3-do-it-yourself-ways-to-fight-depression

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Thank you for stopping by! We are Harv, Julian, and Dazai. We write about Motivation, Self-help, & Overcoming Depression. The Problem We are living in the most peaceful time in human history. We have the privilege of abundance and freedom, and yet there seems to...

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3 Do It Yourself Ways To Fight Depression
Cases of depression have been plaguing humanity for a while now, may it be clinical or not. One thing is for sure, though; it is an unpleasant state to be in. Hence, people (or at least some you) have been seeking and trying various ways to treat it. And undoubtedly, several therapies have been proven effective in treating it, such as CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy and other forms psychotherapies (Walton, 2017). Some also go for medications like antidepressants and such. However, the majority of the population don’t have access or enough resources to avail such treatments. In this article we provide you “3 do it yourself” remedies that you could try to fight depression. Or, if you know someone who does, please do share this to them.

Depression must go away

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability globally. They also noted that depression contributes massively to the overall global burden of disease and worst, depression can lead to suicide.
That being said, it is a no brainer as to why we should find a way to stop it. Otherwise, our development as a person will halt indefinitely, and humanity collectively will likely be in jeopardy. So, do you want to learn about the “DIY” remedies of this debilitating disease? Then let’s get to it.

Overcome your depression yourself: (Meditation; Exercise; and Expressive writing)

Meditate or Stagnate:

“Strong mentality is depression’s worst enemy.”
Researches have shown how a simple meditation could help alleviate one’s depression; a recent study even noted that it is as effective as CBT and is significantly cheaper since you can do it yourself (Walton, 2017).
There are a lot of styles of meditation that you can try practising such as Loving-kindness meditation (where it focuses on creating an attitude of love and kindness towards yourself and others); Mindfulness meditation (said to be the mother of all meditation and is a “moment-to-moment awareness of the present moment”) and more (Gardner, 2018). There are a bunch of practices that can be found on the internet, try some of them and find out what works best for you.
But here, we’ll present an essential meditation practice that you can do by yourself in your convenience.
  • First, take a seat. Find a place that is quiet and makes you feel calm.
  • Next, set a time limit. For beginners, 3-5 minutes will do. You can add more as you progress.
  • Then, notice your body. Pick a body position that you can stay in while you are meditating.
  • And then, feel your breath. Follow the sensation of your breathing as you inhale and exhale.
  • Lastly, notice when your mind starts to wander. Once you notice your mind wanders as you meditate, return your attention to your breathing.
(note: be kind to your wandering mind, your mind has stored a lot of data and thoughts that’s been generated from your accumulated experiences as a human being, some of it may be bad, so please react to it kindly and avoid exacerbating that thought).
  • Once you’re done, take a moment to notice your thoughts and emotions, how your body feels and the environment.
(Mindful Staff, 2019)

Exercise, or meet your demise:

“to train your spirit, you have to train your body” (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Studies have shown that regular exercise has myriads of benefits aside from having an aesthetically presentable and strong body. It may also alleviate depressive symptoms and anxiety. Studies have also shown that people that exercise regularly have lower rates of depression and have better moods (WebMD, 2019).
Any exercise will help, such as biking, dancing, walking, and the list goes on. Just move your body and do it regularly. Who knows? It might help you and your friend/s.
If you are wondering how exercise could help alleviate one’s depression. Perhaps these hypotheses might shed some light.
  • Thermogenic hypothesis
This suggests that the increase in core temperature after the exercise somehow reduces the symptoms of depression, it is said that the rise of temperature in specific brain regions may lead to feelings of relaxation and reduction of muscular tension.
However, this hypothesis is more focused on the effects of exercise on anxiety rather than on depression.
  • Endorphin and Monoamine hypothesis
It is said that the increase of β-endorphins following an exercise has a positive effect on depression. Endorphins are related to positive mood and overall well-being of a person. It has also been proposed that exercise leads to an increase in the availability of brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which are diminished with depression.
However, this line of researches met some criticisms here and there (just like everything else in this world, eh? It is up to us to find out then).
  • Distraction and Self-efficacy hypothesis
It has been suggested the exercise serves as a distraction from worries and negative thoughts and used as a form of a coping mechanism to battle depression.
The enhancement of self-efficacy (one’s belief and confidence in their capabilities) that you get through exercise could be another alternative to reduce exercise. A study has found an association between exercise involvement and enhanced feelings of coping self-efficacy.
(Craft and Perna, 2004)

Write or Flight:

“it’s either you write to fight your depression, or you run away from possible solutions and wallow on your depression.”
Over the past decades, there have been studies that noted how expressive writing could help alleviate depression. A study by Krpan et al. found out that expressive writing significantly reduced the depression scores (Beck Depression Inventory and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores) of those people diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). This study also suggests that augmenting this with other intervention may prove useful (J. A., Disord, 2013).
If you are interested in trying this out, these tips on how to do expressive writing might help you in starting out.
  • Start writing four straight days for 20 minutes, if not possible, at least do it four days a week.
  • You do not have to write the most traumatic experience in your life; what’s essential is to write about what you are facing currently. It is also important to make it as objective as possible and explore your deepest emotions about it. Figure out what you feel and why you feel that way.
  • Don’t stop writing. Grammar, spelling, language, structure and such is of no significance. And if you experience “writer’s block” (like I always do), repeat what you have written previously.
  • After the initial start, you can write whenever you feel like it; however, you must not overwrite and make it as an excuse to slack off in your daily life. Write in moderation.
  • As to where to write, find a place where you can be at ease, comfort, and possibly where there are no interruptions.
(Farber, 2016)
These are just examples or ways to combat your depression (on your own), whether you’d do it or not is your choice and yours alone. So at least give it a shot, try any of these three, and better if you’d do the three to boost your chances of getting better.
However, those with severe cases of depression are unlikely to try any of these. So, if you have a friend/s or family or somebody close to you who are like that, then if you could, please do help them. You might be the catalyst that they have been waiting for in their recovery.
“Depression is like a quagmire of negativity and stagnation,
It is so bad that it could bring down even an entire civilization,
It may be an exaggeration, but trust me when I say
You wouldn’t wanna be in that situation.”
– Dazai
If you like to read more, you can read: How to tell if your friend is depressed

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