when you experience them, then review them when you’re in a better mood. Consider whether the negativity was justified and which more reasonable description you could use to replace it.
Take Back Your Fun
Push yourself to do things that make you feel good, even on really bad days. Don’t expect miracles – the important thing is to be consistent. When you take a little time each day for fun activities, you will gradually begin feeling more upbeat.
Consider doing simple things. Watch a funny movie, listen to your favorite music, or take a soothing bath. Spend time outdoors in nature, too. Sunlight exposure can have a powerful effect on your mood.
Take Back Your Relationships
In no other aspect of recovery does the paradox of depression come more to the fore than in relationships. The problem is, when your passion and love were stolen, the bond they created between you and others was shaken too. So now, even the thought of reaching out to those people feels overwhelming.
To overcome this hurdle, you must remember that they care about you and want to help you. Seek out those family members and friends that you know will listen, just listen – they don’t have to fix things for you.
Nancy Ryan, LMFT specializes in working with individuals and couples who want deep, satisfying relationships with themselves and their partners. She works with couples who are ready to stop the destructive patterns and want to build the love, friendship and romance back into their partnership.