Lifestyle Strategies And Stress Management
While treating depression or another mental illness will generally require professional intervention, youre the expert when it comes to self-care, the process of forming healthy habits and making positive changes to your daily routine to improve your emotional and physical health. Self-care includes reducing and managing your stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, and educating yourself about your illness. The more that you take an active role in helping yourself and make positive improvements in your lifestyle, the better your chances of feeling better and staying well.
Here are some lifestyle strategies that can help you cope with depression and related illnesses and prevent recurrence:
One way to regain a sense of control when you are diagnosed with depression or a related illness is to educate yourself about your illness. You can do this by talking with your doctors, learning from others who have depression, and by reading books and articles about depression. The more you know about depression and its treatment, the better you will be able to manage your depression and understand which treatment options may be best for you.
Sleeping well directly affects your mental and physical health and your quality of life. Depression and related disorders can disrupt your sleep, so its important to establish a regular sleep pattern. Below are some recommendations for getting a good nights sleep:
Dealing With The Winter Blues
For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
People With Social Anxiety Don’t Want To Be Alone
2. Worry vs. Problem Solving
Worrying is repetitive and unproductive, but it can often feel like youre working through problems. Real problem solving, in contrast, is a focused way of finding solutions. When youre worrying today, figure out whether theres an actual problem to solve or if your mind is simply spinning its wheels. Then aim to redirect your mental energy toward productive problem-solving.
3. Find Strength
When you find yourself hoping for an easy, problem-free day, shift your focus to how youll respond. Say to yourself, May I find strength to meet every challenge. May I find courage to face whatever comes my way. May I find grace in all I do. Problems are inevitable. How you handle them is up to you.
4. Define Your Best Life
When youre tempted to avoid something today because of anxiety, ask yourself what kind of life you want to have lived. One defined by fear and avoidance? One where you played it safe, even when it meant missing out on things you cared about? Or a life of defying fear and inertia to do what mattered to you? Plan to take one action today that your future self will thank you for.
5. Take the Wheel
6. Love Conquers Fear
7. Change the Conversation
8. Face Your Fears
9. Move Through Procrastination
10. Maximize Outdoor Time
11. Practice Kindness
12. Can I Open to This?
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Managing Stress In Daily Life
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.
Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.
Effects Of Stress On Depression
While stress can generally have negative effects on your physical and mental health, it can be especially harmful if you have depression.
Stress can make you feel less able to maintain positive habits or coping strategies, which are important to managing depression. This can make symptoms of depression feel more intense. Interrupting a healthy routine can result in negative coping strategies, such as drinking or withdrawing from social relationships. These actions can result in further stress, which can then make depression symptoms worse.
Stress can also affect your mood, as anxiety and irritability are both common responses to stress. When a stressor causes you to feel anxious, the anxiety may result in more negative feelings or frustration, even if the stressor is only temporary.
Stress management techniques are useful in coping with depression. Stress relief can also help prevent depressive symptoms from developing. Some helpful stress management techniques include:
- getting enough sleep
- consuming less caffeine or alcohol
- doing breathing exercises to lower your heart rate
If lifestyle choices are causing you stress, you may consider changing the way you approach your personal or professional life. Some ways you can help decrease this kind of stress include:
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Physical Disease In The Brain
Emotional disorders in general and depression in particular can occur due to physical diseases in the brain . Structural damage to the brain can lower stress tolerance. Therefore, even a small impact can cause depression and other common mental disorders.
In this case, determining the cause is essential. Because if correctly identified, the disease can be treated thoroughly, avoiding affecting the patients quality of life, reducing the burden on the family and society.
How To Relax Your Mind From Stress Fast
For example, if you think that you cant accept or handle depression, you will naturally be very stressed out about depression. Similarly, if you think that you cant accept or handle losing a job, you will naturally be very stressed out about your job loss.
This type of thinking is extremely stressful, because if you think that you cant accept or handle certain things, you feel powerless and helpless to do anything about them. Indeed, you feel completely vulnerable to something you automatically assume is bad in some way.
So guess what happens? Your mind keeps trying to warn you about this potential danger that you presumably cant accept or handle.
For example, if you think you cant accept or handle depression, your mind will repeatedly remind you that youre depressed, because it thinks that this is an important danger for you to consider. For similar reasons, your mind will repeatedly remind you about a job loss you think you cant accept or handle.
In such a way, you become perpetually stressed, and the stress has a negative effect on your life.
Fortunately, you can learn how to relax when stressed very quickly, just by learning how to get rid of the stressful, negative thought that you cant accept or handle whatever youre dealing with at the moment.
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Spend Time With Friends And Family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.
Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .
Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.
Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:
- Relieving your stress response.
- Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (
Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.
One way to do this may be to say no more often.
How Can Work Stress Affect Well
Long-term exposure to work-related stressors like these can affect mental health. Research links burnout with symptoms of anxiety and depression. In some cases, this sets the stage for serious mental health problems. Indeed, one study shows younger people who routinely face heavy workloads and extreme time pressure on the job are more likely to experience major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
High levels of stress at work and outside of it can affect physical health, too. Repeated activation of the fight-or-flight response can disrupt bodily systems and increase susceptibility to disease. For example, repeated release of the stress hormone cortisol can disturb the immune system, and raise the likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimers disease. Chronic stress can also affect health by interfering with healthy behaviors, such as exercise, balanced eating, and sleep.
Work stress can also harm companies or organizations. Burnout reduces job productivity and boosts absenteeism and job turnover, and also leads to conflict between coworkers, causing stress to spread within a workplace.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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Psychological Trauma The Most Common Cause Of Depression
It is a common cause of depression and a variety of other mental disorders. Stress can be caused by factors such as:
- Conflict with family, friends, difficulties at work
- Originating from serious and incurable diseases such as cancer, HIV-AIDS
- Postpartum depression due to intense stress
However, stress is not the sole cause of depression. Because this condition is a normal response of the body after experiencing events such as natural disasters, the death of a loved one, high-intensity work, many conflicts between husband and wife, etc. So now, stress is considered to be a contributing factor to the outbreak of depression when there are pre-existing factors such as underlying mental disorders, chronic stress, etc.
Identify And Learn To Manage Your Triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.
Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.
When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you cant limit it like if its due to a stressful work environment that you cant currently change using other coping techniques may help.
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How To Relieve Stress Quickly: Be More Calm In 2 Minutes
Right now, youre about to become a much more calm and relaxed person in less than 2 minutes, just by appreciating that you can accept and handle anything in a constructive manner.
To appreciate this, youve got to appreciate that that belief that you cant accept certain things is nonsensical. Clearly, you can accept anything, since whether you accept something or not is just a choice you can make.
For example, you can choose to accept being depressed, if you want. This is simply your choice.
Furthermore, its important to appreciate that its nonsense to believe you cant handle certain things, because if anything occurs, you definitely can and will handle it, whether you like it or not. Its really just a question of how youre going to handle it.
For example, if you become depressed, its not a question of whether you can handle it. If youre depressed, youre already handling it. The only question is how youre handling it, and if you want to take steps to handle it in a way that helps you stop being depressed faster and easier.
One you appreciate that you can accept and handle anything, its like youve hacked your brain in a powerful way that makes you always feel more calm and relaxed and less stressed, because youve successfully debugged one of the most common, stressful negative thoughts you could have.
What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
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Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be extremely useful in counteracting depression and is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain health problems, such as depression. The counselor helps you understand your current thought patterns and identify any harmful or false ideas and thoughts that you have that can trigger depression or make it worse.
The aim is to change your way of thinking to avoid these ideas, as well as help your thought patterns be more realistic and helpful.
How To Cope With Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Heres what you need to know if they strike simultaneously.
Do you sometimes worry so much that it interferes with your everyday activities? Or feel so blue that it completely clouds your outlook? Do you often experience these or similar feelings together? Youre not the only one.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety disorders which include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder are the most common mental health problem among U.S. adults, affecting 18.1 percent of the population each year. And mood disorders which include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder are the leading cause of disability.
Moreover, the incidence of developing depression in addition to an anxiety disorder or vice versa is high. Many people with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety, notes Sally R. Connolly, LCSW, in Louisville, Kentucky. And some experts estimate that 60 percent of people with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness .
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How To Get Over Stress By Improving Your Thinking
If you think about things negatively, you will definitely experience more stress in your life. For this reason, its very important that you stop ruminating and replaying negative thoughts in your head, since this is what actually creates the stress and worrying.
To fully appreciate how much the way you think about things matters, consider how you can become extremely stressed about losing your job, or feel completely calm and relaxed about it, depending entirely on how you think about this situation.
If you think thoughts like Im a loser, because I lost my job, or Ill never be able to pay my bills and survive, or Losing my job was the worst thing that could have happened to me, youll naturally experience a great deal of stress and worry about things.
On the other hand, if you think thoughts like Im a great person, even if I lost my job, and One way or another Ill find a way to pay my bills and survive, and Losing my job could be a blessing in disguise, since it opens up other opportunities for me, youll naturally feel more calm and relaxed and worry-free.
The important point here, is that how you think about things matters a great deal, and ultimately determines whether you will feel stressed or not. So if youre feeling stressed, changing your thinking is how to be stress free and happy very fast.