10 keys to overcome depression

Below you can read 10 practices widely used by psychologists for the treatment of depression. All of them have proven to be very effective in overcoming depressive disorder. Most of them are cognitive-behaviorally oriented and with extensive experimental verification.

These practices are not only recommended for those who are going through a depressive period but also for all those who, without having any mood disorder, want to enhance their ability to face life's challenges, increasing their assertiveness, emotional intelligence, personal energy or ability. for equanimity (ability to accept different emotional states).

If you are in depression treatment with a psychologist or psychiatrist, you can consult him about the application of the methods that you can read below:

In order to overcome a stage of discouragement and loss of interest in things, it is essential to carry out activities that make you feel better. Although it is true, that when you are depressed you do not feel like or believe that doing activities is of any use to you, nevertheless, the execution of activities allows you to increase your level of physical and mental energy, to defocus the mind of obsessive negative thoughts and test and refute negative thoughts.

The practice is that you select a group of activities that, before entering a crisis, generated interest and excitement. For example, if before you got depressed you liked to practice some form of sport, now you should aim to recover that activity, even if in a reduced way.

To be able to expand this practice and look for ideas about the activities that you liked before, you can see the behavioral activation practice.

Behavioral activation along with changing negative thoughts are the most important keys to overcome depression according to psychologists.

This practice is the most used by cognitive-behaviorally oriented psychologists. It consists of learning to identify negative thoughts, which are usually automatic and semi-unconscious. They are usually short and very toxic, for example "I am stupid", "I will never get better", "everyone gets what I am incapable", etc.

When recognized, you should replace them with other thoughts that are realistic, logical, rational and positive.

Psychologists are clear that self-esteem is to mental health what an immune system resistant to the physical body. With a good level of self-esteem it is very difficult for depression to develop. Self-esteem is based on good self-support where we value ourselves and tolerate our defects.

The fundamental practice for developing self-esteem is to identify and eliminate self-critical thoughts. The biggest enemy of you is yourself, particularly when you attack yourself with critical thoughts. You have to learn to speak to yourself in a respectful way, giving yourself the value you have for the mere fact of being a person. Treating yourself well, as a good father who transmits his love, support and appreciation to you, is key for you to develop your self-esteem.

Assertiveness is the ability to behave in limits  expressing yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view If you have difficulty reaffirming your views to others, knowing how to say "no" to an abusive request, or taking initiatives with others, you may need to learn to develop your assertiveness. If you feel unable to respond to the abusive demands of others, this may make you feel weak and insecure, and you will end up criticizing yourself rather than being critical of others.

Knowing how to accept and tolerate the different emotional states, even if they are negative, will be one of the best advantages you can count on in life. If you have anxiety, sadness, fear or anger and you can "control" yourself without being overwhelmed by these emotions, you will be a person with a good capacity for self-control. And of course, if you know how to have tolerance and acceptance of negative emotions, you can have a greater capacity to enjoy positive ones.

It is common in the work of psychologists to care for people with a high level of avoidance. That is, fleeing from situations that involve a high level of discomfort: a subject that has been suspended on several occasions, an encounter with people who make me feel insecure, a person who attracts me but who I think can reject me, the commitment in a relationship, etc.

Avoidance is a defense mechanism that "protects" in the short term from not experiencing fear or anxiety, but in the medium term ruins the achievements in life since any objective that involves a certain degree of fear is avoided and thus frustrated. Depression evidently thrives on avoidance.

Facing situations that scare us will give us a feeling of security and competence that is very valuable in overcoming depression.

One of the typical characteristics of depression is loss of interest in achieving goals. People always need to have goals, greater or less, that we can achieve in life to be excited and stimulated. Knowing how to set goals that I hope will be an important stimulus to overcome depression and in general in life to have good stimuli to overcome.

Another of the techniques most taught by psychologists is relaxation. This technique is essential for you to learn to loosen your muscles and with it also your mind. When the body is relaxed, your psychological aptitude is calmer and your way of thinking becomes less negative, apprehensive, obsessive or rigid.

The practice of relaxation has multiple positive psychological effects, eliminates stress, anxiety and improves mood.

In recent years, research by psychologists on the effectiveness of the practice of meditation or mindfulness (mindfulness) has multiplied. Its effects are very valuable for the treatment of anxiety, obsession, depressive relapses, psychosomatic illnesses, and in general for the development of the ability to accept and tolerate both physical pain and any type of emotional distress.

Knowing how to solve the different problems to which life submits us is something that we can learn or improve through problem-solving strategies that have been empirically verified. It is about developing the capacity to know how to properly value the pros and cons that any decision-making implies in order to be able to choose properly.

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