“Relax! You worry too much. Everything’s going to be alright.” Don’t you just hate it when people say that? The context? Someone saying this to you when you’re in the throes of another bout of I–can’t-breathe-or-get-out-depression. Fortunately, though, secret techniques to improve depression DO exist for REAL sufferers of this dreaded disease.
People honestly think depression sufferers are faking it. If only they knew. The expression “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy” comes into play here. Sadly, depression is something I believe everyone should experience as least once in their lives.
- Because it makes you a better person.
- It opens your eyes to other people’s constant, daily struggles.
- It’s not something you can fake.
- You have little control over it when it takes over your life.
- It’ll get a lot of haters to shut up.
Basically, he who feels it, knows it. Enough English idioms and expressions for the day.
Today’s post is all about secret techniques that will help you improve your depression right now. This is great because a lot of the time you can’t sleep it off or cry because of where you are.
These seven tips have been tried and tested by myself and I guarantee a lot of them do work. There’s evidence backing each of them, so, um yeah.
Without wasting too much time, apply these 9 secret techniques to improve your depression right now.
Breathing is the next best thing after sliced bread. Seriously. Without breathing, none of us would be here.
We wouldn’t be able to inhale the delicious smell of freshly, baked bread in the morning, or the moving smell of wet ground after the summer rain. We wouldn’t smell the delicate scent of a newborn or the strong, masculine cologne of that hottie of a man.
None of that.
So what should you do?
Breathe deeply. Make sure to set out different times of the day when you can breathe slowly and deeply to stop feeling overwhelmed. It’s best to nip it in the bud. The moment you feel the stress building up, find a quiet corner where you can collect your thoughts and just focus on your breathing.
It works. You just need to implement what you learn.
Let’s make it practical. A good idea is to sit somewhere comfortable right now.
- Sit in an upright chair.
- Place your feet firmly on the ground and your hands on your thighs.
- Make sure your spine is straight.
- Consciously breathe in deeply and slowly for about three seconds before exhaling slowly.
- Do this repeatedly until you have a proper pattern.
You’ll notice an immediate difference. Comment below and let me know if it did anything for you.
Close your eyes
When the world gets too much, I must admit, I shut my eyes to the injustice bombarding my eyesight. What we see is directly related to how we feel and act. For example, if I see a baby being abused, that’s going to make me angry and want to fight on the baby’s behalf.
The same with us. Depressed people are more sensitive and aware of the evil in the world. As a result, the things we expose ourselves to in terms of what we see can make or break us.
Let what you allow yourself to see be good and positive so you can have a good and positive outlook on life *tweet this.*
Practically, this could mean one of many things.
- Physically stay away from destructive people.
- Don’t watch horror movies.
- Stay away from the news because it’s just bad news and more bad news.
Close your eyes and imagine your happy place. Maybe it’s in the arms of your child, your mother, sister, friend or partner. Imagine where you could be in a happy mood. Imagine a world without the thing that’s stressing you out now. Some may dub this technique idealistic, but it really does help.
Closing your eyes also helps you relax.
Isn’t that why Peter Pan and so many other Disney cartoons are about being lost in your imagination?
Sing a nursery rhyme
Again, music comes very much into play. Singing is the way forward. Singing helps your mind focus on something other than the thing that is stressing you right now.
Why a nursery rhyme? Because it’s simple. You don’t really have to think about the words. They come naturally. If you try thinking of some gospel, Mariah Carey or whatever, you may fall short. A nursery rhyme might help you calm your nerves and see the light-hearted side of the stressful situation.
The benefits are great. Apparently, the vibrations that come from singing help relax you and slow and regulate your breathing.
Opt for songs that make you feel good. Whatever genre. Just don’t go for something too hyped like Migos, or too sad like Drake. We don’t want to be singing funeral songs for you.
Tap your foot
I like to think I’m a good dancer. I’ll admit, though, that dancing can be quite a subjective issue, so let’s not go into that. Wiggling my body parts (note: NOT booty hopping, gyrating of hips or anything obscene like that) does the trick. I have serious leg cramps and kicking my legs a bit helps with the restless leg syndrome.
