Gaining Control Over Depression
By Stephen R. Farris
Depression can strike anyone at any time. It could be from stressful work conditions, home life, or everyday life in itself. It could also be brought on by the loss of something.
Whatever the reason may be, there are ways to break yourself out of a depressed state and without the use of medication.
One of the first things to do is to identify the thoughts you might be experiencing that may be causing your depressed mood and seek ways to change them. Sure, we all have some thoughts that may be on the negative side and that is normal. However, thoughts that linger are the ones that often lead to a more depressed state. Those are some of the ones that should be identified and addressed to begin with.
You should start by identifying thought patterns such as:
- Looping thoughts
- Negative self-talk
- Cognitive biases, that basically are errors in thinking that can affect choices
- Fixed pessimistic outlook
One thing to remember also, is that it's OK to accept unwanted thoughts. Our first reaction is to push those unwanted thoughts away, but we actually may be doing more harm -- mentally -- than good. It's kind of like when something in life hasn't gone the way you expected it to. So instead of trying not to think about it, let it in. By doing so you'll be able to accept the fact that not everything works in your favor, yet on the other hand, you could find the solution to bounce back in the process. Turning a negative into a positive helps you gain control of your thought process.
There are a few other ways to help you break out of feelings of depression, such as:
- Practicing meditation to clear your mind
- Changing your perspective
- Focus more on the positives in life
- Write down your thoughts
- Focused distractions
The overall goal is not to let depression completely take over our lives.
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