Practical Techniques for Combating Depression
Many different techniques have been used for combating depression, but we shall concentrate on those which you can readily master and which are most likely to give maximum benefit. You should follow the specific suggestions given, and after some practice you will discover which ones are most effective for you personally, and perhaps you develop additional techniques of your own. The three practical skills which will enable you to combat your depression are; 1. daily mood charting 2. relaxation exercises 3. increasing the level of exciting and pleasurable activities in your life These require serious planning and record keeping to be most effective. By keeping systematic records you will have a clear idea of what you need to do and be able to watch the progress that you make. Each time you see an area of improvement you will be encouraged to make further progress. Of course, the eventual proof of success will be in your own feeling.
1. Daily Mood Charting
This exercise is essential because it will give you a concrete measure of how your other exercises are going. When your mood score improves you know that you are doing well and should continue along the same lines. If you mood scores do not improve you know that you should adjust other parts of your programme. Also, your daily mood charting will help you find out what activities and situations make you feel better or add to your depression. At the end of the week, look to see if there is some trend in your mood ratings and think about the kinds of things which happen to make you feel better, or worse. Then if you find a particular situation or activity frequently leaves you feeling bored try to find ways to make it less disturbing and’or use self control procedures, ie relaxation. On the other hand, if you find things which make you feel good try to emphasise them in the future.
2. Voluntary Relaxation
When you are very tense or anxious you are likely to be emotionally uncomfortable and situations which would not otherwise bother you become threatening or leave you feeling uneasy. Too much tension interferes with your enjoyment of life and makes it harder to relate to other people. When your tension builds you are likely to feel and behave in ways which contribute to your depression. So you can see why your efforts to control depression will have better results if you learn to relax more easily and completely.
3. Increasing the Level of Exciting and Pleasurable Activities in your Life
If what you do and the way other people respond to you gives you little or no real satisfaction, if contributes to depression and you are probably discouraged from repeating the action or getting into the situation which produced such negative results. On the other hand if your behaviour or other people’s responses to you give you a sense of pleasure, or accomplishment you tend to feel good and to repeat such experiences whenever possible, ie when you feel your behaviour is rewarded you develop positive attitudes towards it. It is important to remember that rewarding events are not restricted to responses that other people make to us. They also include feelings of satisfaction which we experience when we do something we feel is important; complete something we have set out to do , or feel that we have make progress towards a long-term goal. Many rewards are internal and in that sense especially private. When you do not receive enough or the right kinds of reward you ware likely to become depressed. You must therefore make an effort to increase the level of satisfaction from the things you do. In this way you will learn to conquer your depression. depression stems from lack of objectives or goal in your life. A long term objective helps keep your interest alive: you do not need tempting excitements to get through the day. Therefore, it is imperative that while increasing the level of satisfaction and pleasurable activities in life you should plan something for the future and learn to strive for this goal. The struggle for an objective will automatically conquer your depression.