Persons who suffer from depression tend to be withdrawn and reserved. They tend to have self-pity in that they blame themselves for their failures and credit luck for their successes. If these trends go on unabated, the end result is that of powerlessness and ineffectiveness. This further compounds the process by worsening the cycle of negative thinking.
The aim of the proceeding discussions is to lay bare the most effective basic cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches to mitigating depression.
Basic Cognitive Therapy Approaches
Monitoring your Thoughts
This is perhaps the most significant of all the possible intervention mechanisms. This is especially effective in combating mild to moderate depression. You may wish to keep a diary of your thoughts as one of the ways to do this. This way, you will be more aware of the negative talks that may take root in your mind. You will also be able to put in place credible intervention mechanisms to counter such negative thoughts.
To do this, you will have to identify the negative or outdated thoughts, challenge those thoughts, remove those thoughts from your mind, and finally replace them with more pleasant ones. It is important to note that thoughts lead to feelings which eventually lead to behaviours.
It, therefore, follows that by weeding out the negative thoughts and leaving behind only the positive ones, you will give rise to more positive feelings. This will result in lighter moods, more optimistic behaviours, and a better outlook on life as a whole.
Healthy and Balanced Diet
You inevitably have to eat a healthy and balanced diet. This diet has to be rich in Vitamins and minerals. These two nutrients are pretty effective in dealing with moderate and mild depression.
Other than these, you should also eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This is because such foods contain plenty of Zinc, folate, and Vitamin B1, all of which have been consistently proved to improve the moods of depressed persons. Persons with depression have also been shown to respond better to treatments after consuming foods that are rich in Vitamin B12.
You should also take in lots of proteins especially those that are rich in Omega 3 such as oily fish. These include sardines and kippers. It goes without saying that you should hydrate regularly by drinking around 8 glasses of water daily. To make this approach all the more fruitful, you ought to avoid refined foods and alcohol.
Studies upon studies have deduced almost without exception that exercising is great for combating stress and depression. 30-minute daily exercise for at least 3 to 5 days a week can slow down the severity of depression.
Further to that, exercising can also distract you from your worries besides improving your overall health and fitness. This automatically leads to improved moods and ‘feel good’ factor in your body’s chemistry. This is because the endorphin hormones are released while you are exercising.
Exercising can also aid in getting rid of frustrations and built-up stress besides contributing to making you sleep better.
Connecting with Others
Being with others in times of stress can help you to ward off the deeper negative thoughts. Studies have as a matter of fact deduced that in 90% of the cases, persons who socialized when stressed had their moods improve. You also do not have to play a central role while connecting with others. You only need to hang around others, that’s all.
Good Night Sleep
While stressed, your sleeping patterns tend to be disturbed or disrupted. At times you sleep too much while at other times you can hardly catch any sleep at all. In some extraordinary circumstances, you will so irritated that your existing low mood will be worsened. These notwithstanding, you will still have to obtain at least 8 hours of sleep each night. You should also strive to put in place a regular routine that your body may get used to.
Limiting Contacts with Negative Persons
Hanging around negative or toxic people when you are stressed is the worst and the last thing you can possibly do. These people may be members of your family who are equally stressed or bitter with life. Some of the signs to look out for are constantly criticism of others, unnecessary judgments of others, and provision of a ‘toxic environment’.
Even though you may not avoid certain persons, you are advised to try as much as possible to stay away from them. Alternatively, you may wish to scale down your interactions with them by limiting your contacts as much as possible. Do so especially when you feel mentally or emotionally vulnerable. By staying in the company of positive and optimistic persons you get to feed to moods and raise your optimism.
Well, there you have it! You really have a lot of homework to do in case you ever hope to combat stress and depression effectively. Following the laid down basic cognitive behavioral therapy approaches above shall give you the necessary starting point, you need to achieve awesome results.