Tapping your foot has been proven to work to relieve depression. Don’t believe me? Postpartum Depression for Dummies explains that by concentrating on your feet, you become distracted and focus on remaining grounded. Makes sense because suffering from depression makes you feel ungrounded, like you don’t have a foot to stand on.
I’m doing great with all these puns, wouldn’t you agree?
There’s even something called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), (which in South Africa means Electronic Fund Transfer). This technique is when you tap different parts of your body like your eyebrow, underarm or collarbone, while saying something. It apparently taps into your emotional vestiges and produces good results (no pun intended).
I’m all up for trying it and sharing the results with you. Others who have tried it attest to its effectiveness in reducing anxiety.
Point is tap your foot for instant relief and distraction from that which is worrying and stressing you. You don’t even need to be a good dancer to do so. Just tap, tap away to your favourite beat or create one. The distraction will help your mind reel itself from the stress surrounding it.
Fumble with your fingers
In other words, play with your hands. You know how people play with their hands when they’re bored, distracted or nervous? You can use this action to help you in a stressful situation. It serves as a good distraction and is generally safe.
You can try all sorts of techniques with this one. You can snap your fingers in succession, ball your hands into a fist, pump them in the air, massage them or squeeze them together. Whatever you do, it’ll relieve stressed points in your body, leading to relief.
The Jin Shin Jyutsu practice of holding the fingers is a self-help remedy that really does work. I tried it and was amazed because it’s so simple. For each finger, there are benefits including alleviating depression and anxiety. The index finger, in particular, is associated with depression.
You can hold them separately, all at once or one at a time. It’s important that you know what each finger means so you can touch it at the right time. If you’re feeling depressed, for example, you’ll touch your index finger and not your ring finger which is for ear discomforts.
I really commend this one. Try it now. Feel the difference.
Skip/jump up and down
When you Google “skip to help depression” you find all sorts of links to not skipping breakfast, not skipping good routines and all that good stuff.
This isn’t the skipping I’m talking about. I’m talking about physical skipping, from the sky to the ground. It might look childish at first, but it really does work. You start to feel your heart racing and your adrenaline goes from 0 to 100 real quick.
Lissa Rankin M.D. explains that moving your body is an essential natural way to fight depression. Those endorphins will be coursing through your veins, helping your mood lighten and your body feel better.
Walk it out
Like the song. Don’t remember the song? That’s why we have Google, people. Walking is not only one of the easiest forms of exercise, it’s also one of the most enjoyable. This could be subjective depending on who and where and how you walk.
Since depression is generally coupled with anxiety, walking is your best bet as it helps relieves symptoms related to anxiety and depression by releasing endorphins which make you feel better. Walking three or more times a week greatly reduces stress and improves your mood. It even improves your quality of life according to one Australian study. How’s that for benefits?
Don’t believe me? Check out Claire Stretch‘s story. It’s is a very realistic example of the benefits of walking. Did you know that walking can also reduce chemicals that worsen depression in our bodies? You’ll be more confident, social, healthier etc etc. Come, ladies. Let’s start an exercise routine together. Comment below if you’d like us to start a walking challenge.
Affirm your existence
This is so important. Your thoughts directly affect your mood. If you’re feeling sour, it will show. If you’re feeling lower than low, it will show. Telling yourself powerful statements like “I love myself unconditionally” and “I am STRONG!” can be lifesaving.
Repeating these mantras anytime you’re feeling particularly low can help boost your self-esteem. The more you say it, the more you believe it. You gotta fake it till you make it, baby.
And no, it’s not silly or stupid. It’s a very real technique that is overlooked all the time. Especially in the black community. You don’t have to say it out loud (maybe just then people would think you’re a little nuts) but please do say it and MEAN it. The quietest thoughts are the most dangerous.
Stand in the sun
The sun has Vitamin D which our melanin, popping skin absorbs. But don’t be fooled. Black people also get cancer. Don’t let them tell you “you’re dark already, the sun can’t do anything to you.” LIES. We even have a skin cancer that specially affects dark skinned people. You are officially woke. You’re welcome.
So if you’re feeling super stressed and uncomfortable, go outside and bathe in sunlight for 10 minutes. That’s all you need.
Have you tried any of these secret techniques? What were the results? Share your journey below. Comment below.