Hormonal imbalance is a result of uncontrolled stress, causing anxiety and depression. This article will focus on what depression is about, and the steps you can take to elevate depression. Depression can drain you of energy and hope, leaving you feeling empty, sad, and helpless. And, for women, depression is complicated by many factors, from reproductive hormones and social pressures to the unique female response to stress. No matter how bleak things seem, though, there’s much you can do to change the way you think and feel. You can’t just will yourself to just get over it, but you do have more control than you probably realize. By taking small, gradual steps, you can start to feel better and regain your drive, your sense of hope, and your enjoyment of life.
Wikipedia describes depression, “as a state of low mood, and an aversion to activity, that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, tendencies, feelings, and a sense of well being. A depressed mood is normal temporary reaction to life events such as a loss of a loved one.” For more information on depression from Wikipedia read here.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression In Women
One in every eight women will experience depression symptoms at some point during their lifetime. You are not alone! It’s important to learn about the signs and symptoms, as well as, the factors that cause depression in women, so you can tackle the condition head on, treat your depression most effectively, and help prevent it from reoccurring.
Symptoms can include:
- Depressed mood and anxiety
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you usely enjoy
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness
- Appetite and weight changes
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering
- Sleeping changes or restless sleep
Reach Out For Social Support
Getting support from people who care plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to overcome depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When you’re depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate yourself, so that even connecting to close family members and friends can be difficult. Summon the courage to ask for the help and support you need. it can make all the difference in how quickly you will recover. Share what you’re experiencing with the people you love and trust. You may have avoided your most treasured relationships, but they can help get you through this tough time. You may think you can’t find anyone to confide in, but you can still make new friendships, even if you’re shy or introverted.
How do you reach out for depression support? Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for.
The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to repair you; they just need to be there for you and be a good listener. You need someone who’ll listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they don’t replace good old-fashioned, eye-to-eye, in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away. Often when you’re depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, however, being around other people will make you feel less depressed. It’s nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost by also providing support to someone yourself. So find ways, both big and small, to be there to help and be supportive of others, be a listening ear for a friend, be thoughtful and do something nice for somebody.
Nothing can replace the human connection, but a pet can bring you joy and companionship into your life, and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed and responsible, both powerful antidotes to depression. Consider joining a depression group. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation, and, once again, focusing on someone else’s problems helps too. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.
Support Your Health
In order to overcome depression, you have to do things that relax, calm, and energize you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day.
Aim for minimum eight hours of sleep. Depression typically involves restless sleep problems; whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, or not on consistent time schedule. . But, you can get on a set sleep schedule by setting a time and taking at least thirty to forty-five minutes time to relax before you go to bed.
Keep stress in check. Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload, money problems, or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to relieve to relax and relieve the pressure and regain control.
Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
Do things you enjoy or gives you a sense of peace. While you can’t force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure, you can push yourself to do things, even when you don’t feel like it. Pick up a former hobby or a sport you used to like. Express yourself creatively through music, art, or writing. Go out with friends. Take a day trip to a museum, the mountains, or the ballpark, or simple walk down a wooded trail.
Develop And Implement A Plan To Deal Of Depression
When you learn what depression is about, you will understand that you should develop a list of written-down activities that you can do for a quick mood boost. The more activities you can develop for coping with depression, the better. Try to implement a few of these ideas slowly and gradually, each day, even if you’re feeling good.
- Spend some time in nature and kick your shoes off
- List what you like about yourself
- Read a good book or magazine
- Watch a funny movie or TV show
- Take a long, hot bath
- Take care of a few small tasks
- Play with your pet
- Talk to friends or family face-to-face
- Listen to music or go dancing
- Do something spontaneous and fun
- Eat a good meal out at a nice restaurant
- Get some moderate exercise or go for a swim
- Do something that makes you laugh
Make A Commitment And Take Action
When you’re depressed, just getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task, let alone exercising! But exercise is a powerful relaxer and depression fighter, and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal.
