Anxiety and depression are by far some of the worst feelings a person can experience. The former can last anywhere between a few minutes all the way to a fully-fledged attack. Depression on the other hand is not just regular sadness, there are types, and it can even be genetic. Both anxiety and depression can be triggered by things others cannot see or fully comprehend or major traumas. Without proper treatment, they will both be difficult to overcome. This does not mean that there are not ways to improve your mood and lessen your anxiety though, so read on below to discover how.
The number one thing that works with the majority of the people is to exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which are part of the happy chemicals group of neurotransmitters. Exercise does not have to be running or jogging on the treadmill or climbing the Stairmaster endlessly in the gym. You can take your dog out for a walk, swim in the ocean, or go hiking with a group of your friends. Not everyone enjoys exercising, yet it is the body’s natural response to release these neurotransmitters regardless. It will at least give you the feeling of being productive, which in itself can lighten your mood up.
2. Eat Healthy and Avoid Coffee
When a person is depressed or chronically anxious, more often than not, a binge eating disorder can arise. Binge eating disorder is the repetitive behavior of mindlessly eating a huge quantity of food without actual awareness. It goes on until the feeling of complete discomfort and is usually followed by a feeling of extreme guilt or distress; this can lead to other unhealthy behaviors like purging. Consumption of excess coffee, depending on each person, makes you jittery. Caffeine in general stimulates the nervous system and blocks adenosine, which is linked to sleepiness, which in turn makes you extra anxious.
It is quite rare to find a yogi or a meditation teacher that is tense or anxious. Anxiety or general anxiousness is the fixation about the problems of the past or future of which we cannot control. When you are meditating you are taking time out of your day to focus only on the here and now rather than focusing on what could have been or what you feel you need to control for the future. Meditation quiets your brain, which is nearly the opposite of an anxious mind and many gurus suggest focusing on a happy memory either in the past or a possible one in the future.
4. Talk to Someone
One of the ways to relieve your anxiety and try to lessen your depression is by talking to someone. Going through a depressive state or constantly feeling anxious can stop you from feeling the least bit motivated to do or go anywhere. With today’s technology, there are many online solutions that can help you conquer either feeling. Solutions include taking formal assessments to understand your current state and talking to a professional through chatting or video calling.
5. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
It is clear that anxiety and depression can affect your sleep by either sleeping too much or being unable to sleep altogether. But it is also true that your sleeping patterns can affect both as well. Sleep deprivation causes your body to be weaker and have more trouble fending off illnesses and diseases. Practicing mindfulness is one of the ways that can truly help you sleep better and decrease your worries which are stopping you from sleeping in the first place.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy that can be done with your psychiatrist or on your own. It is known to be one of the most common treatments for depression, anxiety, and other disorders. CBT is also known as talk therapy and you work with a therapist or psychotherapist to talk through your thoughts, feelings, and what is generally troubling you. Although it can be a little uncomfortable sharing at first, it gets easier with time and helps keep your mind at ease.
Taking care of yourself, first and foremost, is something you should practice each day. We all get anxious and get butterflies in our stomach when we have an exam coming up, a job interview, or even a proposal! This type of anxiety can be easily managed with a few calming techniques and usually goes away after the event ends. If you happen to have more severe anxiety and depression, they are more challenging, but not impossible to treat. Talk to a professional and take online assessments to see where you stand in terms of your mental state.