Can You Think Your Way Out of Depression?

Depression and AnxietyIf you think that depression has no answer, then it’s time to rethink your approach. Instead of succumbing to despair and hopelessness, it can be possible to take back control by changing how you think about the situation. In this blog post, we’ll explore research-backed techniques which can help you reframe your thoughts in a way that encourages mental wellbeing – enabling you to finally break free from the destructive cycle of negative thought patterns and depression. With that said, in this article we will cover the question “can you think your way out of depression” and provide you with some tips to better understand and deal with your depression. 

Understanding the Symptoms of Depression

Understanding the symptoms of depression is essential for accurately diagnosing and treating this mental health disorder. Depression can manifest as physical, mental, or behavioral changes. Physical symptoms may include sudden weight change, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, to name a few, while cognitive signs can include poor concentration, difficulty making decisions, lack of motivation, hopelessness, and irritability. Behavioral changes may involve losing interest in activities previously enjoyed or neglecting responsibilities at home or work. If you experience any of these symptoms, there are many options available to help you feel more yourself. Sometimes, doing the work on your own, especially when symptoms are interfering, can seem overwhelming. Reaching out for help the earlier depression symptoms appear,  the sooner appropriate treatment can begin.  Testing for depression is quite easy.  Dr. David Burns has an excellent test for depression and anxiety.  There is a copy for you to use here.

Exploring Different Treatment Options for Depression

Exploring different treatment options for depression is an important step in helping yourself or a loved one work through their mental health struggles. Finding the right combination of therapies, medications, and other lifestyle changes can be daunting, but talking to a professional and doing research into available treatments can make all the difference. An evaluation is a great starting point to explore personalized types of treatment tailored to individual needs. Self-exploration through activities like journaling and therapy can help you identify triggers and work on issues from the inside. It’s also important to find ways to build yourself up mentally outside of clinical environments, with strategies such as engaging with supportive friends and family, staying active, and managing stress. Whatever treatment you ultimately decide on, know that there are many safe ways for every person to cope with depression and take control of their mental health again.

Making Positive Lifestyle Changes to Combat Depression

Making positive lifestyle changes is a key component to effectively combating depression. There are many small, but significant actions you can take towards improving your life, such as finding healthy coping mechanisms, developing a structured routine, setting achievable goals, and making social connections. Self-care is also essential; engaging in activities like exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods and managing stress levels can all improve both physical and mental health. Additionally, considering a specialized therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy may result in long-term benefits by addressing underlying causes of depression. Taking the initiative to make these changes can be daunting but starting small and developing sustainable habits are important steps on the road to recovery.

Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Change Unhelpful Thinking Patterns

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective therapy for helping individuals recognize and modify unhelpful thinking patterns. By acknowledging the thoughts that are causing distress and processing them, a person can work towards overcoming their obstacles. CBT can provide people with an understanding of how thoughts influence emotions, which influences behavior. The processing of thoughts replace automatic reactions with conscious choices. This can be done through questioning unrealistic beliefs and learning strategies for more positive self-talk. With CBT, emotions, behaviors, and physical symptoms are addressed so that an individual can become equipped with the tools necessary to take back control of their lives. Utilizing this innovative approach can prove instrumental in creating long-term success.

Practicing Relaxation Techniques and Mindfulness Meditation

Practicing relaxation techniques and mindfulness meditation can be beneficial for physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Making time for relaxation is essential in order to reduce the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol, a chemical produced by the body, is linked with stress. By taking 10-20 minutes out of our day to practice deep breathing or simple stretches in silence can help bring balance to our nervous systems. Additionally, elements of mindfulness meditation can be practiced throughout our days such as slowing down when we carry out tasks or being aware of the present moment rather than worrying about what has passed or what comes next. Allowing ourselves to simply ‘be’ without judgement is a powerful procedure in calming our minds and bodies. Incorporating relaxation and mindfulness into one’s daily life will lead to healthier functioning as an individual as well as improved relationships with those around us.

Seeking Support from Friends and Family Members when Coping with Depression

Seeking support from friends and family members when coping with depression can be a huge help in the recovery process. Whether it’s having someone to talk to or simply having someone around who understands what you are going through, the strong relationships that we have can provide us with much needed comfort and reassurance during difficult times. It is understandable if it feels intimidating to reach out for help; however, a good support system is invaluable for effective mental health management. When combined with other treatments, such as counseling and medications, having people who are supportive, patient and non-judgmental in our corner can make a world of difference in improving our overall state of well-being.

You’ve Tried Everything; Nothing is Working

What if you have tried all of the suggestions above, and you are still struggling with significant depression? There are some medical conditions that contribute to depression and it is 100% worth making an appointment with a medical doctor to investigate.  Firstly, a thyroid imbalance may be to blame for treatment resistant depression.  Both an increase and decrease in thyroid hormones can result in mood disorders such as depression and/or anxiety.  Getting hormone levels checked with a blood test is a great place to start.  Secondly, undiagnosed ADHD can also contribute to depression and anxiety.  Studies show that up to 53% of people with ADHD also struggle with persistent depression.  A medical doctor is the most efficient and cost effective way to confirm a diagnosis.

Conclusion – Can You Think Your Way Out of Depression

In conclusion, as we have discussed, depression is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. While the topic can seem daunting, understanding its symptoms and available treatment options is the first step in making positive lifestyle changes to combat and think your way out of it. When managed correctly, depression can be a manageable condition that doesn’t stand in the way of your happiness. By implementing cognitive-behavioral therapy strategies to challenge unhelpful thinking and utilizing relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, you can begin to improve your mental wellbeing. Lastly, don’t forget the importance of having strong support systems in place. Friends and family members are great sources for finding empowerment and connection when going through difficult times. With these tools and resources available, taking on depression is more possible than ever before.

If you need help navigating your depression we can help! At Incentive Counselling we specialize in depression counselling and online counselling and are always there to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and we will be in touch!