Yes, and it’s not so complex! This article explains how you are able to significantly decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety using a five-part “brain upkeep” action plan.
The five regions of the brain care program are bodily self-care, mental-emotional self-care, social support, spiritual connection, and lifestyle habits. In the first article, I covered physical and psychological self-care. We turn to individuals support, spiritual connection and lifestyle customs.
In working with my clients, I emphasize that social support is a vital requirement for living a depressive episode. Having healthy relationships not only helps to relieve depression, but also helps to avoid its recurrence. Isolation, on the other hand, makes one more vulnerable to physical and mental illness.
Building a fantastic support network takes time and the procedure is unique to every person. It means surrounding yourself with people who will validate what you’re going though and that will unconditionally accept you. Some of the members of a support system may include:
• family and close friends.
• an ally like a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, rabbi, minister, priest, 12 step sponsor or friend in whom you can confide in.
• group support like group counselling or a 12-step assembly. Here is where you can gain (and provide) encouragement and help from (and to) other people that are going through experiences like yours. In a support group, you learn that you’re not alone in your suffering, and that there are others who truly understand your pain.
• domestic pets. The unconditional love that we give to and get from such beings can be as healing as human love.
In spite of the many resources which are available, some folks feel too embarrassed, shy or nervous to reach out for assistance. If asking for assistance looks difficult, please reconsider calling somebody, even if it’s a crisis line. Reaching out will make a real difference in your recovery. I promise.
Mental health researchers have defined a phenomenon called spiritual coping-a reliance on a belief or action to help manage emotional stress or physical distress. Having strong spiritual beliefs may also increase feelings of faith and hope which subsequently produce positive chemical and psychological changes in the mind. Here are a few aspects of spiritual self-care which may be used to promote emotional calmness.
- Prayer: Studies indicate that prayer can have a positive effect on diseases of the human body like heart conditions. Since depression occurs in the mind, which is a physical organ, it’s reasonable that being prayed for could result in an improvement in mood.
- Mediation: Meditation involves stilling the mind so that we can hear the still small voice of God inside and be open to spiritual guidance. There are several kinds of meditation accessible: contemplative prayer, Vipassana meditation, Zen centers, the novels of Buddhist priest Thich Nhat Hahn, or the easy form of meditation like The Relaxation Response.
- Spending time in nature: Whether it’s seeing a moonrise over a mountain peak, a sunset over the sea, or just taking a leisurely walk in your town park, spending time in nature could evoke a healing connection to Mother Earth.
- Engaging in selfless service: All traditions stress service as part of a person’s spiritual path. A basic symptom of depression (and unhappiness in general) is self-absorption. Service allows us to surpass our anguish by shifting our attention away from ourselves. (Researchers have reported that a phenomenon known as helpers high among individuals who volunteer their time to assist others.
Leading a Healthy Lifestyle
Finally, certain lifestyle habits can allow you to maintain balance and equilibrium and so prevent the onset of depression. These include:
- Find ways to add structure/routine in your everyday activities.
- Set worthwhile targets.
- Engage in fulfilling work that connects with an inner fire or sense of purpose.
- Spend some time connecting to the natural world.
- Get sufficient exposure to natural outdoor light.
- Reduce the stress in your life by scheduling in times of time to unwind and just be.
- Participate in activities which are give you pleasure and pleasure-e.g., eating a fantastic meal, working in the garden, nurturing a pet, spending time with friends, etc.-and scatter your life together.
- Take some time every day to enjoy beauty.
There’s nothing radical or new in what I have suggested. This body, mind and soul recovery program is a simple common sense approach to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. By putting these ideas into practice, you can strengthen your “mental immune system” and become more resistant to mood disorders such as clinical depression. Best wishes on your transformational journey!