Studies show that moderate exercise increasing energy levels and decreases feelings of fatigue. You don’t even have to go to the gym. A thirty minute walk each day will give you a much-needed boost. And if you can’t manage thirty minutes, then two fifteen minute bursts of movement, one in the morning and one later in the day, are just as effective.
Exercise Can Be Done Immediately To Boost Your Mind
Your fatigue will improve if you follow a regimen. Starting to exercise can be difficult when you’re depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep it up. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more. Regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant meditation, but a much healthier for you..
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercise, such as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancing, where you move both your arms and legs.
Be Mindful And Look Inward. If your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts, focusing in the “now” moment is important. Focus on how your body feels as you move, such as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing. Eat a healthy, depression-fighting diet
Eat A Fresh Nutritious Diet And Natural Supplementation
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Some women find dietary modifications, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies, can help aid in the relief of depression symptoms these include:
Reducing your intake of salt, unhealthy fats, processed sugars, caffeine, simple carbohydrates, and alcohol, which can quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy.
Eat regular meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Boosting your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, of the B vitamins, and all other vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, supplement your diet with an all natural organic Adaptogen named Maca. It also advisable to eat more fresh citrus fruit, veggies and leafy greens, beans, and eggs.
Eating Beef, Pork, and Poultry. Beef should be grass-fed fresh and lean, and any excess fat also trimmed, Pork should also be fresh and lean, and, poultry should be free-range, and the skin and excess fat trimmed off.
Dairy Products. Use low-fat dairy products such as skim milk, and low-fat cheeses.
Eating foods with Omega-3 fatty acids to boost mood. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements.
Supplement your diet with an all natural Adaptogen. Daily use of the organic whole-food Adapton Maca will not only completely nourish your body, but also assist in balancing your Endrocrine System and all your hormones, greatly reducing your symptoms of depression.
Get A Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and Vitamin D and improve your mood. Aim for at least fifteen minutes of sunlight a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, eat a bag of nuts for a snack, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or on a mountain trail, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
- Read a book or magazine on your patio
For many people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Women are diagnosed with SAD at four times the rate of men. SAD can make you feel like a completely different person than who you are in the summer, like hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
Challenge Negative Thinking
Depression places a negative spin on everything in your life, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future. When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, it’s important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudes, known as cognitive distortions, aren’t realistic. That’s when it’s time to practice mindfulness.
When you really examine negative thoughts, most of the time they are manufactured and really aren’t real, but imagined. But even so, they can be tough to overcome. You can break out of this pessimistic mind frame by telling yourself to “just think positive.” Often, it’s part of a lifelong pattern of thinking that’s become so automatic you’re not even completely aware of it.
Women tend to ruminate when they are depressed. This includes crying to relieve emotional tension, trying to figure out why you’re depressed, and talking to your friends about your depression. However, rumination has been found to maintain depression and even make it worse. The trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression and replace them with a more positive way of thinking.
Negative Thinking That Fuel Depression
All-or-nothing thinking. Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground, such as I am a complete failure because I can’t reach perfection. That’s unrealistic and unachievable.
Over Generalization. Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever, such as I can’t do anything right. That’s irrational.
The mental filter – Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right. Imagined
Diminishing the positive – Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count, such as She said she had a good time on our date, but I think she was just being nice. Imagined.
Jumping to conclusions – Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader, such as he must think I’m pathetic, or a fortune-teller, such as, I’ll be stuck in this job forever. Imagined
Emotional reasoning – Believing that the way you feel reflects reality, such as I can’t do anything right, I’m really no good. Unrealistic and imagined.
Labeling – Classifying yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings, such as I’m a failure, such a loser. Imagined
Learning To Change the Though Processes
Once you identify all the intricacies of what depression is about and the destructive thought patterns that contribute to your depression, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:
- “What’s the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?”
- “What would I tell a friend who had this thought?”
- “Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?”
- “How might I look at this situation if I didn’t have depression?”
As you practice being mindful, and are able to cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they disappear. In the process, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective, begin thinking positively, relieving your stress and, thus, relieving your depression. You might also enjoy reading this article “What’s Emotional Intelligence about.”
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