How to Beat Depression by Activities
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Q. I deal with depression on a daily basis and I'm not sure why I feel so negative. I just don't feel like doing anything and nothing really interests me anymore. Do you have any recommendations on how I can be more positive about life and get out of this funk?
A. Depression is a very tough mental health condition to control and manage on a daily basis, but for the majority that have mild (severe depression - seek professional help) forms of depression can be managed by incorporating some life style change habits. There are many life factors that can depress 1 out of 3 components that make up the encompassing being (body, mind and spirit). I can say with conviction if you can work to improve one or more of the 3 components that make up your total being, you can improve your depressed state. By managing depression your demeanor will become more positive, your body will become more fit-healthy!
Listed below are some activity recommendations that "can and will" provide happiness and wellbeing while thwarting depression. You'll note in the recommendations I don't list TV, or movie activities as a positive life habit. This is because if you simply watch something as opposed to putting yourself into the actual activity (exercise, travel, read a good book, or interactive game) it is very tough to beat depression for lack of self-stimulating brain cells through natural work effort activation.
I think good books can be a very positive experience. What's the difference between a book and a movie? Movies require no imagination, creativity and don't provide a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand books stimulate the brain more interactively by making you think as you gain knowledge. This activity also causes one to search out other information of various interests. Reading is an individual, or group healthy mental activity that can/do lead to human exchange, mental stimulation and/or spiritual growth. Communication through group readings in book clubs can have a very positive effect on those that suffer from depression.
Remember, positive stimulus of the mind as exercised through two-way communication (input/output) plays a combatant role against depression healing both mind & body [psychosomatic connection]. I believe certain virtual games can provide a positive mental and physical benefit as well. However, I think games are better exercised with others... Like cards, game boards, etc. Select one, or two ideals listed below and work towards accomplishing a project, hobby, goal, objective, etc. If you make anyone of these activities a continuous life habit, I can guarantee your depression and anxiety levels will significantly decrease or disappear.
- Find a fitness activity that you enjoy. For example, walking, nutritious cooking, reading, draw, paint, home improvement, gardening, interior design, gym membership, aerobics class, cycling class, travel abroad, fishing, hiking, camping, etc. Each one of these types of activities provides an interactive personal experience to further know oneself and find other experiences outside of your comfort zone.
- Incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle. For example, ensure you get plenty of fresh fish, meat, poultry, vegetables, fruits and fiber. Supplement your diet with a good daily supplement if your schedule simply will not allow you to consume 3 to 4 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Also if your over 40 years of age, or older, you should seriously consider supplementing your diet with other nutrients that we no longer receive from our foods, due to poor crop rotation farming practices, pesticides, herbicides and steroids now found in our foods [organic farms produce live stock and all other natural foods without these poor farming practises].
- See your primary care physician. Ask for a referral to speak with a mental health consultant. This does not mean you are crazy! Psychologists and psychiatrists simply have much more information and tools to offer. Although I promote natural foods & supplements to deal with depression, I also realize there are other "short term" benefits that can be derived through use of pharmaceuticals. I believe the goal should be to find a "natural long term" solution(s) to deal with depression as opposed to long term pharmaceutical use.
- Stay in touch with family and close friends. The worst thing you could possibly do is to isolate yourself. I understand you may feel like you don't have a friend in the world. This simply is not true! Don't try to deal with depression on your own. Find someone you can talk to. Family and friends are your best source of support. If you can not find this support in your own family, or close circle of friends, call a depression hot line, seek other public health, or mental health service centers and churches in your area. You simply must discuss your depression issues with someone if you can not help yourself. To go it alone is very difficult and needs not to be this way.
- Find the meaning of life. This is very perplexing, personal and is as old as time itself. I believe the meaning of life is a personal experience for each individual and where each one of us is scripted to fulfill a role in this life time and beyond. To not understand your souls spirituality is to not understand your purpose in life and passage to the next (soul is the third component that makes up being). To not understand your purpose in this life and afterlife can be a very depressing proposition. I highly recommend you go on a spiritual journey to understand your purpose here in this life. Choose book topics to expand your souls spirituality by reading biblical prophecy, historical philosophers, current spiritual scholars work, afterlife experiences, personal conversations with God, the after world, various culture spiritual beliefs and so forth. Please don't limit yourself to any one religion as God is universal. With a little effort, you will quickly define your purpose here on this planet which will provide a positive mental health experience for you.
- Schedule a vacation to a warm spot on a beach for example. Travel during the late fall, winter and early spring has up to 50% vacation fire sales. Winter time is when depression hits with a vengeance. If you know you typically feel under the weather during these times, break it up with a sunny vacation spot for you and your family. Or if single, use this as an opportunity to visit a sunny location and meet new people.
I've provided in this article a sunny beach video scene. This footage was shot during October 09 on a sunny peaceful day while my wife and I stayed the weekend at Seal Rock Beach, Oregon. The view was shot from the South end of the beach during a walk break. There is no way depression could beat me down while sitting and relaxing in a place like this mixed with walking activity.
The Internet is loaded with relaxing, beach, rain forest, tropical calming video's. After looking at this video simply look to the side for other similar videos. This will also help you choose a tropical location your interested in visiting to bring about a positive mind set. You can actually see the geography before you schedule a vacation, how cool is that! See yourself sipping on a tall cool one while relaxing while reading a good book. Now that I have provided you an anti-depression battle plan, go out, get active and have fun with your life!
Depression Can be Subdued Simply By Watching a Sunny Beach Scene. Relax and Imagine yourself in the sand listening to the beach sounds. Now plan to take a vac
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