Everyone suffers from depression and/or anxiety from time to time. I certainly struggle with both on a regular basis, and that’s why I’ve had to research my own ways to battle anxiety and depression since I’m pretty busy these days. Struggling with one’s emotions and internal thoughts may be difficult, but there are ways to help besides receiving medication, therapy, or hospitalization. While these strategies may not work for everyone, they’re bound to at least provide a calming relief for a positive pastime!
Deep breathing is a way to let go of the built up anxiety and depression inside one’s body and mind. Especially when breathing slowly, it encourages relaxation and lessons stress. There are multiple breathing exercises and techniques besides just taking in a few short breaths, so finding the one that suits a person best is most important. Some of the possible breathing techniques comprise of meditation breathing, the 4 7 8 technique, and breath retention.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial for uplifting a person’s mood since it releases endorphins in the brain, and they help to increase feelings of euphoria. Exercise also reduces stress, and can make a person feel better since they’re physically and mentally helping themselves. I always turn to exercise when I’m having a rough day: exercise truly changed my life. And, exercising to maintain mental health feels so much better than exercising simply to stay “thin”. Beneficial exercise techniques include practicing Yoga, Tai Chi, running, and dancing!
Take in Enough Sunlight
Even though too much sunlight can lead to sunburn and health risks, if taken in at the appropriate proportions, it can be advantageous to reducing depression and anxiety. Sunlight can encourage the release of the hormone serotonin in the brain, which also helps to make a person happy. Without sunlight, a person can get depressed much easier due to low levels of serotonin, which may then cause anxiety, stress, and overall panic.
Smile & Laugh
Smiling and laughing are usually associated with participating in activities that make a person feel good. Surrounding oneself with items, people, or tasks that make them feel good is eminent as it boosts their mood and overall state of being. But, even when a person forces himself or herself to smile, it releases the hormone dopamine in the brain, which is one of the chemicals responsible for feeling happy and rewarded. The brain is supposed to think that when the face is smiling, something good is happening, so a person will automatically start to feel better. Even if a person is feeling depressed and anxious, simply smiling at themselves in the mirror can make them more optimistic.
Meditation has been known to have numerous benefits, some of which include reducing stress, increasing one’s energy, and helping with sleep. Stress is commonly associated with depression and anxiety, and can lead to a panic attack or breakdown; so limiting it would help all around. Depression and anxiety tend to use up one’s energy, and without it, a person tends to feel even more depressed and in the wrong frame-of-mind. Increasing a person’s energy can brighten their day and overall spirits, and make them feel better about themselves. Sleep is also extremely important to help with one’s anxiety/depression. Through Vipassana meditation, a person’s mind is cleansed to create room for happiness all while taking away their suffering.