Effective ways to fight depression and anxiety
Approximately 1 in every 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health issue each year with 1 in 6 people in England experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week. This clearly demonstrates how widespread depression and anxiety is in the UK as the second highest specific mental health issue affecting the UK population with 3.3 out of 100 people suffering from it in 2016. These statistics are helpful for anyone wanting to know the specific numbers relating to depression, but for the people actually suffering from it, all it does is confirm that they are not alone in their struggles.
Depression has a heavy presence in society, but it’s still treated as taboo. People can often feel alone and unable to speak to their family or friends. However, speaking out and sharing their feelings is an essential step to healing and fighting the negativity.
From my time running one-on-one and couples therapy sessions for depression near Warrington, Cheshire, I have learnt the most effective ways to fight depression and anxiety, helping my clients successfully battle through the difficult chapters of their lives.
Go Outdoors and Be Active
If you are facing depression try to avoid isolating yourself inside your home as this can have even more negative effects on your mood and make fighting it even tougher. If you have a dog try and make yourself a schedule where you walk them once or twice a day, taking in the fresh air and allowing your mind to clear. Walking, especially with dogs, can allow you to meet new people, which can create positive social interactions that can help alleviate the depression by elevating your mood, if only for small periods of time at the start.
If you don’t want to walk alone and don’t have a dog, there are websites like Borrow My Doggy out there that can be a nice option. This can be a brilliant way to improve your mood as you get a change of scenery, fresh air and as you are helping out a stranger and an animal you will get a feel-good feeling, knowing that you’ve made a difference to their lives. Helping others can help yourself.
Moreover, exercise is well known to help boost your mood through the release of endorphins. Not only are you creating a better and healthier lifestyle for yourself, but you are also allowing your body to release hormones that can naturally improve your mood rather than through the use of drugs.
Don’t Punish Yourself
Depression is not the sufferer’s fault but it’s common for people to blame themselves for feeling the way they do. You can suffer from depression for a number of reasons – be it a death in the family, seasonal depression, pregnancy, a hormonal imbalance, losing your job or for unclear reasons. Regardless of what causes it, these feelings won’t last forever. But if you continuously blame yourself for feeling unhappy, the recovery process will last longer as you will find yourself spiralling deeper and deeper into feelings of regret and low self-worth.
Rather than punishing yourself for feeling down, focus on the ways in which you can boost your mood. Try to do enjoyable things such as visiting family and friends, reading a book or watching a film, as these can distract you from the negative emotions and encourage your daily mood to increase, as well as preventing you from thinking negatively about yourself. You should also try to spend some time doing something productive, whether it’s decluttering your house or washing the car; being able to physically see improvements can motivate you to become more active and positive.
Counselling Depression and Anxiety
Talking is an essential part of the recovery process as it can help you to identify the reasons your depression started and figure out how to deal with these feelings. If you have a family member or a friend that you can talk with freely and frankly then it is important you do so. Keeping your feelings inside can become overwhelming and is not good for your mental health.
However, in some situations speaking to someone you know might not be the best solution. It’s common for people to hold back things for fear they will offend or hurt their loved one’s feelings.
If this is the case it is worth considering therapy. They can listen to you and provide support, and can even suggest methods that they have seen to work effectively with other clients.
From my own experience in depression counselling in Warrington, I have seen the benefits that having a confidential, empathetic and non-judgemental individual, someone outside your family or friend circle, can have – it can help enable you to be honest without the fear of repercussions.
Whoever you choose to talk to make sure you keep doing it regularly. To overcome depressing and negative thoughts it will take time, but it will be worth it.
Overcome Your Critical Self-Attacks
One of the worst things a person can do when depressed is giving in to their critical self-attacks. This can make it increasingly harder for a person to effectively fight depression as they are criticising themselves, whether it be their body image, personality or thinking about negative comments others have said about them.
By recognising the desire to degrade yourself and bring your mood down, you can try (with help from a counsellor if needed) to overcome the detrimental thoughts by appreciating the constructive comments made about you and learning to love yourself for who you are. Once you have overcome the inner conflict and criticism, you can find that fighting your depression becomes easier as you are no longer working against yourself.
If you need help fighting your depression effectively or need someone you can talk to fear-free of judgement, contact me today for more information on our depression and anxiety counselling in the Stretton area, easily reachable from Warrington, Northwich and Chester.