World Suicide Prevention Day 2022: Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Depression and anxiety manifest in different ways for different people, and the level of anxiety and depression one experiences also varies. “When anxiety or depression affects daily life and interferes with your daily activities for a prolonged period, professional help should be sought,” said Sana Rubiyana, Counseling Psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore . This world suicide prevention dayObserved annually on September 10, Rubiyana lists activities that can help deal with anxiety and depression.

* Make time to practice yoga daily, listen to soothing/relaxing/rhythmic music, meditate (mindful meditation), receive a message once in a while for the momentary release of tension or practicing relaxation techniques (deep breath, inhale and exhale slowly).

* Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip meals, your mood also depends on what you eat, as people who do not feel like eating when they are anxious or depressed, may try to eat smaller meals with increased frequency.

*Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Alcohol acts as a depressant and should be avoided. Caffeine has been shown to make people more nervous.

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* Get enough sleep. Your body needs extra sleep and rest during any mental health crisis. The number of hours doesn’t really matter, but the quality of sleep does. Avoid screen time two hours before bedtime. Screen time delays sleep by at least two hours. Give yourself “me time” before bedtime to improve sleep quality.

*Daily exercise preferably during the day. Your brain releases endorphins during exercise, a happiness hormone. It helps to improve your mood and you will feel good and it will help you maintain your health well.

Reduce feelings of anxiety and stress with some breathing exercises. (Source: Pexels)

* Perfectionism is an anxiety disorder. Instead of aiming for perfection, which is not possible, be proud of being so close to your goals. Design “SMART” goals that are (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound).

*Accept that you can’t control everything. Put your anxious and depressed thoughts into perspective: is it really as bad as you think? Most people experience anxiety because of their “need for control”. Learn to accept the fact that not everything is in your control. The only things you can control are your mindset and perspective.

* Good laughter goes a long way. Use humor, jokes, and laughter as a way to deal with the crisis, as it eases the situations in your mind.

* Maintain a positive attitude. Try to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. You can use positive affirmations as much as possible to see changes in your thought patterns from negative to positive.

* Build a network and get involved. Find ways to be active in your community, which builds a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress. Talk to people you trust about what you think and feel. Ask for help from people around you. Speaking out loud and being heard can significantly reduce your anxiety and depression.

* Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you feel stressed or anxious and look for a trend.

anxiety workout Exercise can help with good nutrition (Source: Canva)

* Start keeping a journal. Write about everything you think and feel, and begin to recognize your emotions. When you have no one to share with, these pages can become your ears. Journaling also puts things into perspective and clarifies your thoughts. You can also keep a gratitude journal if you suffer from depression. It will make you recognize small joy, small positive changes and also increase your sense of gratitude.

* Get a routine. Have a program will keep you grounded and ease your anxiety levels.

*Seek professional help. Start with regular counseling and therapy. Some may also need to see a psychiatrist for medication. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Take care of your mental health as much as you would your physical health.

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