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Ten Tips to Conquer Depression and LiveYour Best Life

Updated: Feb 21, 2022


A person leaning against the wall and looking out the window
Depression is when your brain tries to trick you into not living your life.

Written By Kristina Johnston


The hardest thing to remember is – it’s all in your head. My therapist told me my brain is in a constant battle with itself. And I can tell. Some days I take several naps because I’m too tired from being in fight or flight response. But I have learned with time that I have the option to suffer or to get up, keep trucking and live my life. Recently, I was so depressed I spent four days laying around. I felt unable to do or say much of anything. Life seemed pointless and I was afraid to face reality, so I slept.


Every time I woke the demons were still there, creeping back in along with my consciousness. After four days I broke down, I cried again. I called my mom. I told myself “enough.” I cannot let depression and anxiety win anymore. Yes, I was sad. Yes, I was scared. But life goes on and I can do things even with my anxiety. I showered. I signed up for a gentle yoga class. I pushed myself just enough but not too much that it was overwhelming. I started to shift my perspective and focus on what I was grateful for – a caring boyfriend, our big goofy dog, and our home.



When you are feeling anxious or depressed, you might like it’s hopeless and you will never be able to feel better but there are things you can do to get out of an anxious and depressed state.Depression is the disease of meaning, your mind is trying to make you give up in life, so it makes the things that you do on a daily basis seem pointless and not worth spending the energy to do it. The main thing to keep in mind is "DON'T LET THOSE FEELINGS WIN!" Life has whatever meaning you decide to give it, so if you let those negative, hopeless thoughts hang around in your head, then they will seem like they are right. That's why it's important to rage against them at all costs! Move your body, change your mind, make sure to be proactive when fighting this battle.


 

Here’s a list of my favorite “baby steps” that can be taken to help fight against your mind tricking you into depression.

1. Water therapy helps tremendously. Try taking a warm shower, a bubble bath or even run through the sprinkler. Take time to go for a dip in the pool on a hot day or even swim in a lake. I like to watch the reflections of the sun off the water. When swimming, I like to let my body go weightless and feel the waves or water push in against my body mass as I go deeper. Be mindful in the water, it’s fun.

2. Candle gazing or fire gazing. I love to sit around a bonfire with friends and if you get anxious simply zone into the flames and watch their little dance. It’s memorizing and comforting. I find it helps my body to let go of any worries by focusing in on something other than my thoughts. It feels like an emptying of the brain.

3. Do something you REALLY enjoy and try to relax. This can be hard when you are depressed but do something leisurely that you’ll like. Try coloring, reading a book or magazine, watching a favorite show or movie.

4. Clean up your space. You’ll feel better and accomplished once you look around and see your clean area. Tasks will seem easier to do in a clean, organized area. 5. Get gussied up. If you classify as female do your makeup and curl or do something special to your hair. Paint your nails. If you classify as male, maybe you shave, trim your beard, or try something new like sideburns. You’ll feel better once you’ve groomed yourself.

6. Play with a pet, cuddle your cat or take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have an animal, consider reaching out to your local shelter or animal welfare association. There are opportunities to walk dogs up for adoption or play with cats living in the shelter. Consider donating supplies or purchasing from the facility’s Amazon wish list. Giving back will make you feel great!

7. Get outside! Go for a walk in your neighborhood. Pull out your bike and go for a ride. Find a suitable outdoor activity you like and go for it. Once you step out of the door and start your activity, I’m sure you will feel better. Start a garden, either indoor or outdoor. Plants will give you something to nurture each day and you get the joy of watching something you take care of grow. Maybe you go to your local garden center and pick up a few plants.

8. Phone a friend. This may be hard to pick up the phone but send that text and it may feel better to talk. You don’t have to talk about anything that is bothering you. Maybe work towards planning something fun the both of you can do in the future.

9. Words of affirmation. Depression puts your mind in a constant loop of negative thinking which leads to more and more negative feelings and eventually leads to despair. Using positive affirmations can break up that cycle of negativity and replace that energy with more positive and constructive energy. It doesn't have to be a crazy long sentence or a dream of how you wish life could be, instead try to think of them as words of encouragement. You can become your number one biggest fan, which can help motivate you to fight off depression. "I give and receive love effortlessly" or "I am strong and confident in my abilities" are both simple and powerful affirmations.

10. Write. Pick up your journal and see if you can get onto the page what is bothering you. If it is too difficult maybe write a list of things you want to accomplish today or this week. If that is still too difficult maybe write a card or letter to a friend or relative. This list is intended to motivate you to be proactive when dealing with depression and other mental health issues. Everyone experiences life differently though so what works for me might not necessarily work for you. If you feel like you need help, please seek it out! Call a friend or family member, tell your doctor and try using medicine, or schedule a sit down with a therapist to explain how you feel. Call the SAMHSA's National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357), to speak with someone immediately. Ready to start a Yoga or Meditation Practice?? https://www.dansmithyoga.com/ Learn to Meditate Today! 15 reasons to Meditate today (Backed by Science) Benefits of Yoga Nidra

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