Natural Ways To Overcome Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety, Depression, Self DevelopmentElisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
Do you ever feel anxious or depressed especially in these times? Its easier than we think for our brain to get conditioned into an anxious or depressive loop. In this video Im going to share with you what Ive learned over the last 20 years as a psychologist, around what are natural ways to overcome anxiety and depression. These arent the common ways of better sleep, regular exercise and whole foods. Ill talk about cultivating certain ways to focus, practices and mindsets that can enhance your sense of energy, resiliency, and just plain being happier. I use these 5 natural ways in my own life, in my private psychotherapy with clients and with thousands of others in my personal coaching and professional teacher training programs. Listen to them closely, pause the video when you need to, take notes, these can change your life for the better.
The list of activities mentioned in the video:
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Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be extremely useful in counteracting depression and is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain health problems, such as depression. The counselor helps you understand your current thought patterns and identify any harmful or false ideas and thoughts that you have that can trigger depression or make it worse.
The aim is to change your way of thinking to avoid these ideas, as well as help your thought patterns be more realistic and helpful.
The Abcdefghi’s Of Negativity
Every time you have an unrealistic expectation, or fantasy, you are likely to experience the ABCDEFGHI’s of negativity:
- Anger and Aggression
- Desire to Exit and Escape
- Futility and Frustration
- Hatred and Hurt: and, in a sense,
- Insanity and Irritability.
These ABCDEFGHI’s of negativity are feedback responses to let you know that you’re pursuing something unrealistic – an impulse towards that which you seek that you fear the loss of and the gain of that which you’re avoiding.
In other words, they can result in your frustration and your mind/body’s response that is often referred to as “depression”.
As such, I’m not going to call depression an ILLNESS but instead a BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE TO AN UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION that’s stored in your subconscious mind and that you may not always be conscious of.
I have worked with many people diagnosed with what their psychiatrist has termed “clinical depression”. In more cases than not, their psychiatrist has prescribed one or more psychiatric drugs.
Interestingly, over the past 48 years of dealing with people diagnosed with “clinical depression”, I have found that there are FIFTEEN most common underlying unrealistic expectations or fantasies that those people were dealing with.
In other words, they had a fear of LOSS of those fantasies or the fear of GAIN of things they perceived would be nightmares.
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Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally
If exercising is just another duty in your life that you think you dont fulfill,
you will associate it with failure. Instead, think of your exercise or physical activity plan the same way you think of your therapy sessions
or your medications: as one of the tools to help you get better.
Analyze your obstacles.
Find out what keeps you from being physically active or exercising. For example, if you feel embarrassed, you may want to exercise at home.
So If you achieve goals better with a partner, find a friend to exercise or someone who enjoys the same activities as you.
If you dont have money to spend on exercise equipment, do something free, like taking regular walks.
Hence If you think about what prevents you from being physically active or exercising, you can probably find an alternative solution.
Prepare for setbacks and obstacles. Give yourself credit for every step you take in the right direction, no matter how small.
If you dont exercise for a day, that doesnt mean you cant stick to an exercise routine or that you could quit. Just try again the next day. Fulfill it.
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Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
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Try These Five Tips For Decreasing Depression
There isnt a quick fix as in Boom, youre cured and will never again be beset by the blues. But, there are techniques that can help lift the emotional paralysis and ruminating that often accompany depression. Both of which make it much more difficult to focus on the behavioral changes that are necessary to prevent a relapse. Luckily, there are ways to punch holes in the curtain of unrelenting darkness.
How Can I Help Myself
Face your fear if you can
If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do. You wont be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety. Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or thought record to note down when it happens and what happens. You can try setting yourself small, achievable goals for facing your fears. You could carry with you a list of things that help at times when you are likely to be become frightened or anxious. This can be an effective way of addressing the underlying beliefs that are behind your anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep a record of when it happens and what happens.
Increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise requires some concentration, and this can take your mind off your fear and anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. It can help just to drop your shoulders and breathe deeply. Or imagine yourself in a relaxing place. You could also try learning things like yoga, meditation, massage, or listen to the Mental Health Foundations wellbeing podcasts.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
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Take Positivity As An Input
The third tip is to plug in your earplugs and hear stuff that makes you bubbling with positivity. The rule is simple. The more positive you see and hear, the more positive you are. Whenever you are free, hear a motivational podcast or read a motivational blog. There is also plenty of good stuff available on the internet. Instagram or Facebook is not a curse but a blessing, only if you are aware of the right ways to use it.
Congratulations! You are reading my blog right now which will help you overcome depression and anxiety.
Is The Only Option A Structured Exercise Program
Physical activity and exercise are not the same, but both are beneficial for health.
