People often come to see me when a number of stressors have built up and accumulated over time. That's when people often start to talk about having depression or anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are experienced in different ways for different people. For some, it is a passing experience which can resolve in a moment, an hour or a few days. Yet others can be more strongly affected. Difficulties with depression and anxiety can continue for days, weeks, months and sometimes even years. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety that has been going on for some time, and you haven't been able to resolve it yourself, or with the help of other professionals, it may be that it is time to try some psychological therapy.
If you are simply feeling stressed, or your anxiety or depression is more short-lived there may be some things that you can do yourself, starting now, to improve your situation. Tweaking your lifestyle can sometimes produce good benefits for coping with and resolving feelings of stress. Some simple lifestyle changes that can be made are listed below;
1. Sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. This differs for different people, but it is usually between seven and nine hours each day. Take action to modify your sleep so you are rested and have the energy to meet the challenges of your day.
2. Diet. Make sure you have a healthy well-balanced diet. Foods packed with processed sugar and fats promote changes in energy levels that can be accompanied by mood swings and energy crashes. Naturally sourced sugars and fat can provide sustained energy. Take action to limit the fat and processed sugars in your food and replace them with healthy choices. You'll be doing your health a favour as well.
3. Exercise. Physical exercise has been proven to have positive effects for mild depression and anxiety. Regular moderate exercise significantly reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Take action to incorporate some easy to manage changes to your physical routine.
3. Relax and enjoy. Do the things you love. Make time for family, friends, hobbies, holidays and time-out. Breathe deep relaxing breaths. Take up yoga, meditation or tai-chi. Take action to relax and enjoy your life and you will be better able to deal with difficulties as they arise.
If you have short-lived stress, and you make changes in each of these above areas of your life, chances are you on your way to coping more effectively with the challenges of modern life.
For more information about how to manage stress and the negative effects of stress on your health and wellbeing check out this TED talk http://www.upworthy.com/6-scientifically-proven-ways-to-have-a-better-day?c=ufb6.