7 Ways to Deal with Depression in a Positive Manner
If you or a loved one is dealing with an anxiety disorder, you may be wondering what strategies you could try that might help ease feelings of distress. Finding positive coping strategies for anxiety is an important step in the journey to overcome it.
Face Your Anxiety
Working with a therapist or healthcare professional trained in the treatment of anxiety disorders is the best approach. A therapist can help you face your anxiety and work through it. There are therapeutic measures that teach your brain to face its fears and overcome them.
Practice Relaxation Strategies
There are techniques you can learn that can help you regulate both the emotional and physical responses associated with anxiety, which become intertwined when the brain goes into "fight-or-flight" mode. Examples include deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
Write It Out
Journaling can help you escape repetitive thinking. It may also give you a sense of release to put your thoughts down on paper. There are no rules for keeping a journal. Some people may find it easier to focus journal entries on specific topics, while others may prefer a more free-flowing style of writing.
When you're able to recognize harmful thinking patterns, you can also develop strategies to "talk back" to those thoughts. Remind yourself that thoughts don't always reflect reality. Practice phrases you find useful in turning negative thoughts around, and you'll get to feel more empowered and in charge.
Maintain Positive Relationships
Nourish your relationships and engage with the people who are important to you. Resist the urge to isolate yourself. Reach out to your support network, or pick up the phone and call a friend. Even sending a text message can go a long way in reinforcing a social bond.
Make Sleep a Priority
Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to you. Make sure you're getting enough hours of restful sleep each night. That can make a big difference in your day-to-day thoughts and emotions. Create a pleasurable bedtime routine that starts at least 30 minutes before you want to fall asleep to signal your brain that it's time to unwind and get ready for sleep.
Stay Physically Active
Exercise is a proven stress reliever. You don't have to run a marathon or get into bodybuilding to reap its benefits. Walking is an excellent workout that just about anyone can do: all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and a safe area to go for a stroll.
Engage in Active Problem Solving
Challenge yourself to recognize all aspects of problematic situations and to come up with multiple solutions that you have control over --- and keep at it. It's like a workout for your brain and will help build confidence that you can handle things. As with any exercise, the more you practice flexing your mental muscles, the stronger you'll become.
Each of these strategies can make a positive difference in how you cope with anxiety triggers and manage your anxiety response.