The exercise is a body movement planned, structured and repetitive to improve or maintain physical fitness.
The word exercise may make you think of running around the gym. But exercise includes a wide variety of activities that increase your activity level to help you feel better.
Other activities like running, lifting weights, playing basketball, and other physical exercises that get the heart pumping can certainly help.
But so can physical activity, such as gardening, washing the car, going for a walk around the block, or other less intense activities.
Any physical activity that gets you up from the couch and gets you moving can improve your mood.
You dont need to do all your exercise or other physical activity at one time.
So Think of exercise differently and find ways to add small amounts of activity throughout the day. Park a little further from work for a short walk.
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Lead With Behavior To Move Through Difficult Moods And Emotions
If I think the most important thing in life is a feeling of interior peace, I will be all the more disturbed when I notice that I do not have it. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
When were feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or depression, our automatic response is usually to try to make ourselves feel better. It seems reasonablewhy suffer if we can avoid it? So we listen to music to cheer ourselves up, take some deep breaths to try to soothe our nerves, or try to figure out why we feel like this.
Unfortunately, these efforts often backfire, as I recently discussed with fellow CBT psychologist and Psychology Today blogger Joel Minden. Weve all had experiences where we think we can do something to make ourselves feel better, said Minden, and it doesnt work in that moment.
The result can be worse than simply not finding relief. It can be really frustrating and defeating when people work so hard to try to change their emotions, Minden said, if theyre just not able to do that very effectively. We can end up believing that we dont have coping strategies, or that we cant deal with difficult emotions, or that were stuck and theres no way out of it.
A Better Way
Ive often heard people suggest that action-focused approaches are unrealistic, and that psychologists dont understand what its like to deal with anxiety or depression. But Minden and I both find that the practices we offer to others are just as helpfuland necessaryfor ourselves.
More On How To Overcome Depression
If you suffer from depression or suddenly experience bouts of sadness that seem to come out of nowhere, you probably wonder why this is happening. The truth is that there are several possibilities, and you arent alone. According to the World Health Organization, in January of 2020, more than 264 million people were diagnosed with depression and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In this article, I will answer the question: why am I depressed if my life is fine? I will discuss what depression is and what the possible causes of depression are. Additionally, I will offer some solutions to consider as you navigate the depression you are experiencing.
The question of why you are depressed if your life is fine is one that I can personally identify with, as I can remember a time when I went through an intense depression even though, in many ways, my life couldnt have been much better. I was financially secure, had a good family, lived in a beautiful place, had a pretty adventurous and exciting life, but none of that could have prevented a serious and prolonged battle with depression.
Given that you are here reading this article now, you will hopefully be able to identify the problem early and get the support you need to fend off any significant depressive episodes, as this can make a huge difference in your battle with depression.
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When God Was Disobeyed
Depression and anxiety entered into human existence right when God was disobeyed for the first time. Up until then, Adam and Eve had complete peace with their Maker, with themselves and with each other. They did not have to work on this, it was theirs naturally. As soon as they disobeyed God, this peace fled away from their hearts and anxiety and fear reared their ugly faces the first humans hid themselves for God .
As soon as the relationship with God was disrupted, the relationship between man and wife became problematic as well, and on top of that their view of themselves altered. They were now ashamed of themselves .
Properly Charge Your Body Battery
Sometimes when people struggle with depression, it can be very challenging to practice good self-care. In fact, some people take better care of their smartphones and devices than they do their own bodies.
How often do you forget to charge your phone compared to how often you forget to properly nourish yourself or get adequate sleep?
Taking care of your body might sound like a common sense tip, but its too important for me to skip over.
When depression is high, logical thinking and energy levels tend to be low making it far too easy to neglect our bodies. And yet, taking good care of your body can really help to decrease depression. So how well are you taking care of your body battery? Lets take a look.
When people are depressed, it can often lead to a loss of appetite and/or overeating. How are you doing at lovingly nourishing your body? Are you making daily efforts to eat a balance of all the various food groups and stay properly hydrated? These are really important ways to manage blood sugar, energy levels, and depression.
One thing that helped me move my body when I was in my darkest days was to tell myself I could go for five minutes and if I wanted to stop, I could. Sometimes I stopped after five minutes, but most of the time it actually felt surprisingly good and I wanted to keep going.
Read more: Learn how your asana practice in yoga can open a new awareness of body, mind and spirit.
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Seeking Help For Depression
Get help if you’re still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.
Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.
You can refer yourself for psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling on the NHS. You don’t need a referral from your GP.
You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.
If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.
- contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support
You can find mental health apps and tools in the NHS apps library.