Saturday, October 15, 2005

Depression - Practical Suggestions for Positive Change - By Steven Harold

Having discussed the types of depression and the possible cause, in the previous article, it now seems appropriate to discuss how sufferers can help themselves. Remembering that help for chronic, clinical and manic depression should be sought from your doctor. Indeed it is your doctor who would diagnose these types of depression and so even if you feel you have mild depression it is still important to seek your doctor's help first.

Causes and Solutions to Depression

Some of the possible causes of depression have already been listed. The list is not definitive but it is a useful start. If you know the cause of something then at least you have a target for your energies and focus. So if the cause of your depression is work related, then this should be the focus of your energies with the aim of reducing or completely eliminating the cause.

In very few instances do matters change through inaction. If you do nothing about something than that also tends to be the result, nothing. Taking positive action can produce benefits on a number of fronts such as: -

1) You feel better because you are doing something as opposed to just accepting your situation.

2) Doing something or taking action means that it is more likely that there will be a change in the situation.

3) Your options automatically increase if you take action because in doing so you are looking at what choices you have. Looking for something, whether that is your options or something else, means you will discover more than if you just did nothing.

4) The feeling of being trapped starts to dissolve as you realise the only person keeping you trapped is you.

Even if the action you take is to discuss the situation with a close friend, partner or relative at least you get a chance to let it out. Often this by itself will help you feel better.

Changing the Feeling of being Overwhelmed or Unable to Cope People with depression talk about feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope with what has happened in their life. Often this occurs when more than one of the major areas in a person's life produces a problem.

You might say that there are 5 major areas in a person's life: -

1) Health and well-being
2) Work (or anything that occupies your time)
3) The personal relationship with another person (wife, husband, partner)
4) The home (rented or bought, living with relatives, friends)
5) Anything else (wider family, friends, social aspects etc.

If you get a problem in one area of your life then you can probably cope. If you get another problem at the same time as the first issue and both of these last for some time then this is when a person may start to feel overwhelmed, unable to cope and therefore depressed.

A change of how you view your situation when you have more than one problem is the first thing to do if you feel overwhelmed. Often the feeling of being overwhelmed happens because you are viewing the two (or more) problems as one. You then may start to think and say that everything is wrong with your life and even good news may be turned into negative news.

So start by keeping the problems (unless they are genuinely connected) separately. A way of doing this is to think of each problem as having a separate box in your mind that you keep them in. Then decide to only tackle or think about opening one box at a time in order to tackle them one at a time.

Now this does not mean that you have to see through one problem to completion until you tackle the other problem. It means that you think about and take action on one problem, take it as far as you can and then start on the other problem. You may have to take a number of bites at a problem before it is dealt with. Some problems may involve waiting for others to do something and come back to you before you can do the next step in resolving it.

It can help to have a separate notepad for each problem. Then write down the main points of the problem. Write down the realistic outcome you would like. Then write down the steps you need to tale for that outcome to be realised. Again keeping a note of any dates and interactions you have with anyone. You may need to combine your notepad with a diary to remind you have a future date for further action.

Keeping unrelated problems separate in your mind by thinking of them as being stored in separate boxes can ease the sense of being unable to cope. Then tackling them one at a time can boost your confidence as you start to take manageable bites out of each.

No one eats a piazza in one bite. Now one goes from one floor to the next floor in one step. Each bite or step you take are small enough to be manageable and yet you know with each one that you are getting closer to finishing.

If you need professional help then seek it out. You cannot know how to do everything and an expert might know how to resolve easily what for you has seemed complex.

To summarise: -
1) Focus your energies on the cause
2) If you need to unload, tell a good friend about it
3) Keep different problems separate from each other in your mind
4) Write down the steps you need to take to resolve the problems
5) Remember one step at a time
6) Don't be too proud to seek professional help with any steps you have to take.

Exercise of any sort is a useful addition to getting back control of your life. Whether it is swimming, running or even line dancing, do make sure your physical body gets exercised. For when we exercise the body a number of positive things happen: -

1) The 'feel good' hormones are released lighting our mood
2) Any stress or tension is released from the muscles
3) Our sleep is likely to be improved
4) Energy levels will increase
5) You will feel healthier
6) Your motivation levels will increase.

Lastly, but by no means least, find a relaxation regime that works for you and you enjoy. This might be meditation, yoga, self hypnosis or any practice that helps with stress release will be more than helpful. You can learn meditation from books or cds. Likewise self hypnosis can be easy to enjoy from an appropriately titled self hypnosis cd.

