Are you struggling with depression?
Those who have suffered with depression know just how challenging it can be to live with it. Some days you feel on top of the world and others you can’t even get out of bed, let alone face another human being.
But while this experience can be extremely challenging it doesn’t have to ruin your life. There are things you can do to help you live a more balanced life. Test out these 4 effective tools that can help you get started.
Self-care is so much more than treating yourself to a massage or enjoying a long candlelit bath. It’s also means taking care of your mind, body and soul in other ways; like feeding it healthy foods, getting enough quality sleep, exercising and spending time in contemplative meditation. Self-care is vital to dissolving the symptoms of depression in everyday life.
Many believe that nature is one of the most powerful “anti-depressants” available to us. Connecting to nature and her natural balance is very helpful in reminding us just what that feels like. There is a practice in Japan called shinrin-yoku, which translates as forest bathing – soaking in the atmosphere and energy of the forest. Even sitting quietly next to a still lake and allowing that stillness to reflect inside.
Listening to music can help improve your mood through emotional expression and catharsis. In fact, research suggests that people with depression actually feel better after listening to sad music. This is because unexpressed and unprocessed emotions are the cause to stress and depression. Music is believed to be a wonder drug that can restore cognitive function, evoke emotions, ease stress, energize your mind and soothe your soul.
It’s all well and good to treat depression symptoms but what if there’s a way to completely change the way we even experience these feelings, emotions and moods.
If you need some convincing, here some science-talk, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) –worry–and amygdala– fear–are both brain regions that have been associated with depression. When the mPFC gets worked up, it activates the amygdala, releasing cortisol which is a stress hormone. At this stage, your brain is fighting a perceived threat that isn’t a reality. This causes anxiety and depression.
According to research, meditation helps to break down the change the connection between the amygdala and mPFC. Even a 10 minute per day meditation practice, has the power to alter your reaction to feelings of anxiety and depression.
For more information about starting a daily meditation routine or to speak to one of our Integrative coaches about mastering your mind, get in touch with Integrative Coaching. We are ready to assist with your journey of self-mastery and self-improvement.