Depression and anxiety are becoming more commonplace as life’s challenges, conflict, loss, stress, physical and emotional pain affect all of us at some point in our lives. Others experience significant trauma such as childhood abuse, near-death experiences or being a victim of violence that can lead to mental health issues manifesting themselves as clinical depression or anxiety disorders. This is usually accompanied with overwhelming feelings for the sufferer and most commonly requires specialist treatment of depression.
When someone has drug or alcohol addiction issues, the benefits of treatment for depression is that patients are able to develop methods for coping, other than medicating with substances or alcohol. When in treatment, patients are often faced with a void that was previously filled by drugs or alcohol and education is needed to adapt behaviors to more positive, life-affirming ways of coping with feelings of anxiety.
No matter what the cause of depression and anxiety, there are healthy coping mechanisms that can be adopted which patients can learn as part of treatment for depression. Following are 8 suggestions of healthy practices that can be incorporated into daily life with ease, which also contribute to successful addiction recovery.
Exercise is widely believed to be the best conceivable coping mechanism. Apart from the fact it improves sleep quality, maintains healthy weight and combats serious health conditions like heart disease, exercise also significantly improves feelings of well-being. Cardiovascular exercise like swimming, cycling or anything that works up a sweat has been shown to be very effective in fighting depression.
#2 Positive Thinking
Although it may sound crass to some, removing negativity is essential as part of treatment for depression and addiction. This is quite different from the ignorant attitude of telling someone to buck their ideas up when dealing with depression, which trivializes the very real issues sufferers of depression face. The best way to adopt more positive thought processes is to acknowledge the negative and then look for its upside.
#3 Develop Gratitude
This is a good way of re-training the mind to see life’s positives and take focus from the negative. By taking time to consciously consider the good things in life, from small things such as the feeling of sun on the face to the people around us, we are able to see the things we usually take for granted and appreciate them more. Some people choose to keep a gratitude journal to use as future reference as a mechanism to combat feelings of anxiety.
#4 Keep a Journal
Drug and alcohol addiction therapists often recommend journaling as a way of treating depressing. The act of putting thoughts and feelings in writing can be a highly cathartic experience and a good way of self-expression that leads to a better way of coping with anxiety and depression and prevents the unhealthy practice of internalizing negativity.
Although there are numerous courses and classes in meditation, it is basically just the practice of mindfulness that’s as simple as taking a few minutes to sit silently while focusing on nothing other than deep breathing. The sense of relaxation gained from regular meditation is effective in coping with high levels of stress and is extremely beneficial in depression treatment.
#6 Talking it Out
When someone is suffering from depression, they tend to be isolated from loved ones, preferring to withdraw into themselves than communicate feelings to others. This leads to social isolation which can deepen feelings of depression and anxiety in an almost vicious circle. Making a point of talking out feelings with others who are non-judgmental and trusted confidantes is a good way of coping with feelings of bleakness and despair.
There are numerous causes of depression, drug and alcohol addiction being one of them. Through successfully developing coping mechanisms like those listed above, it is possible to incorporate more healthy practices into daily life that can be used to better deal with the very often distressing symptoms of depression.