Above all else, be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Who could ask for more than that!

Steven A. HaroldClinical HypnotherapistDepression Hypnosis Cds

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Anonymous said...

Everyone has days when they are down, worn out, canine separation anxiety and just not feeling all that happy.

That's OK, you need to have days like this, otherwise how would you know when you are happy. You need to have something to contrast your happiness with. What is black without white?

Even though you know that sadness (canine separation anxiety) is a part of life, let's try to make it a small part of life.

With that said, here are a few tips to help you feel better when you are feeling down in the dumps. They are easy to do, easy to practice every day and they work!

1. Stand up straight, sit up straight. When your body is in alignment your energy can flow and when your energy is flowing freely, you can flow.

2. Smile! Yes, just smile. Easy to do and effective.

3. Repeat positive affirmations. Things like "I feel good", "Positive energy flows through my body", "I see the good in all".

4. Listen to some music that you like. It doesn't have to be anything specific, just something you enjoy. Certain types of music work better than others, but experiment and see what works for you. Studies have shown that Classical music and new age music work best.

5. Take some time out for yourself, relax and read a book, do something for yourself.

6. Meditate. Meditation is an excellent habit to develop. It will serve you in all that you do. If you are one who has a hard time sitting still, then try some special meditation CDs that coax your brain into the meditative state. Just search for "Meditation music" on Google or Yahoo and explore.

Our outside work is simply a reflection of our inside world. Remember there is no reality just your perception of it. Use this truth to your advantage. Whenever you are sad, realize that it is all in your mind and you do have the power to change your perception.

These tips will lift you up when you are down, but don't just use them when you are sad or canine separation anxiety . Try and practice them everyday, make them a habit. You will be surprised at how these simple exercises will keep the rainy days away.

On a final note, if you are in a deep depression that you can't seem to shake, please go see a doctor. This is your life and don't take any chances. canine separation anxiety

Anonymous said...

It’s 11:00 in the morning and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got six more hours to look alert and act productive and get over separation anxiety disorder, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Follow these six tips!

1. If you have a job that involves sitting at a desk all day or staring at a computer screen, take five minutes to stand up or lean back, close your eyes and stretch, especially in your shoulder and leg areas. Being seated all the time can make your whole body feel stiff and sleepy. A good stretch session helps limber up your body and gets the blood flowing again.

2. Avoid the tempting lure of caffeine or sugar-laden foods such as coffee, tea or chocolate. Caffeine may perk up your energy levels temporarily, but it also has a bad habit of leaving you sluggish after the effect has worn off. Instead, choose whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables to give your body the fuel it really wants! Eating healthier will boost your mood, elevate your alertness, change separation anxiety disorder and make you feel better all day long.

3. Along with healthier foods, take a quick 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break. Just a few minutes will give you a burst of energy that refreshes you and makes you feel more alert – while burning off your lunch calories in the process!

4. Sometimes, afternoon slumps can be your body’s way of telling you that it needs something. You may be feeling tired if your blood sugar is low (which happens especially after the effect of those caffeine and high sugar foods has worn off!). Packing a low calorie snack like graham crackers, granola, fruit or vegetable slices can give your body a boost and keep you from feeling hungry in the late afternoon and caving in to the urge to devour the entire contents of the vending machine after work!

5. Drowsiness is often a sign that you’re not getting enough water. Drinking more water throughout the day not only helps keep you awake, but also keeps you from feeling those hunger pangs that inevitably creep up in mid-morning. Taking a large sports bottle that you can drink from throughout the day is a great way to get your recommended eight glasses a day as well!

6. If afternoon fatigue is a recurring problem, it may be a side effect of medications you are taking. Allergy pills are well known culprits, as are some blood pressure and anxiety/depression medicines. Don’t try to circumvent these effects with caffeine, otherwise you’ll overload your body with stimulants while it’s already trying to deal with drowsiness, and you’ll feel mentally and physically exhausted. Instead, try a short 15-20 minute catnap. You’ll be surprised how refresh you’ll feel when you wake up! (Don’t try this at work though – I know it’s tempting!)

If you follow these tips on a regular basis, you’ll not only make it through the afternoon blahs, but you’ll also feel better physically and mentally, sleep better at night, and wake up rejuvenated and re-energized the next morning. Make it a GREAT day! separation anxiety disorder

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