I can’t honestly say there’s a cure for depression. But what I will say is that you can live with it a lot better than some of us will readily admit. Yup, granted, I was one of those people that would sit in my house all day and tell myself that life is shit but without acting on anything to make life easier and manageable. Some people, like me for example are very prone to depression. I think I have it so bad that perhaps I’ll be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life. Call it a hormone imbalance, or whatever. Fact of the matter is that if I wasn’t taking action daily to make life good for myself I’d probably slink back into the pit of despair.
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Sound good? Read on.
Get out and about
For me step one started with ditching my technology and going out to experience the fresh air. I don’t know if it’s a readily known thing but tech-screens of any sort emit positive ions which increases anxiety in the user. So I ditched all my tech, and went on an hours walk. I’d perhaps grab a friend too. I’m a fan of the beach, I love just sitting there watching the waves crash on the sandy shores. Not an option? Go for a walk in the woods, or just take a bus to your local park. You probably have the idea now, get out, have fun, be at one with the earth. It’ll be hard at first – but after a month or so you’ll find this will be one of the highlights of your days.
I say this because it ties in lovely with getting out and about, and having an animal will force you out of the house for walks and other stuff. Also they make awesome companions and are great for hugs when needed. I used to have a lovely Persian cat, and I’d give it a wee hug every time I was feeling really down.
A lot to be said about exercise, and not that I know much about it, but I know that regular exercise increases happy hormones! One of the reasons depression is becoming a big thing is because of the amount of inactivity we do daily, we have no need to get up and do stuff. We can sit in one place all day and have everything done for us at the touch of a button. Go for a jog, join the local gym, get fit, you’ll not regret it. Again, it’s easy me saying this but stick with it, I promise you’ll see the benefits in no time!
Get a hobby, or several. One thing depression is awesome at is having us sitting, thinking, wallowing at how crap we are at everything. But if you are pre-occupied with your new hobby than you have less time to think about negative stuff. Now, it’s going to be really hard at first, because I had to try at least 10 hobbies before I started to find things that I liked, just don’t give up, keep going, and when you find something that you REALLY like, you’re onto a winner. My first hobby was photography. Something I couldn’t do professionally, but I really really enjoyed snapping scenery, and the reaction from friends / family.
Pull back or give up booze entirely
I can’t judge with this one, because I used to be an alcoholic, but it’s a medical fact that Alcohol is a depressant and contributes to depression. It might feel good on the night or in the moment but the day after when your body is suffering, it’s taking its toll on your life. It was a vicious cycle for me. I’d get far out drunk, forget everything the next day, worry, and then further down the line I’d feel more and more worthless. I gave up in the end and since then my wave of life has just been a sharp increase. But you know, drink responsibly and you’re fine. I’m not the judgement police.
Take stock of what matters
I was absolutely king of thinking the grass was always green on the other side. My mate was making SO much more money than I was, or another mate had a better car. I was so jealous and hateful it was sad looking back. And now that I look back I had so much going for me at the time I could have literally done anything with my life. What was an empowering thing for me was when I stopped to smell the roses, I actually took a moment to concentrate on myself and the abilities and good points that I had. I later realised that most of my life I had spent focusing on other people rather than what truly matters, ME!
Last but not least, Right wrongs that you are able to.
A big part of my depression was feeling bad over experiences that I had in the past. In fact a combination of few of the things I had experienced led me into Toxic Shame Syndrome. A big thing for me was to confront these issues head on, and I wouldn’t advise to attempt this with the backing of a counsellor or psychiatrist, but for me some of the things that happened in my past were having a dramatic effect on my present, and in an attempt to help my mentality I confronted a lot of people, which afterwards I was able to let go of. Done, gone. There were things that I truly was not able to confront, either people had moved on, or I didn’t know where they were, and that’s just the way it was. Talking to a professional helped a great deal.
As far as I am aware depression happens when what you expect from life to what you are getting from life are on two completely different levels. For me it was aligning the two. Either lowering my expectations, or making life better. You can do both, and for me the best choice was to lower my expectations first to align with what I was achieving, and from there take on the damn world!!