If you are looking for some depression self help tips to feel more alive again, this article will give you some suggestions. Before you read on however, keep in mind that if you have a severe/major case of depression, get help right away. For those who have felt depressed for long periods of time, please seek professional help. Your depression may be medical related as a result of your body not being able to produce enough “feel good” chemicals. If this is the case, just motivating yourself won’t really help. Those who are already clinically depressed should know not to read this article any further.
However, if you just feel a bit down every now and then and just want some tips on how to pick yourself up, then read on.
Note: The term “depression” is loosely used by many people to explain sadness or feeling down. True depression is a medical term, meaning there’s something not right with your mind/body and professional help is needed. In this article however, I’ll be using the term “depression” as how most people understand it, as a temporary feeling of sadness or just not wanting to do anything just to keep things simple as most people who read this aren’t actually depressed.
Everyone goes through some stage of depression every now and then. Some people will experience it more than others. It can be a sign that something is mentally or physically wrong. Some people use it as a reason to escape their problems. Regardless of why you may feel depressed, there are some things you can do to help make yourself feel better.
If you go into any book store and go over to the self help aisle, you will be able to find many self help books. These books can help you have a better understanding of what makes you feel the way you feel and can offer you some strategies to help you feel better. These tips may or may not work depending on the severity of your problem. Let me remind you again that if you have a severe case of depression, you will want to seek professional help. There really are people who care.
Let’s get into what determines the way we feel. There are two main things. The first is how you are using your body. If you ask 100 people to describe how a depressed person walks and talks, 100 out of 100 times, you will get the same answer regardless of language and culture. The answers will include things like having a slouched back, walking slowly, breathing shallowly, and an overall downward look on the person’s face.
If I asked you to describe a happy person, would you be able to do it? Of course you can. Most likely, this person will be smiling, walking upright, breathing fully, and will generally walk faster.
If you are feeling a bit depressed at the moment, here is an experiment you can try. What I’d like you to do first is to stand up straight. You want to have your chest stick out a little bit and have your shoulders relaxed and your back straight. The next thing I want you to do is to breathe a little bit faster. From here, look straight up at the ceiling and put the biggest grin possible on your face and leave it there for 30 seconds.
What I’d like you to do is see if you can feel depressed without changing your body or facial expression. If you actually do this, you will find that it’s pretty much impossible. So now you know that your physiology is one major factor in the way you feel. If you want to learn more about this anxiety technique, you can read up on a science called Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP of short.
The other factor that will determine how you feel is what you focus on. If you walk around focusing on how your life sucks and how no one loves you or how everything in your life is a disaster, then of course you’re depressed. Tell me someone who can keep focusing on those things and not be depressed. So besides changing your body posture, another thing you will want to do is change your focus. What we focus is primarily determined by the questions that we ask ourselves on a consistent basis.
So here is a self help for depression exercise you can do. Try to notice what type of questions you’re asking yourself on a daily basis. If it helps, you can even write it down. What you will find out is that most of those questions are negative questions that are designed to make you depressed. Every time you ask yourself a question, your mind will come up with an answer whether or not the question is valid.
For example, if your life is going great and you ask yourself, “What is wrong with my life”, your mind will come up with an answer to that question. Ask questions like that enough times and sooner or later, you will start to feel like there really is something wrong with your life even if it was going great. If you understand this then you will realize that asking better questions can help change your focus and will therefore help you feel less depressed.
You will want to ask questions like, “What is good in my life right now? What am I most grateful for?” Now, your mind might say, “Nothing” but don’t settle for that answer. Keep asking yourself these positive questions and expect to have a positive answer and you will eventually get one. The more you focus on what is good in your life, the better you will feel. No matter what you are going through, it can be a lot worse couldn’t it? That’s something to be grateful for right there.
Again, if you want to learn more about this type of approach, read books about NLP. You can even read, “Unlimited Power” by Anthony Robbins as well. He’s a lot more entertaining to read. He basically built his career on teaching these types of techniques. The self help with depression strategy can work wonders but it may take some practice so be patient. There are lots of self help groups that you can join as well. Just remember that these techniques are for people who don’t have a severe case of depression.
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